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How does the Holy Ghost help me teach the gospel?

As we teach the gospel, we should humbly recognize that the Holy Ghost is the true teacher. Our privilege is to serve as instruments through whom the Holy Ghost can teach, testify, comfort, and inspire others. We should live worthy to receive the Spirit, pray for His guidance as we prepare and teach, and create an atmosphere in which those we teach can feel His influence.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you feel inspired to share with the youth?

John 15:26; D&C 50:13–22; 52:9 (The Comforter is sent to teach the truth)

2 Nephi 33:1–2 (The Holy Ghost carries our words unto the hearts of the children of men)

Alma 17:3 (The sons of Mosiah prepared themselves to teach with power and authority)

D&C 11:21; 84:85 (The Spirit will help us know what to say if we seek to obtain God’s word)

D&C 42:11–17 (If we do not have the Spirit, we shall not teach)

Dallin H. Oaks, “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, Mar. 1997, 6–14

Matthew O. Richardson, “Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 94–96

The Power of the Spirit in Conversion,” Preach My Gospel (2004), 92–93

Teach by the Spirit,” Teaching, No Greater Call (1999), 40–48

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:

  • Ask the youth to think about a time in which they have felt the Spirit during a Church class, in seminary, or in a family home evening. What did the teacher do to invite the Spirit?
  • Invite the youth to list the opportunities they have to teach the gospel to others. Prompt them to include informal, unplanned teaching moments, as well as formal teaching assignments. Write on the board, “What does it mean to teach by the Spirit?” Invite the youth to ponder, throughout the lesson, how they would answer this question as it relates to the teaching opportunities they have listed. At the end of the lesson, invite them to share their thoughts. 

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth understand what it means to teach by the Spirit. Following the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Have the youth select one of the following questions: Why is it important to teach by the Spirit? How does the Spirit bless us as teachers? How does the Spirit bless those we teach? What should we do to invite the Spirit in our teaching? Ask each class member to read a scripture about teaching by the Spirit (such as those suggested in this outline) and find in the scripture an answer to the question he or she selected. Give class members an opportunity to share their scripture and the answers they found.
  • Prayerfully select sections from Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s talk “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit” or from Teaching, No Greater Call, pages 40–48, that you feel would help the youth understand what it means to teach by the Spirit. Divide the class into small groups, and ask each group to read one of those sections together and make a list of things they can do to teach by the Spirit. Invite the groups to share with each other what they learned, and encourage them to add to their lists as they listen to the other groups. Ask them to ponder how they can apply what they learned in a future teaching opportunity.
  • Invite the youth to read Matthew O. Richardson’s talk “Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit,” looking for answers to the questions “How does the Spirit teach?” and “How do we emulate Him in our teaching?” Ask them to share with each other what they find. What experiences have they had in which a teacher taught “after the manner of the Spirit”? How can they follow that teacher’s example the next time they teach?
  • As a class, read Elder Richard G. Scott’s experiences on pages 41 and 42 of Teaching, No Greater Call. Ask the youth to contrast the two experiences. Why was the Holy Ghost present during the first lesson? What was different about the second lesson? Invite the youth to share how they plan to apply what they learn from these experiences the next time they have an opportunity to teach others.
  • Give each class member a copy of “The Power of the Spirit in Conversion” from Preach My Gospel (pages 92–93). Ask them to read it individually, looking for answers to the question “What does it mean to teach by the Spirit?” Invite them to share what they find. Ask the youth why they feel it is important to know about this now, before they serve full-time missions. Encourage them to complete the “Personal Study” and “Scripture Study” activities on their own (if possible, you could give them time in class to begin). Invite them to make note of anything that inspires them as they read these scripture and share them with the class in a future lesson.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand how to teach by the Spirit? 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. Seek the Spirit as you prayerfully consider ways you can follow up.