Skip main navigation

Worldwide Teacher Training Broadcast

Worldwide Teacher Training Broadcast
In a worldwide training meeting held on Saturday 5 November 2016, Elder Holland reassured overwhelmed teachers, “You can do this!” 

“The purpose of this broadcast is to improve teaching in the Church,” Elder Holland said, adding, “We all want to teach like Jesus taught.” The training meeting, broadcast to 140 countries, was conducted by Brother Tad Callister, the Sunday School General President, with participation by the auxiliary General Presidents, as well as teachers and leaders from local teacher councils.

Describing the Master Teacher Elder Holland said, “His instruction was simple and direct and powerful. He often told stories or parables that people could readily understand.  Without exception, His lessons were spiritually motivating. He loved His audience. And the ones who had ears to hear and eyes to see loved Him.”

Members were invited to be part of the discussion. In response to a sister in Tokyo, Japan, who asked for specific counsel from Elder Holland about how to teach by the Spirit, Elder Holland began by warning against some things that would impede teaching by the Spirit.  “One extreme” he said, “is to over-program, over-plan and over-prepare … We are teaching people …. and we’re using lessons and doctrine to do that. But we should keep that relationship in context.”  He also warned against the other extreme of “someone who strolls into class and says, ‘I am not prepared. I have come trusting in the Spirit of the Lord to guide our discussion’. …. That’s asking too much of the Spirit, to do His work and our work too. We have to prepare”.

He went on to teach from Doctrine & Covenants 42:14: “If ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach”.  He emphasized that not only does this mean that we cannot teach without the Spirit, but that it means that “you should not teach”. However, he reassured teachers that if they live faith-filled, obedient lives, prayerfully preparing their lessons, the Lord has promised that “the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say” (Doctrine & Covenants 100:8).

The focus of the training meeting was to look at Teaching in the Saviour’s Way, teacher council meetings and new teacher orientation.  While discussing new teacher orientation, Sister Linda Burton, Relief Society General President, recalled her experience many years ago as a newly called Primary teacher. She said that despite feeling inadequate, there were three things that helped her.

First, having her husband present when she was called taught her the importance of the calling. 

Second, she was given a vision of her calling by the counsellor in the bishopric who was responsible for Primary. He helped her understand that helping the parents of the 7-year-olds she would be teaching prepare their children for baptism was an important part of her responsibility. 

Third, she was given the assurance that the bishopric had prayed about this calling and that her name had come by inspiration.  She said, “Inadequate as I felt, I had a vision, I felt the importance, and I had an assurance, that this was from Heavenly Father.”

The training meeting can be viewed here.