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What lesson can we learn from the effort made by the woman with the issue of blood to reach the Savior, and His response to her as a result? Helping students develop a deeper understanding of principles and doctrines.

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In addition to identifying principles and doctrines, students need to understand them before they can be meaningfully applied. Questions that lead to a clearer understanding of the meaning of a particular principle or doctrine, that encourage students to think about a principle in a modern context, or that invite students to explain their understanding of a principle are particularly helpful.

The following are some examples:. Why would praying always help you gain the spiritual strength necessary to overcome such temptations as speaking unkindly to others or participating in entertainment that is offensive to the Spirit? What behaviors and characteristics would you see in the life of someone who was building on the foundation of Christ? Using what we have learned in Alma 40 , how would you explain the doctrine of resurrection to a friend who is not of our faith? Some questions help students think about and understand gospel principles and doctrines, while others can cause them to reflect on spiritual experiences and lead students to feel more deeply the truthfulness and significance of a gospel principle or doctrine in their lives.

Many times, those feelings engender a stronger desire in the hearts of students to live a gospel principle more faithfully. Eyring referred to these kinds of questions when he said:. Great teachers ask those. Many students could participate in answering. Most could give at least a passable suggestion. And minds would be stimulated. After asking, we might wisely wait for a moment before calling on someone to respond. Even those who do not speak will be thinking of spiritual experiences.

Often, these questions result in students sharing those feelings and experiences or bearing testimony of a doctrine or principle. And when they feel in their hearts the truthfulness and importance of a gospel doctrine or principle, they are more likely to apply it in their lives. Here are some examples of questions that can encourage feeling and invite testimony:. When have you felt the peace and joy that comes from forgiving someone?

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Think of a time when the Lord directed your decisions because you trusted in Him rather than relying on your own understanding see Proverbs —6. How were you blessed for doing so? If you could personally express your gratitude to the Savior for His sacrifice for you, what would you tell Him? How is your life different because of what happened in the Sacred Grove? When have you seen others respond faithfully to trials? How has that influenced you? A word of caution: Responses to questions of this nature can be especially personal and sensitive.

Teachers should ensure that students never feel forced to answer a question, share their feelings or experiences, or bear testimony. Ultimately, the aim of gospel teaching is to help students apply the principles and doctrines found in the scriptures and qualify to receive the blessings promised those who are faithful and obedient. Students who are able to see how they have been blessed by living gospel principles in the past will be more desirous and better prepared to successfully apply them in the future.

Questions can play a vital role in helping students see how they can apply these principles in their current situations and consider how they can apply them in the future. Following are some examples of questions that can help students think specifically about ways they can apply principles and doctrines in their own lives:.

What changes would you need to make to better keep the Sabbath day holy so that you can be more fully unspotted from the world? What is something the prophet has counseled that you could follow with greater exactness? How can the principle that if we seek the kingdom of God first, we will be blessed in other areas of our lives help you prioritize your goals and activities for the next two or three years? Meaningful class discussions play a vital role in gospel teaching and learning. A class discussion occurs as teachers verbally interact with students and students verbally interact with each other in a manner that fosters learning.

A good discussion can help students learn the significance of seeking answers to important questions and the value of listening to and learning from the comments, ideas, and experiences of others. It can also help students maintain a level of concentration and participation in class that often results in a deeper understanding of the doctrines and principles of the gospel being discussed, as well as a more genuine desire in their hearts to apply the things they learn and feel.

Following are some ideas to help teachers direct engaging and inspiring class discussions:. Plan the discussion. Like other methods of teaching, a discussion needs to be carefully prepared and then conducted under the influence of the Spirit. Avoid excessive teacher commentary. Teachers who comment excessively on a discussion topic may discourage students from making the effort to participate because they have learned that their teacher is often anxious to provide the answer.

Excessive teacher commentary can make students feel that their contributions are less valuable and cause them to lose interest. Invite all students to participate. Teachers should strive to find ways to appropriately invite all students to participate in meaningful discussions, even those who are hesitant to participate for various reasons. Teachers should be careful not to embarrass students by calling on them when they know the student is unprepared to answer.

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  8. Sometimes a student or a small number of students tend to dominate class discussion. Teachers may need to visit privately with such individuals, thank them for their willingness to participate, express how important it is to encourage all class members to participate, and explain why they may not be called upon each time they volunteer to respond. Call on students by name. Calling on students by name to respond to a question or make a comment helps foster a learning environment of love and respect.

    Sometimes when asked an effective question, students may not immediately respond.


    This silence should not trouble the teacher if it does not go on too long. At times, students need an opportunity to reflect on what they have been asked and how they might respond to the question.

    Such reflection can facilitate instruction by the Holy Ghost. Rephrase the question. At times students may struggle to respond to a question because the question is not clear. The teacher may need to rephrase the question or ask the students if they understand what was asked.

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    Teachers should avoid asking a series of questions in succession without allowing students adequate time to think deeply enough to formulate appropriate responses. Listen carefully and ask follow-up questions. Teachers are sometimes so concerned about what to say or do next that they do not pay attention to what students are saying.

    By observing and listening carefully to students, teachers can discern their needs and guide the discussion under the direction of the Holy Ghost. Teachers should remind students to listen to each other as well and not to talk when someone else is speaking. Discussions can become much more meaningful, lively, and effective when a teacher redirects an answer or comment from one student to other students. This often greatly enhances the learning experience. Usually, unless time is limited, all students who desire to make a comment should have an opportunity to speak.

    Acknowledge the response in a positive manner. When a student gives a response, the teacher needs to acknowledge it in some way. When an incorrect response is given, the teacher needs to be careful not to embarrass the student. Reading the scriptures in class can help students become familiar with and better understand the verses they are studying.

    It can also help them become more confident in their ability to read the scriptures on their own. Teachers need to be careful not to embarrass those who do not read well or who are very shy. Students who prefer not to read aloud should not be forced to do so, but teachers can encourage them to participate in ways that they are more comfortable with.

    For example, assigning a short scriptural passage to a student beforehand so he or she can practice reading it may be an appropriate way for that student to participate in class.