Gospel teachers aim to teach the truths of the scriptures by the Spirit so that those truths are carried to the hearts of their students. This process helps students on their journey to come unto Christ. In this special Church Educational System issue, teachers share ideas to help each other achieve this goal.
Eric B. Shumway, president of BYU–Hawaii, reflects on his service in the islands and offers practical guidance to teachers: See the students as God sees them. Be worthy. Be prepared. Keep an eye out for the underdog. Avoid pontificating. And beware of gospel thrillers.
Next Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy bears witness of the Book of Mormon, the growing number of translations available worldwide and the power of its doctrines. Alan R. Maynes shares ideas on creating questions that invite revelation into the lives of students. Steven T. Linford discusses the importance of personal purity and example in gospel teaching. In a similar vein, W. Jeffrey Marsh asserts that a teacher’s job is not just to instruct but to inspire students to live the gospel. Bryce Dunford continues this theme by describing how a teacher can create a sense of awe that leads students to discover truths on their own. And Kathy K. Clayton shares insights from her own experience with helping students get actively involved in gospel learning.
J. B. Haws demonstrates the importance of remembering our covenants as he shows how the Lamanites kept the Nephites continually “stirred up in remembrance” of the Lord through fighting, through exemplary family life, and by their remarkable faith once converted. Blair Van Dyke explains the Book of Mormon use of contrasts, juxtaposing two individuals or groups or even two time periods against each other to accentuate differences and to teach principles of good and evil.
Brent D. Fillmore reminds us that the key to teaching by the Spirit is using both the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets, encouraging students to become as familiar with the words of the living prophets in their daily study as they are becoming with the scriptures. And Brian K. Ray explains how Christ becomes the “Father of our salvation” through the doctrines of adoption and Atonement.
Roger K. Petersen, manager of the Church’s intellectual property, shares practical advice on using copyrighted material in our teaching. And Kent P. Jackson presents new discoveries on the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible that will be useful for teachers.
Gospel teachers will find this issue particularly instructive in helping them to achieve Christ’s commission “to preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth” (D&C 50:14).
Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, Editor-in-Chief
R. Devan Jensen, Executive Editor
Ted D. Stoddard, Associate Editor