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TitleGospel Teaching and Learning
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Page 1

Gospel Teaching and Learning
A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders
in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion

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Page 2

Gospel Teaching and Learning
A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders
in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion

Published by The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints
Salt Lake City, Utah

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Page 49

Notes Teaching the Scriptures in
Seminaries and Institutes
of Religion
To help the youth and young adults understand and rely on the teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ, teachers in seminary and institute are
charged with teaching students the doctrines and principles of the gospel
as found in the scriptures. To accomplish this, the S&I administration has
determined that in seminary and institute scripture courses, the books and
chapters of scripture should be taught in the sequence they appear in the
standard works. While this does not mean that every verse must be taught
in the exact order it appears, each lesson will generally follow the story line
or natural flow of the verses. Studying the scriptures in this way provides the
basis for understanding the full scope of the message the inspired writer
intended to convey, and allows principles and doctrines of the gospel to be
studied as they emerge from and are illustrated by the scriptural text.

Studying the scriptures sequentially:

• Allows teachers and students to study gospel truths in harmony
with one another as well as in relationship to other content
within the scriptures. This enables teachers and students to see
and understand with clarity and power the inspired messages in
the scriptures.

• Provides for the proper emphasis and repetition of the doctrines
and principles of the gospel as they are found in the scriptures.

• Helps students and teachers identify “cause-and-effect”
relationships more easily.

• Assists students in discovering and understanding multiple
gospel principles, even when they may not be discussed in
detail during the lesson. For individual students, these truths
can be brought to light by the Holy Ghost and then tailored
to fit their own unique circumstances.

• Allows teachers and students to study and discuss the
doctrines and principles of the gospel in the context of the
lives and experiences of those who lived in the past. This
helps students to more easily see these principles and
doctrines in the context of their own lives.

• Helps establish a degree of familiarity with each of the
standard works in their entirety.

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Page 50

39

TEACHING THE SCRIPTURES IN SEMINARIES AND INSTITUTES OF RELIGION

Notes

Notes/lines
Cover up

Elder David A. Bednar taught that reading a book of scripture “from beginning
to end initiates the flow of living water into our lives by introducing us to
important stories, gospel doctrines, and timeless principles. This approach also
enables us to learn about major characters in the scriptures and the sequence,
timing, and context of events and teachings. Reading the written word in this
way exposes us to the breadth of a volume of scripture. This is the first and
most fundamental way of obtaining living water” (“A Reservoir of Living
Water” [CES fireside for young adults, Feb. 4, 2007], 2).

Incorporating Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching
and Learning [3.1]
Each scripture-based lesson in seminary or institute focuses on a scripture
block rather than on a particular concept, doctrine, or principle. The curriculum
divides the scriptures into these scripture blocks, which may be as little as one
chapter (or section), or as broad as an entire book of scripture. Most scripture
blocks contain natural breaks where a change in action or topic occurs. Based
on these changes, the scripture block is divided into smaller segments or
groups of verses. Organizing the study of the entire scripture block into these
smaller segments provides a framework for understanding and teaching the
message of the inspired author.

As teachers and students study these segments of the scripture block
sequentially, they incorporate many of the Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching
and Learning. Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching and Learning, such as
understanding the context and content, identifying, understanding, and
feeling the truth and importance of and applying gospel doctrines and
principles, are not methods but are outcomes to be achieved. These
fundamentals work in harmony with each other and establish a basic
pattern that teachers and students can follow to instill the gospel within
their minds and hearts. This pattern is described as follows:

1. Understand the Context and Content. Helping students understand
the context and content of a scripture block is the foundational step in the
process of teaching the scriptures. An understanding of such information
as background and story line creates a basis for discovering gospel
principles and doctrines as well as providing illustration and clarification
of those truths found within the scripture block. The clarity and the depth
of understanding provided by this foundation is often diminished or lost
when only a verse or two of a scripture block is taught.

2. Identify Doctrines and Principles. An understanding of the content
of the scriptures prepares students and teachers to identify principles
and doctrines found within the scripture block. Sometimes a scriptural
author will directly state the principle or doctrine they wish to convey.
Other times those truths are simply implied as they are portrayed within
the scriptural account, creating a need to express the gospel teaching in a
simple statement of truth.

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Page 98

Gospel Teaching and Learning
A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders
in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion

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