The sermon Teaching with the Power and Authority of God by David M. McConkie really hit home for me. Unless otherwise noted, the quotes below are from this sermon.
"There is indeed a secret to becoming a successful gospel teacher, to teaching with the power and authority of God...You have been called by the spirit of prophecy and revelation and have been set apart by priesthood authority. What does this mean? First, it means that you are on the Lord’s errand. You are His agent, and you are authorized and commissioned to represent Him and to act on His behalf. As His agent, you are entitled to His help. You must ask yourself, “What would the Savior say if He were teaching my class today, and how would He say it?” You must then do likewise."
I love that the gospel is so simple. Here is a man of god teaching adults all over the world the very same thing I teach my five and six year olds each Sunday. Every week I remind them the theme of this year's lessons. Always ask yourself, "What would Jesus want me to do?" They love hollering out the answer. I love being reminded that the Savior's way is the best and only way to happiness.
"Second, you are called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. You must not teach your own ideas or philosophy, even mingled with scriptures. The gospel is “the power of God unto salvation,” and it is only through the gospel that we are saved. Third, you are commanded to teach the principles of the gospel as they are found in the standard works of the Church, to teach the words of modern-day apostles and prophets, and to teach that which is taught you by the Holy Ghost."
This is a mighty commandment.
“The most important part of your service will be your own daily spiritual preparation, including prayer, scripture study, and obedience to the commandments. We encourage you to dedicate yourself to living the gospel with greater purpose than ever before.” First Presidency, in Teaching the Gospel in the Savior’s Way (a guide to Come, Follow Me: Learning Resources for Youth, 2012)
For years I've realized this is true. Way back when I was homeschooling my children, we were diligent in studying all the usual school subjects. But something was missing. Praying and pondering, I was inspired to include a daily devotional. This spiritual preparation, including prayer and scripture study changed the direction of our school for the better. We had peace and direction. AFter that we were able to pull the gospel into all our subjects. It was a grand time.
"The Lord has commanded that before we seek to declare His word, we must seek to obtain it." I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is impossible to declare the word if one doesn't have it hidden in one's heart. "Paul tells us that the gospel comes to men in two ways, in word and in power.6 The word of the gospel is written in the scriptures, and we can obtain the word by diligently searching. The power of the gospel comes into the lives of those who so live that the Holy Ghost is their companion and who follow the promptings they receive."
"learn to listen. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught this principle to missionaries. I will quote from Elder Holland’s remarks but have taken the liberty of replacing the terms missionaries and investigators with the terms teachers and students respectively: “Second only to the responsibility [teachers] have to listen to the Spirit, is the responsibility they have to listen to the [student]. … If we’ll listen with spiritual ears, … [our students] will tell us what lessons they need to hear!”"
"As you dedicate yourself to living the gospel with greater purpose than ever before and search the scriptures, treasuring them up in your heart, the same Holy Ghost, who revealed these words to apostles and prophets anciently, will testify to you of their truthfulness. In essence, the Holy Ghost will reveal them anew to you. When this happens, the words that you read are no longer only the words of Nephi or Paul or Alma, but they become your words."
This has happened to me and it is so exciting. Immersion in God's Word puts the words and ideas into the mind. Then when it is needed the most, those words are drawn forth by the Holy Ghost. It's like He says, "Look here. You already know the right thing to do." Some read my blog regularly and know I need the guidance of the Holy Ghost more than ever right now with my newest blessing/challenge. I pray that more will test out this idea and come to know the power of daily immersion in God's Word and the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.