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How can I show love for those I teach?

Jesus Christ loved those He taught. He prayed for them and found opportunities to express His love. We can develop love for those we teach by praying for them and selflessly serving them. When those we teach can sense that we sincerely love them, their hearts are softened, and they are more open to the truths we are teaching.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will help the youth understand the importance of loving those they teach?

John 13:34 (We should love others as Jesus Christ loves us)

Mosiah 28:1–3; Alma 17:21–39; 20:21–27 (Ammon shows love to the Lamanites whom he is teaching)

Moroni 7:45–46 (Without charity we are nothing)

Thomas S. Monson, “Examples of Great Teachers,” Ensign or Liahona, June 2007, 74–80

“Love Those You Teach,” Teaching, No Greater Call (1999), 31–39

Video: “Love Those You Teach”

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between what 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:

  • Invite the youth to share with another class member a scripture that they have read recently in their personal study. Do they have questions about things they are learning?
  • Ask the youth how they can tell when a teacher loves them. Why is it important that a teacher show love? Have the youth ever shown love to someone they taught? Read John 13:34, and discuss ways the Savior showed loved to those He taught.

Learn together

Each of the following activities will help the youth understand how to love those they teach in a Christlike way. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite the youth to read Moroni 7:45, identify the words and phrases used to describe a person who has charity, and describe these qualities in their own words (if necessary, help them define any unfamiliar words). Invite each youth to select one of these words or phrases and describe how it might relate to teaching. Ask them to think of situations in which they are teaching others—both in church and in other teaching moments (at home, at school, and in everyday life). Which of the attributes in Moroni 7:45 would they like to develop to help them become better teachers? Invite a few of the youth to share their ideas.
  • Ask the youth to read the section titled “It Is More Blessed to Give Than to Receive” in President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Examples of Great Teachers,” or show the video “Love Those You Teach.” Ask the youth: What did the teachers in these examples do to show love for those they taught? What opportunities do the youth have to teach (in Church settings and in other teaching moments)? Invite the youth to plan ways they can show love as teachers. Invite a few of the youth to share their plans with the class.
  • Share with the youth Elder Dallas N. Archibald’s analogy on page 31 of Teaching, No Greater Call (you may want to bring an empty glass and a bucket of water to help with this discussion). What do the youth learn about teaching from this analogy? Divide the class into three groups and assign each group one of the first three chapters in “Love Those You Teach” in Teaching, No Greater Call. Invite each group to teach the rest of the class what they learn from their assigned section. Encourage them to include in their presentation a story that illustrates the principle, a discussion question, and a personal testimony.
  • Show a picture of Ammon defending Lamoni’s flocks (Gospel Art Book, 78), and invite a class member to retell the story (see Alma 17:21–39). Ask some of the youth to read Mosiah 28:1–3, looking for answers to the question “What inspired Ammon and his brothers to want to teach the gospel to the Lamanites?” Ask the rest of the youth to read Alma 20:21–27, looking for answers to the question “What effect did Ammon’s love have on King Lamoni’s father?” Invite them to share what they find, and ask them to think of specific things they can do to follow Ammon’s example.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to show love for those they teach? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

Encourage the youth to think about the people they teach. Invite them to choose something they will do to show love for those people.