All teaching should center on the Savior, Sunday School general presidency says at BYU Education Week

‘We teach about Jesus Christ no matter what we are teaching,’ said Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace

PROVO, Utah — Whether at home or at church, the focus of teaching and learning should be on the Savior, Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace told BYU Education Week attendees on Monday, Aug. 15. 

“We teach about Jesus Christ, no matter what we are teaching,” he said. “The purpose is to help learners come unto Jesus Christ.”

President Pace was joined by Brother Milton Camargo, first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, for the presidency’s presentation titled “Teaching in the Savior’s Way, at Home and at Church.” The 55-minute presentation took place in the Marriott Center on BYU campus in Provo, Utah. 

They provided an overview of the revised version of “Teaching in the Savior’s Way,” announced by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during a worldwide broadcast in June. “Teaching in the Savior’s Way” is available in the Gospel Library app. Print copies are forthcoming.

Focus on Jesus Christ

President Pace said the Sunday School general presidency’s focus, as suggested by President Russell M. Nelson, is to encourage scripture study with “Come, Follow Me” and improve gospel teaching at home and at church. 

Why? “To teach and testify of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel and strengthen conversion to Jesus Christ in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints,” President Pace said.

To place the Savior at the center of teaching and learning, President Pace suggested emphasizing His example; teaching about His titles, roles and attributes; and looking for symbols that testify of Him. “Teaching in the Savior’s Way” expounds on these ideas.

President Pace quoted the words of President Nelson, who taught in October 2018 general conference: “When we omit His name from His Church, we are inadvertently removing Him as the central focus of our lives. … My dear brothers and sisters, I promise you that if we will do our best to restore the correct name of the Lord’s Church, He whose Church this is will pour down His power and blessings upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints, the likes of which we have never seen.”​

Applying President Nelson’s counsel to teaching, President Pace said: “If we omit Him from the teaching in His Church, then we are inadvertently removing Him as the central focus. ... And I promise if we do our best to make Jesus Christ the center of our teaching that He will pour down blessings upon us.”

Principles of Christlike teaching

Brother Camargo outlined the four principles of Christlike teaching found in “Teaching in the Savior’s Way”:

  1. Love those you teach. “Know them, pray for them and elevate them,” Brother Camargo said.
  2. Teach by the Spirit. Ask the question, “What has the Holy Ghost taught you this week during your scripture study with ‘Come, Follow Me’?” Follow the Spirit, help learners recognize the Spirit, and invite them to testify of what they know to be true.
  3. Teach the doctrine. Study, learn and apply the doctrine of Christ. Rely on the scriptures and words of the living prophets.
  4. Invite diligent learning. “Encourage them to study the scriptures daily. … Invite them to live what they learn.”

“As you apply those four principles ... you will be abundantly blessed in your callings, in your responsibilities and your families, and you will become powerful instruments in the hands of the Lord,” Brother Camargo promised.

Brother Milton Camargo, first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, speaks at BYU Education Week in the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, on Aug. 15, 2022. | Joey Garrison, BYU

Be consistent

“Teaching in the Savior’s Way” also includes practical helps and suggestions for a variety of teaching settings, including home and family; teaching children, youth, adults or people with disabilities; and virtual teaching.

President Pace underscored the value of holding teacher council meetings to improve teaching at church and at home. Teacher council meetings may be held for parents, as described in the General Handbook section 13.5.

“The kitchen table is surrounded by investigators,” President Pace reminded parents. “And it is our responsibility to understand the needs of each one of our children, and to teach them and to help them have experiences with scriptures that would help them feel the Holy Ghost.”

For those who may be struggling with teaching at home, President Pace offered these encouraging words: “The miracle is found in the consistent effort. ... ‘Be not weary in well doing for ye are laying the foundation of a great work’” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33).

“I bear testimony of Jesus Christ,” President Pace said in closing. “I bear testimony of His words that are found in His scriptures. And I bear testimony of the blessing that comes into our lives as we teach in the Savior’s way, as we teach His doctrine, and as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.”

The presidency invited the audience to send questions or comments about “Come, Follow Me,” “Teaching in the Savior’s Way” or teacher council meetings to

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