What You Can Learn about Teaching from General Conference October 2016

What can you learn about teaching from General Conference? If you read through it with the right questions in mind, a whole lot! In this post you'll discover a quote from every talk of General Conference October 2016 starting with the Women's Session. Each quote follows the order of the talks given so you can easily look up the corresponding talk. 


Use these quotes in your weekly newsletters, at a Teacher Council meeting, or with any church lesson. Normally I don't allow you to take my images and share elsewhere but General Conference quotes are an exception. You can absolutely share these images throughout social media and email. Right click on the one you want to save or use the file at the bottom of this post to save them all at once. You will find a printable version of this post at the bottom as well.

Don’t leave church complaining about this and so and so- that is Satan’s tool to drive a wedge between you and the gospel. The same goes with your calling. There will always be some things we don’t like but you don’t need to focus on that part. That only makes for a very miserable existence. Focus on the things you do like and allow the imperfections to fade away. Pay attention to the good in those you teach and interact with. 

That includes teaching when we feel underqualified, teaching a particularly challenging topic, helping a more difficult person in your class, and any other teaching problems you come across. Have faith, ask for help, and He will help you. 


Life doesn’t have to be perfect in order to make a difference. You don’t have to be perfect to teach and you don’t have to be the perfect teacher for others to learn. Do your best and leave the rest up to the Lord.  

Keep this quote with your lesson supplies. It is the perfect answer for those difficult questions that don’t have an answer right now.  


When church is not something we are looking forward to, it’s not church that is the problem. It’s not our teachers (even if they are boring), it’s not the people we do or don’t sit next to, it’s us. The gospel is true. It’s exciting. It’s full of wisdom and wonder. If we can’t remember that sense of awe, we need to change something in our lives. If this is something you are struggling with, pray and read your scriptures today and keep doing it until you remember the beauty of the gospel. Rekindle that feeling everyday. If you already have that sense of wonder, write your testimony down now so you can read it when you have those tougher weeks. We all have times of struggle- set up a ladder so you can quickly climb back up when you need to.

There were many talks during General Conference encouraging us to teach- teach now, teach with love, teach with boldness. Teaching the gospel is another way we serve and love each other. You don’t have to be the world’s best teacher in order to make a difference for good; you just need to do it with purpose.


You are not alone- not as an individual and not as a teacher. Even when everything else feels like it is closing in on you and no one is around to help you, I promise you Christ is there. Your loving Heavenly Father wants to help you. Pray to Him when you are feeling down. Ask for the help you need. AND reach out to others who can help you. Come join one of our Facebook groups to get more ideas for your lessons, ask your questions, and share your struggles. We’re in this together. 

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How often do you testify of the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith? I testify of the Savior, the scriptures, the power of prayer, etc. often but I think I only testify of Joseph Smith’s mission when the lesson is focused on him. In reality, we can testify of him as the prophet of the restoration much more often. It’s why we have what we have today so don’t be timid about sharing your testimony with your class. Tie it in when appropriate and boldly declare your testimony. These are truths we need to remember often. A prophet of God is on the earth  today because a boy was willing to pray in a grove not too long ago. 


What a great reminder of how our prayers should be. When you are praying for your family, those you teach, and how to prepare your lesson; you should feel a connection with heaven. That’s when you know what you are doing is right because the Holy Ghost is guiding you along your way. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer simply because it is something you can do often. Heaven is there waiting to help you- connect with that power and know that you are going down the right path.

Elder Cornish nailed it when he said that we all want to know if we are good enough, if we will make it, if all this hard work, this struggle is worth it in the end. Yes, you are good enough. Yes you can make it. Yes, it is all worth it. Don’t give up and don’t give up on those in your class. Remember who you are, who they are, and keep trying, keeping loving, and keep teaching. 

Don’t worry about what you say as much as how you say it when you teach. Teach with the love of the Savior and you’ll come out a winner. 

As you teach remember that Jesus Christ is the mark. Games, group work, questions, videos, musical presentations, and handouts are wonderful additions to lessons but if our focus of the lesson isn’t on Christ, we’ve failed. Every single lesson we teach should lead back to Him. Don’t get caught up in all the fluff. If you’ve failed in the past, don’t worry. Learn from your mistakes and do better next time. How do you remind yourself to stay focused on Christ as you prepare your lessons?

Don’t shy away from the scriptures because you think your class is too young or can’t read very well. You can bring in visuals, scripture figures, scripture story videos, and more to get your class into the scriptures. Even the youngest Sunbeam can know the scriptures are true because when you read them, the Spirit is there. How do you include the scriptures into your lessons? Discover 8 ideas to bring the scriptures to life.

While you may be a teacher in many ways, remember your role as student too. 

Ever planned a great lesson only to wake up Sunday morning and know you have to redo it all? It can be frustrating sometimes but as we put our faith and trust in the Lord, we know it’s the right thing to do. The Lord knows more than us. He sees the bigger picture and as you follow the promptings that come, I promise no matter how much work you put into your lesson, it will be worth it in the end. Sometimes the first lesson is for us and the second one is the one our class needs.

“Being ambitious for Christ means being motivated, focused, and dedicated to His work...Being ambitious for Christ means that we serve faithfully and diligently in our wards and branches without complaint and with joyful hearts.” There may be times when you struggle to be motivated to prepare your lesson. Don’t give up! Don’t give in to the feelings of worthlessness or despair. Shift your focus towards being ambitious for Christ and you will find new strength and meaning.

Teaching is one of the best callings there is. What do you love about your calling?

While Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is speaking specifically about home teaching, this quote applies to teaching on a larger scale. Teaching is all about love. We teach because we love the gospel, each other, and the Lord. If there is a behavior problem in your class, use love to solve it. When you are worried about teaching a specific gospel principle, focus on teaching it with love. When you start getting annoyed by the little things, step back and remember to love. 

Two things we can learn from Elder Curtis in this quote. 1) Use the Book of Mormon in our teachings. There is power in it that can change lives. 2) Different people experience things different ways. That is something that we need to make sure we are teaching as well. It doesn’t matter that one person had an overnight spiritual experience while another gained their testimony over months of study. The important part is that they gained a testimony.


I love when the scriptures can teach us more about ourselves. Have you considered these questions that President Uchtdorf asked in the Priesthood Session in the context of teaching? What qualities of theirs do you want to develop? Is there an Amulek that you can ask to assist you with your lessons in some way? 


“The sons of Helaman did not doubt. They fought bravely and came off conquerors because they believed the words of their mothers. We understand the power of the faith of a loving mother. Mothers provide that great support to their sons today. We holders of the priesthood can and must add to that support with our determination to answer the charge that as we are converted, we are to reach down to strengthen our brethren.” Men you are important. Lift and strengthen your families, friends, and class members. 

What does the Word of Wisdom have to do with being a good teacher? Everything! In D&C 89:19-20 it lists some of the blessings that are promised you as you are obedient to this counsel: “And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.” What wonderful blessings to draw upon as we plan our lessons each week- being able to have the energy and focus we need to prepare our lessons and to discover new wisdom.

The best part of teaching is having the excuse to dive into truth and strengthen our testimonies. The difficult part is figuring out which truths to share in the limited time you have! Share what your class needs the most. Share how to live those truths and why.

That’s your job as a teacher too! You are a missionary to your class. Show them where to find the joy!

Have you ever considered how the sacrament helps prepare you as a teacher? 

As teachers, we can’t afford not to repent. Repentance is what allows us to keep the Holy Ghost in our lives and live the principles we teach. 

This does not only apply to our personal lives but also to the way we teach. While sometimes it can be tempting to bring in speculations and theories, we need to stick to the doctrine of Christ at all times.

Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you are in a calling that keeps you from the class you think you need. If you go with a spirit of true worship, you will get what you need every Sunday.

Elder Robbins shared the story of the Savior visiting the Nephites. ““And it came to pass that he did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude … , and he did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things. …And they both saw and heard these children; yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things” (3 Nephi 26:14, 16) The parents had the opportunity to see their children as so much more. We may never have the same opportunity but we can remember our divine identity and potential. We can pray to see others as the Lord sees them. I’m sure it would not only change the way we treat our children but also how we treat and teach each other.

As a teacher, what are you grateful for this Sabbath?

Another wonderful blessings that comes from being a church teacher. What other blessings have you noticed?

Repentance was part of the plan from the beginning. It is NOT a backup plan. So important to remember especially as teachers as you will have to get this point across several times.

You are needed- in more ways than you know. 


With your lessons, your family, and your stumbling blocks. 


We all experience hard times despite what we may see on various social media accounts. Every Sunday, we meet together to not only worship God but to strengthen each other. As you teach, you are helping your class find the dawn in their darkest nights by leading them unto Christ. Remember that.

There may be times in your life when loving your entire class takes more effort than usual. Jesus Christ loved everyone. He can help you love everyone in your class too… or at the very least, feel the love He has for them until it is replaced with your own love.

Whether for our teaching fails or our personal sins, let’s take responsibility and do better in the future. 

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Your Turn- How did General Conference help you become a better teacher?