Spiritually Prepare Before You Teach

This is a Crucial Component of any Gospel Teaching You Do!

teaching teaching gospel class
Latter-day Saint men and women have opportunities to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Photo courtesy of © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

If you are asked to give a talk or teach a gospel lesson, the most crucial component of preparation is preparing spiritually. Review the guidelines below and commit to following them, so that you will have the spirit when you talk or teach.

Why You Need the Spirit With You

Truth is conveyed by the spirit or in other words, it comes from the Holy Ghost. You need Him to confirm to those listening to you that you are speaking the truth and that they must heed your words.

Heavenly Father is very clear that having the spirit with you is a must for teaching. If you do not have it, you have no business teaching.

If you are called to be a gospel teacher, you should be set apart. Being set apart confirms your divine calling and enables you to receive the divine help you need to perform and magnify your calling. This priesthood ordinance can also give you comfort and encouragement.

How to Use the Spirit When You Prepare

Before you start preparing your talk or lesson, pray and request the spirit to be with you. Ask for divine inspiration in your teaching and meeting the needs of those you teach.

After asking for the spirit, you need to also seek help in recognizing the spirit's influence in your preparation. This will most likely come in hints and promptings of what to say and how to teach.

Recognizing the spirit's influence on you can be difficult. If you feel influenced to do or say something, you may not realize why, immediately or in the future.

However, Heavenly Father knows what you should do and how you should do it. Act on any spiritual promptings with faith.

Not allowing adequate time to prepare, feeling rushed and cutting corners can often preclude the spirit from influencing you and your being able to recognize promptings you do receive.

Start preparing early and allow enough time to adequately prepare.

Spiritually Prepare to Deliver Your Talk or Teach Your Lesson

You also need the spirit with you when you deliver a talk or teach a lesson. Public speaking of any sort is stressful and difficult.

Pray and ask for help in your delivery. Have your presentation carefully planned out and set up any resources you intend to use, especially video and other visual images.

Anything that detracts from what you are trying to teach may prevent the spirit from being with you. Set up your classroom ahead of time and arrange for any materials you need so that things go smoothly.

Too many things can interfere with playing video in real time. Download any video ahead of time, so you are not at the mercy of meetinghouse WiFi.

Indicators that You Do Not Have the Spirit With You

How can you tell if you do not have the spirit with you when you? The following are good indicators:

  • You have not adequately studied the concepts you must teach.
  • You are not living the concepts you must teach.
  • You feel confused and unsure about what to present, even though you have tried to prepare.
  • You have difficulty putting together your talk or lesson.
  • You simply do not feel you have the spirit with you.

    Indicators that You Do Have the Spirit With You

    The more you teach or speak, the easier it will be for you to recognize the spirit's influence. Remember that the spirit can make up the difference for any personal failings you struggle with. It is your best ally. The following indicators can be helpful:

    • You have thoroughly prepared.
    • You have consistently prayed for the spirit to be with you.
    • You feel impressed to speak about, or include, certain things.
    • You have a good feeling about what you have prepared.
    • You have taken care of all the logistical details for teaching. This includes handouts, classroom arrangement and so forth.
    • You have a personal testimony of the concepts you will teach.
    • You remain humble.
    • You can feel the spirit with you and recognize its influence on you.

    If you are new to teaching or speaking, humility may not be as big a problem as when you are more experienced and skilled.

    We must all remember that, without the spirit accompanying us, our teaching efforts will always be inadequate in some way.

    Having the spirit with you when you teach is more important than technique, experience, elaborate preparation, handouts, treats or other teaching gimmicks. This factor alone will determine your success or failure in any given teaching experience.