All Latter-day Saints have the responsibility to learn and teach the gospel (see Teaching, No Greater Call, lesson 1). To effectively do so, members must know the Savior through His teachings and example (see 3 Nephi 18:24).
“You and I have to fix our gaze on the Savior,” says Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“We have the obligation to study, treasure up, [and] ponder,” he says, “so that in the very moment we can be given that which is needful or, in the very moment, connections will be created in what we have treasured up and studied and pondered that we have never noticed before.” Elder Bednar made the comments during a Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Satellite Broadcast on August 2, 2011.
He Set the Pattern
Prophets and apostles frequently testify of the power that comes from following the example of Jesus Christ.
“We quickly and rightfully think of Christ as a teacher—the greatest teacher who ever lived or ever will live,” says Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “We know the Savior to be the Master Teacher. He is that and more.”
“In the home, the school, or the house of God, there is one teacher whose life overshadows all others,” says Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “He taught of life and death, of duty and destiny. He lived not to be served, but to serve; not to receive, but to give; not to save his life, but to sacrifice it for others. He described a love more beautiful than lust, a poverty richer than treasure. It was said of this teacher that he taught with authority and not as did the scribes. I speak of the Master Teacher, even Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind.”
He Taught Us to Love
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles teaches that a willingness to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings can be measured by how we treat our neighbors.
“The Savior’s charge to His disciples to love one another—and the dramatic and powerful way He taught this principle at the Last Supper—is one of the most poignant and beautiful episodes from the last days of His mortal life,” Elder Cook says. “He was not teaching a simple class in ethical behavior. This was the Son of God pleading with His Apostles and all disciples who would come after them to remember and follow this most central of His teachings.”
Love for others is manifest in the service of teaching. Teaching provides an opportunity for others to learn the Lord’s way (see Teaching, No Greater Call, lesson 1).
“The Savior’s entire ministry exemplified love of neighbor,” says President Thomas S. Monson. “A blind man healed, the daughter of Jairus raised, and the lepers cleansed—all were neighbors of Jesus. Neighbor also was the woman at the well. He, the perfect man, standing before a confessed sinner, extended a hand. She was the traveler; He was the good Samaritan. And so the caravan of His kindness continued.”
He Taught Eternal Truths
Teaching each other the gospel is an essential part of Heavenly Father’s plan. Learning gospel doctrine helps us learn to exercise righteous agency as we follow the Savior’s example, (see Teaching, No Greater Call, lesson 1).
“Many non-Christians acknowledge that Jesus was a great teacher. Indeed, He was,” says Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “But what truly distinguished His teaching? Was He a skilled instructor of engineering, mathematics, or science? As creator of this and other worlds, He surely could have been. Or as author of scripture, He could have taught literary composition very well. [But] the feature that distinguished His teaching above that of all other teachers was that He taught truths of eternal significance. Only He could have revealed our purpose in life. Only through Him could we learn of our pre-mortal existence and of our post-mortal potential.”
Elder Ballard also speaks of eternal truths that Christ taught during His ministry on earth.
“The mortal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was comparatively brief,” he says. “He lived only thirty-three years, and His ministry was only three years. But in those three years He taught the human family everything that is necessary to receive all of the blessings our Father in Heaven has in store for His children. He concluded His mortal ministry with the single most compassionate and significant service in the history of the world: the Atonement.”
As Latter-day Saints follow Elder Bednar’s counsel and fix their gaze upon the Savior, the Holy Ghost will become their trusted companion in the work of the Lord.
“To the master teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose resurrection we celebrate … I say: I thank thee, oh Lord, for teaching us that there is no greater call than to be an effective teacher,” Elder Ballard says.