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How can relying on the Savior’s grace help me become a better teacher?

In our efforts to teach the gospel, we may sometimes experience feelings of inadequacy. But we can take courage from the Lord’s promise that His “grace is sufficient ... [to] make weak things become strong” (Ether 12:27). As we humble ourselves, acknowledge our weaknesses, and exercise faith in Jesus Christ, He will strengthen us to teach His gospel in a manner pleasing to Him.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Jeremiah 1:5–9; Moses 6:31–34 (Prophets who felt inadequate but received strength from the Lord)

1 Corinthians 1:27–31; D&C 1:19–23 (The gospel is proclaimed by the weak and simple)

Jacob 4:7Ether 12:23–29 (The Savior’s grace is sufficient to strengthen the humble)

Alma 17:9–11; 29:9 (We can become instruments in the Lord’s hands to bring others to Christ)

David A. Bednar, “In the Strength of the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2004, 76–78

David M. McConkie, “Gospel Learning and Teaching,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 13–15

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between things they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help you:

  • Ask the youth to share what they have been learning about the Atonement and what questions they have about what they have learned.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can encourage the youth to rely on the Savior’s grace to help them become better teachers. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Ask the youth to share an experience in which they received an assignment that seemed difficult or overwhelming. What future assignments might they receive that could make them feel overwhelmed? As a class, read the first 11 paragraphs of Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “In the Strength of the Lord,” and ask the youth to raise their hands when they hear or read something that could strengthen or encourage them when they receive such assignments and share what they learned with the class. How can they apply what they learn to the opportunities they have to teach others the gospel? Consider sharing a personal experience in which you received strength from the Lord to fulfill an assignment that seemed difficult.
  • Before class, invite one of the youth who plays a musical instrument to bring his or her instrument to class (or show a picture of the instrument). Ask the youth to discuss what he or she does to ensure that the musical instrument works properly. Invite the class to read Alma 17:9–11 and describe how someone playing a musical instrument is like the Lord using us as instruments to teach His gospel. What did the sons of Mosiah do to prepare themselves to be effective instruments in the hands of the Lord? How can the youth follow their examples as they teach?
  • Invite the youth to read David M. McConkie’s talk, “Gospel Learning and Teaching.” Encourage them to make a list on the board of things Brother McConkie says are important in gospel teaching and things he says are not important. Encourage them to share how the stories Brother McConkie uses illustrate the points they listed on the board. Invite the youth to plan ways they can use what they learn from the talk to draw on the strength of the Lord as they teach others.
  • Ask the youth to imagine that a friend has received an assignment from the bishop to teach a class or give a talk, and the friend feels inadequate and does not want to accept the assignment. How would the youth encourage their friend? What scriptures could they use to help him or her? (See, for example, the scriptures suggested in this outline.) Invite them to role-play using these scriptures to help someone in this situation.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how the Savior’s grace can help them become better teachers? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

  • Ask the youth what they feel inspired to do because of what they learned today. Encourage them to act on these feelings. Consider ways you can follow up.
  • Testify of the strength and help that the Lord has given you in your assignment to teach.