Teaching Children, Youth, and Adults

What do I need to know about adults that will help me teach them?

While adults differ widely in gospel knowledge and experience, understanding some common learning characteristics of adults will help you effectively teach the gospel. Most adult learners share the following characteristics:

  • They need to feel that they are respected and contributing something of value. Respectfully consider all ideas offered by class members, and express gratitude for their contributions.
  • They want to learn by the Spirit. Because of the trials and joys they have experienced, they feel a great need to understand the gospel and receive guidance from the Spirit.
  • They want to talk about how the gospel applies in their lives. Invite adults to share their experiences with the gospel principles you are teaching. Help them see how these principles can bless their lives.
  • They desire to be self-directed. They want to take responsibility for learning the gospel. Encourage them to complete reading assignments and ask questions in class.
  • They are concerned about their family responsibilities. They want to know how gospel principles apply to the challenges they face in their families.

Scriptures to study

Doctrine and Covenants 88:122–23

Things you can do

  • Make a greater effort to express gratitude for all contributions made by learners during class.
  • Plan ways for the adults you teach to share their thoughts about how the gospel principles you teach apply to their lives.
  • Encourage class members to complete reading assignments in preparation for the lesson.