Understanding What to Study and Teach: Insights from "Preach My Gospel"

Today’s inspiration is drawn from the third chapter of “Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service,” titled “What Do I Study and Teach?” This chapter offers invaluable guidance on how to approach the study and teaching of essential gospel doctrines, principles, and commandments. Let’s explore these teachings, their importance, and how they can be effectively shared with others.

The Core Lessons to Study and Teach The chapter outlines five fundamental lessons that encompass the core of missionary teaching:

The Message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Plan of Salvation
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Commandments
Laws and Ordinances

These lessons are structured to help others understand the doctrine of Christ clearly and thoroughly. Missionaries are encouraged to teach these lessons before baptism and continue reinforcing them afterward. This ensures new members are well-prepared to make and keep sacred commitments and covenants with the Lord.

Teaching by the Spirit

A key emphasis in this chapter is the importance of teaching by the Spirit. Missionaries are advised to internalize the lessons deeply and teach from their hearts rather than relying on rote memorization. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have emphasized the necessity of allowing the Spirit to guide both the missionaries and those being taught. This approach ensures the teachings resonate personally and spiritually with each individual.

Quoting the Leadership

The First Presidency’s guidance states: “Our purpose is to teach the message of the restored gospel in such a way as to allow the Spirit to direct both the missionaries and those being taught. It is essential to learn the concepts of the [lessons], but these should not be taught by rote presentation. The missionary should feel free to use his own words as prompted by the Spirit. He should not give a memorized recitation, but speak from the heart in his own terms.”

This instruction encourages missionaries to adapt their teaching to the needs, interests, and understanding of each person, allowing for a more personalized and effective sharing of the gospel.

The Role of Memorization

While teaching by the Spirit is paramount, memorization also plays a crucial role. Missionaries are encouraged to memorize scriptures and the sequence of doctrinal points to enhance their teaching. Those learning a second language should focus on memorizing vocabulary and phrases that are meaningful and relevant to the missionary lessons. This balance between memorization and heartfelt teaching ensures clarity and precision in conveying gospel principles.

Clarity in Teaching

To teach effectively, missionaries must ensure their message is easy to understand. This involves learning to define unfamiliar words simply and clearly. At the end of the first three lessons, there’s a list of potentially unfamiliar words that missionaries should be prepared to explain. Clear and simple explanations help make the gospel accessible to everyone.

Scripture Study and Doctrinal Understanding

Missionaries are directed to teach specific scriptures, including Mosiah 18:18–20, Doctrine and Covenants 43:15–16, and Doctrine and Covenants 52:9. These scriptures highlight the importance of teaching sound doctrine and guiding others toward spiritual growth.

Why Study Doctrine?

Understanding and internalizing the doctrine in these lessons is crucial. Alma 17:2–3 and Doctrine and Covenants 84:85 emphasize the need for missionaries to study diligently, allowing the Spirit to guide their teaching. This preparation enables missionaries to respond to the needs and questions of those they teach with confidence and inspiration.

Practical Application in Missionary Work

The lessons outlined in this chapter are not only for teaching others but also for the missionaries’ personal and companion study, district council, and other training settings. As missionaries immerse themselves in the scriptures and the doctrines of these lessons, they become better equipped to share the gospel effectively.

Personal and Companion Study

Missionaries are encouraged to study these lessons both individually and with their companions. This study helps reinforce their understanding and provides opportunities for discussion and practice. The Spirit will guide missionaries as they prepare, helping them know what to say and do to assist others in receiving a testimony of the gospel’s truthfulness.

District Council and Training

District councils and other training sessions are also ideal settings for studying and discussing these lessons. These gatherings allow missionaries to share insights, ask questions, and receive guidance from their leaders and peers. This collaborative learning environment strengthens their ability to teach with clarity and conviction.

Making the World a Better Place
In conclusion, the teachings in “Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service” offer profound insights into what to study and teach as missionaries. By internalizing these lessons, teaching by the Spirit, and ensuring clarity in their message, missionaries can effectively share the gospel and help others come unto Christ.

As you reflect on these teachings, consider how you can apply them in your own life. Whether you’re a missionary or someone seeking to share the gospel in your community, these principles can guide you in making a positive impact. Let’s strive to live by these teachings, share them with others, and work together to make the world a better place. Link to Original:  What Do I Study and Teach?

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