Monday, July 9, 2018

President M. Russell Ballard on the sacred role of teachers

President M. Russell Ballard (born October 8, 1928) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985. He became acting president of the Twelve in January 2018.
"Surely no teachers in the Church are more important than fathers and mothers. No classroom is more important than the home. Parents have been commanded to teach their children the gospel. (See D&C 68:25.)
"My brothers and sisters, I believe that every human soul is teaching something to someone nearly every minute here in mortality. May we consider with great reverence the trust that the Lord has placed in us to 'teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.' (D&C 88:77.)
"May I urge each member of the Church, when you are serving as a teacher, to remember that every human soul is precious to our Father in Heaven, for we are all his children. God’s children are entitled to be taught the truths of the gospel in clear and understandable terms so that the Spirit can confirm the truths of the gospel to them."
- M. Russell Ballard, "Teaching—No Greater Call," General Conference April 1983
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

For years, the message "Teaching—No Greater Call" has been emphasized in the Church. The role we all play as teachers is far more important than we often acknowledge. President Ballard helped to explain that emphasis in this address, as he gave perspective on how that role is a part of so much that we do, both in formal callings and in informal settings. Being a parent in the home is certainly one of the most crucial teaching settings.

This insight was interesting—we truly are teaching far more frequently, even constantly, than we realize:

So we are "teaching something to someone nearly every minute" of our lives. If not in words, it's in our attitude, our actions, our priorities. Those around us notice the message more than we know, and so it is important that we never waver from the clear and pure message of righteousness. Since we are all God's children, we all deserve to be taught through righteous examples "so that the Spirit can confirm the truths of the gospel" in each of our hearts.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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