What is it like to be a teacher in the Church Educational System? Seminary and institute teachers have a sacred responsibility to teach their students, “the gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the standard works and the words of the prophets.” (Teaching the Gospel, CES Handbook for Teachers and Leaders, p.3.)
Teachers have the opportunity to strengthen the faith of their students. Teachers do this by helping their students discover the scriptures, and then leading them to make personal applications that will bring them closer to Heavenly Father.
I will illustrate with an example. As a teacher I want my students to come to an understanding of how eternally important it is for them to learn to trust the Lord. There is joy and safety in coming unto Christ. To help them discover this truth I teach them the account of Peter’s call to the Holy Apostleship as recorded in Luke 5:1-11.
As we open Luke chapter 5 we discover Jesus teaching the multitude from Simon Peter’s ship on the Lake of Gennesaret. Simon and the other fishermen had been fishing all night and had “taken nothing.” Now it was morning and they were washing their nets. When Jesus finished teaching, “he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” The Greek translation for the word draught is a “catch” or a “haul” (see
Consider that Peter and the others had “toiled all the night” and had “taken nothing” and now Jesus was telling them to cast out into the deep and let down their nets. Consider how Peter might have felt at this request. Was he tired? Do you think he wanted to let down his nets even though he had been fishing all night and had caught nothing?
Now the lesson. “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”
What faith! I love that faith. Peter let down his nets because Jesus asked him to. And as a result, “…when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.”
What can you see in this story?
May I suggest an application. Like Peter, we too can respond to the Savior’s instructions with faith.
What has Jesus asked us to do in our day? Let’s consider the Law of Tithing as an example. This is a good example because it takes faith to pay tithing, not money.
Perhaps you are struggling with obeying the Law of Tithing. You may believe that you do not have enough money to pay tithing. You work hard and try to live within your means and yet there doesn’t seem to be enough money to make ends meet. You just don’t see how you can afford to pay tithing. (I have toiled all the night and taken nothing.)
And yet, following the counsel of President Gordon B. Hinckley, you go forward in faith and begin to pay your tithing. (Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.)
As you obey you will receive blessings, even so much so “that there shall not be room enough to receive” them (Malachi 3:10). Literally, a multiplicity of blessings. (And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and the net brake.)
A teacher in the Church Educational System is an usher to the truth.