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How can I help others participate in learning?

We are all responsible for learning the doctrines of the gospel through our own diligent efforts. As gospel teachers, we can help those we teach take responsibility for their own learning. We can awaken a desire in others to study, understand, and live the gospel. We are most successful as teachers when we help those we teach discover gospel principles for themselves and draw their strength from God.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the scriptures and resources below. What do you feel will be most helpful to the youth you teach?

Matthew 16:13–16 (The Savior invites Peter to testify) 

Matthew 28:18–19; Luke 10:1–9 (The Savior gives His disciples responsibilities to teach and serve others)

Mark 10:17–21 (The Savior invites those He teaches to act in faith)

Luke 7:36–43 (The Savior asks questions that invite those He teaches to ponder His message)

John 3:1–13 (The Savior responds to questions from those He teaches)

3 Nephi 11:13–15 (The Savior invites those He teaches to know Him for themselves)

3 Nephi 17:1–3 (The Savior invites those He teaches to prepare themselves to learn more)

D&C 88:122 (Learners are edified when they share thoughts and insights and listen to each other)

David A. Bednar, “Watching with All Perseverance,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 40–43

Invite Diligent Learning,” Teaching, No Greater Call (1999), 60–74, 208–12

Invite Diligent Learning” on LDS.org

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 a recent learning or teaching experience they had outside of class. How did the principles taught in previous weeks help them?
  • Invite the youth to discuss the disadvantages of being in a class where the teacher does all the talking and class members are not encouraged to participate. Help them make a list of different ways learners can participate in learning (including in class and outside of class). How can a teacher encourage these kinds of participation? 

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth understand how to help those they teach participate in learning. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite the youth to search pages 4–5 of Teaching the Gospel in the Savior’s Way and make a list on the board of the ways in which the Savior invited those He taught to be involved in their own learning. Ask the youth to select an item from the list and work in pairs to find an example in the scriptures when the Savior taught this way (such as those suggested in this outline). You could also invite them to think of an experience of their own in which a teacher taught them something in a similar way. Ask each pair to share with the class what they find. Discuss how the youth can emulate the Savior’s methods when they teach. Why is it important to involve those you are teaching in these ways?
  • Before class, assign several class members one principle from pages 63–74 in Teaching, No Greater Call to study. Ask them to come to class prepared to teach the rest of the youth about their principle. Ask them to explain, as part of their presentations, how the principle they chose encourages learners to be actively involved in their own learning. Encourage them also to apply the principle as they teach.
  • Show the three videos on the Invite Diligent Learning section of LDS.org, and invite the youth to read the section titled “Inviting Children to Act” in Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “Watching with All Perseverance.” Ask the youth to look for and share reasons gospel teachers should encourage those they teach to be actively involved in their own learning. Invite the youth to discuss examples of times when teachers in their lives have taught in the ways Elder David A. Bednar describes. What effect did this type of teaching have on their learning?

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to help others participate in learning? 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

Invite the youth to think about opportunities they have to teach others about the plan of salvation. Encourage them to plan ways they can help those they teach participate meaningfully. In a future lesson, invite them to share what they did.