In February 1831, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation entitled “The Laws of the Church of Christ” (see Doctrine and Covenants 42). Among the numerous laws discussed, the Lord revealed what might be termed his law of teaching. “The elders, priests, and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon,” the Lord declared. “And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them,” he added. Finally, he concluded, “And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach” (Doctrine and Covenants 42:12–14; emphasis added).
This pattern for teaching in the Lord’s way by teaching principles from the scriptures, living the gospel faithfully, and teaching with the Spirit forms the basis of the content in this issue of the Religious Educator. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf leads off the volume, inviting all to “open [our] hearts, minds, and souls to hear the wondrous music of the Spirit,” promising that as we do, we “will surely rejoice in God’s goodness and grace.” Elder Marlin K. Jensen, President John S. Tanner, and Sister Susan W. Tanner share inspiring messages about living lives filled with faith and hope, with the goal that we can each become “a teacher come from God” (John 3:2). And, Church educators team up with a Joseph Smith Papers editor to explore ways we can better understand sacred scripture and Church history.
Teaching content the Lord has revealed, living its precepts, and embracing the Spirit are not only ways we follow the Lord’s law. They will make us more like Christ, who is “the law” (3 Nephi 15:9).
Scott C. Esplin
Editor in Chief