All Church members have the responsibility to teach by the Spirit through word and example, even if they do not have a formal assignment, or calling, as a teacher in the Church. Each parent, son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister, Church leader, classroom teacher, home teacher, visiting teacher, coworker, neighbor, or friend has opportunities to teach.
The Lord declared: “I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand” (D&C 88:77-78).
In giving this commandment to Church members, the Lord gives a sacred responsibility. This responsibility also provides countless opportunities for meaningful service. Few experiences compare to the joy of helping others learn and live the gospel.
In all efforts to teach the gospel, Jesus Christ is the example. He showed genuine love and concern for people. He strengthened them individually, teaching gospel principles in a way that would help them with their unique needs. He awakened in some the desire to understand and live the gospel. At times He asked questions that would help them apply what they learned. He taught the saving truths of the gospel, helping His hearers understand what they needed to know, do, and be in order to receive the gift of eternal life.
Effective gospel teaching nourishes and uplifts those who are willing to listen. It builds their faith and gives them confidence to meet life's challenges. It encourages them to forsake sin and obey the commandments. It helps them come to Christ and abide in His love.
The most effective teaching occurs by the power of the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead who manifests “the truth . . . of all things” (Moroni 10:4-5). The Lord said, “The Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach” (D&C 42:14). Only through the influence of the Spirit can gospel teaching be edifying and inspiring.
If Church members prepare spiritually, they will have the privilege of feeling the Holy Ghost teach, testify, and inspire others through them. As the prophet Nephi taught, “When a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men” (2 Nephi 33:1).
Spiritual preparation includes praying often, studying the scriptures, living the gospel, and being humble.
—See True to the Faith (2004), 168-70
Good teaching, as the Master Teacher demonstrated, is central in bringing people to Him. A ward in Idaho and a stake in Massachusetts are seeing lives affected as they make efforts to improve teaching.
In our sacred callings of gospel teaching, no effort is too good for the work of the Lord and the growth of His children.
We must revitalize and reenthrone superior teaching in the Church—at home, from the pulpit, in our administrative meetings, and surely in the classroom.
Through the years, Presidents of the Church and general presidents of the Relief Society have emphasized the purpose and importance of home and visiting teachers. Following is a selection of those expressions.
Additional Study Materials
Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part A, Lesson 16
Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part A, Lesson 18
The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part A, Lesson 35