Kendel Christensen's Reviews > Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching

Teaching, No Greater Call by The Church of Jesus Christ ...
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Jun 18, 2011

it was amazing
Read in January, 2006 — I own a copy

This. is. the. best. manual. the. Church. has ever made.

Seriously.

Ask yourself:

Have you ever come away from a gospel lesson uninspired?

Have you ever come away from a Priesthood or Relief Society thinking it could have gone better, but not quite able to put your finger on why?

Have you ever come away from a Sunday School class... wanting to VOLUNTARILY POKE YOUR EYES OUT, POUR ACID IN YOUR EARS, AND BANG YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL BECAUSE EVERYONE AROUND YOU SEEM TO BE COMPLETELY BLIND TO THEIR DEEP INEFFECTIVENESS IN EITHER LEADING OR PARTICIPATING IN A DISCUSSION?

...
...

There's a book for that. A book whose principles, if applied, would instantly transform entire congregations into explorers and agents of applied truths.

Just a small, small sampling of the power of this book:

“No greater responsibility can rest upon any man [or woman], than to be a teacher of God's children”
(David O. McKay, Ensign, May 1998, 25)
(As quoted in Teaching: No Greater Call, 3)

“The responsibility to teach the gospel is not limited to those who have formal callings as teachers. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you have the responsibility to teach the gospel. As a parent, son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister, Church leader, classroom teacher, home teacher, visiting teacher, coworker, neighbor, or friend, you have opportunities to teach. Sometimes you can teach openly and directly by the things you say and the testimony you bear. And you always teach by example”
(Teaching: No Greater Call, 3-4)

“I cannot save you; you cannot save me; we cannot save each other, only so far as we can persuade each other to receive the truth, by teaching it. When a man receives the truth he will be saved by it. He will be saved not merely because someone taught it to him, but because he received and ***acted upon it.***”
(Joseph F. Smith, As quoted in Teaching No Greater Call, 49)

“Consider using some or all of the following ideas to enhance your study:
'As you read, ask yourself, 'What gospel principle is taught in this passage? How can I apply this in my life?”
'Have a notebook or journal available so you can record your thoughts and feelings. Commit yourself in writing to apply what you learn. Frequently review the thoughts you have recorded.
'Before read a chapter of scripture, review the chapter heading. This will give you some things to look for in the chapter.
'Mark and annotate your scriptures. In the margins write scripture references that clarify the passages you are studying
'Memorize verses that are particularly meaningful to you.
'Substitute your name in a verse of scripture to personalize it.
'After studying, offer a prayer to express thanks for what you have learned.
'Share what you learn. As you do this, your thoughts will become clearer and your power of retention will increase.”
(Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 17)

“Many topics are interesting, important, and even relevant to life and yet not nourishing to the soul. It is not our commission to teach such topics. Instead, we are to **edify others** and teach them **principles that pertain to the kingdom of God and the salvation** of mankind.
“Teaching that stimulates the intellect without speaking to the spirit cannot nourish.”
(Teaching: No Greater Call, 5)

“When we are truly converted, all our thoughts and motivations are guided by gospel principles.”
(Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 18)

“The disciplined teacher will be sure of his sources and will also make every effort to determine whether a statement properly represents the doctrine of the Church or is merely the opinion of the author” (Instructor, Sept. 1969, 334–35).
“We should not attribute statements to Church leaders without confirming the source of the statements. When we quote scriptures, we should ensure that our use of them is consistent with their context” (see Teaching, No Greater Call pages 54–55).
(“11: Keeping the Doctrine Pure,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 52 )

“Let us come to the conclusion of this whole matter, a conclusion that will have an important bearing on our eternal salvation. It is that each person must learn the doctrines of the gospel for himself. No one else can do it for him. Each person stands alone where gospel scholarship is concerned; each has access to the same scriptures and is entitled to the guidance of the same Holy Ghost; each must pay the price set by a divine Providence if he is to gain the pearl of great price.
“The same principle governs both learning truth and living in harmony with its standards. No one can repent for and on behalf of another; no one can keep the commandments in the place and stead of another: no one can be saved in someone else's name. And no one can gain a testimony or press forward in light and truth to eternal glory for anyone but himself. Both the knowledge of the truth and the blessings that come to those who conform to true principles are personal matters. And as a just God offers the same salvation to every soul who lives the same laws, so he offers the same understanding of his eternal truths to all who will pay the truth seeker's price.”
(Bruce R. McConkie, “Finding Answers to Gospel Questions,” Open Letter, about 1980, Historical Department Archives)
(As quoted in Teaching Seminary: Preservice Readings BYU Manual, Religion 370, 471, 475, p.45)
(Also in Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 61)


“Look for the good in others. As you discover the good qualities in others, you will grow in your understanding of them as children of God. The Spirit will confirm the truth of your discoveries about them, and you will appreciate and love them more.”
(Teaching: No Greater Call, 12)

“Nurture your own enthusiasm for studying the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets. Your enthusiasm may inspire those you teach to follow your example.”
(“13: Helping Individuals Take Responsibility for Learning the Gospel,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 61)

“Let us not treat lightly the great things we have received from the hand of the Lord! His word is one of the most valuable gifts He has given us. I urge you to recommit yourselves to a study of the scriptures. Immerse yourselves in them daily so you will have the power of the Spirit to attend in your callings. Read them in your families and teach your children to love and treasure them.”
(Ezra Taft Benson, “The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986, 82)
(As quoted in Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 13)

“If we want to influence learners for good, we should not merely love to teach; we should love each person we teach. We should measure our success by the progress of those we teach, not by the excellence of our performance.”
(“1: Love Softens Hearts,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 31)

“Heavenly Father does not require us to be perfect before He grants to us His Spirit. He will bless us for our righteous desires and faithful efforts to do the best we can.”
(Teaching: No Greater Call, 13)

“The Holy Ghost causes our feelings to be more tender. We feel more charitable and compassionate with each other. We are more calm in our relationships. We have a greater capacity to love each other. People want to be around us because our very countenances radiate the influence of the Spirit. We are more godly in our character. As a result, we become increasingly more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and thus able to comprehend spiritual things more clearly.”
(Teaching: No Greater Call, 13)

“Perhaps the greatest temptation of the teacher struggling to maintain the attention of [a] class is the use of the sensational story. There are a number of these, of very questionable origin, continually being circulated throughout the Church. … These are not teaching tools: stability and testimony are not built on sensational stories. Direction for us from the Prophet is dispensed through proper priesthood channels. Careful attention should be paid to the messages of the General Authorities in stake and general conferences, and Church publications should be read regularly. Meaningful attention will be accorded the teacher who establishes the reputation of being orthodox and sound in doctrine” (Instructor, Sept. 1969, 334–35).”
(“11: Keeping the Doctrine Pure,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 52 )

“Part of your work as a gospel teacher is to help learners understand and feel Heavenly Father’s love for them. This cannot be done with words alone. It requires reaching out to individuals—those you see often, those you see occasionally, and those you would not see without making special effort. It requires reaching out to them whether they are cooperative, disinterested, or defiant. The Lord has exhorted us to remember that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10).”
(“3: Reaching Out to the One,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 35)

“Gospel hobbies—the special or exclusive emphasis of one principle of the gospel—should also be avoided by teachers” (Instructor, Sept. 1969, 334–35).
President Joseph F. Smith said: “Hobbies give to those who encourage them a false aspect of the gospel of the Redeemer; they distort and place out of harmony its principles and teachings. The point of view is unnatural. Every principle and practice revealed from God is essential to man’s salvation, and to place any one of them unduly in front, hiding and dimming all others, is unwise and dangerous; it jeopardizes our salvation, for it darkens our minds and beclouds our understandings” (Gospel Doctrine, 116–17).
(“11: Keeping the Doctrine Pure,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 52 )

"[a testimony] is not an exhortation, a call to repentance, a travelogue, a sermon, or an instruction. It is a simple, direct declaration of belief—a feeling, an assurance, a conviction. It is usually stated in the first person, I, followed by a strong verb expressing belief, such as “I know that … ,” “I testify that … ,” “I bear testimony that … ,” or “I have a strong assurance that …” You probably have heard special witnesses of Jesus Christ use the words “I give you my witness that …” or “I witness that …” Testimonies are often most powerful when they are short, concise, and direct. ”
(“7: Teaching with Testimony,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 43)

Note: I apologize for the intro, I was... mostly... joking ;0
But really, this manual is amazing. It is my belief that you don't *really* know something unless you can *teach* it, and this book takes the holistic approach. A must read, a must re-read, a must apply.
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message 1: by Adam (new)

Adam Haha, very persuasive recommendation there, Kendel. I liked it.


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