Revitalize superior teaching in Church

Realize "no greater call"

Teach by the Spirit- Fortify faith

At a time when the prophet is calling for more faith through hearing the word of God, "we must revitalize and re-enthrone superior teaching in the Church - at home, from the pulpit, in our administrative meetings and surely in the classroom," declared Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

"Inspired teaching must never become a lost art in the Church, and we must make certain that our quest for it does not become a lost tradition."

Speaking Saturday afternoon, Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve expressed gratitude for those who teach. "To teach effectively and feel you are succeeding is demanding work indeed. But it is worth it. We can receive `no greater call.'

"Fathers, mothers, siblings, friends, missionaries, home and visiting teachers, priesthood and auxiliary leaders, classroom instructors - each is, in his or her own way, `come from God' for our schooling and our salvation.

"For each of us to `come unto Christ,' to keep His commandments and follow His example back to the Father is surely the highest and holiest purpose of human existence," he explained. "To help others do that as well - to teach, persuade, prayerfully lead them to walk in that path of redemption also - surely that must be the second most significant task in our lives."

Continuing, Elder Holland said: "In all of this we must remember that the Lord has never given more emphatic counsel to the Church than that we are to teach the gospel `by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.'

"No eternal learning can take place without that quickening of the Spirit from heaven. So parents, teachers, leaders we must face our tasks the way Moses faced the Promised Land. Knowing he could not succeed any other way, Moses said to Jehovah, `If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.' " (Ex. 33:15.)

Elder Holland said that when members gather for a meeting or in the classroom, what they are seeking is a spiritual experience, not "merely a few new gospel facts or to see old friends. They want peace. They want their faith fortified and their hope renewed. Those of us who are called upon to speak or teach or lead have an obligation to help provide that, as best we possibly can."

"We do have a legitimate worry about the new member, wanting each one to stay with us and enjoy the full blessings of the Church," explained Elder Holland. "The need for continuing such solid teaching is obvious. When crises come in our lives - and they will - the philosophies of men interlaced with a few scriptures and poems just won't do. Are we really nurturing our youth and our new members in a way that will sustain them when the stresses of life appear? Or are we giving them a kind of theological Twinkie - spiritually empty calories?"

He counseled teachers to never sow seeds of doubt and avoid self-serving performance and vanity. "Prepare lessons well," he said. "Give scripturally based sermons. Teach the revealed doctrine. Bear heartfelt testimony. Pray and practice and try to improve."

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