Financial Self-reliance: Teacher Instructions Financial Self-reliance: Teacher Instructions Introduction A common misconception exists that in order to teach one must first become perfect in that subject. That is not the case. If it were, no one would be teaching, as we all are imperfect and are continuing to learn and improve. The key is not that we are perfect to be able to teach, but that we are trying to learn and help each other, and that we have a good foundation and testimony about what we are teaching. Bryan Sudweeks related the following story: My daughter Kaili had an ice-skating party at the Peaks Ice Arena for her 8th birthday. She invited her family plus eight other friends. After finalizing the preparations for the party, I put on my ice skates and shuffled out onto the ice. Once on the ice, I realized I was out of my comfort zone. My ankles hurt, it was cold, and I could barely stand up. However, after only a few dozen falls, I soon realized that if I kept my feet shoulder width apart and kept a solid foundation, I could make small steps and would eventually get around the ice rink. As I progressed slowly around the ice, I realized too that others were having the same problems I was having, but were hanging onto the walls at the side of the ice rinks or had gotten off the ice completely. After a little hesitation, I decided that I would try to help my daughter’s friends in their efforts to learn to skate. One at a time, I would take the hand of one of daughter’s friends who was holding onto the wall at the outside of the rink, and we would slowly leave the wall and skate around the rink. When they looked like they were going to fall, I would slow down and help them not to fall. If they did fall, I would pick them back up again and we would continue skating. After a while, I noticed that I had more control on the ice. I was feeling more comfortable, my ankles did not hurt anymore, and I was helping others more and more. In addition, as I got better, fewer of them were falling before I could catch them. I had a great time helping others learn to ice skate. It was a great feeling to know that I helped four little girls and two boys to learn to skate better, even though I was learning myself. At the end of the party, I was actually feeling good about the things that I had learned as well and my ability to ice skate. Teaching personal finance is a lot like ice-skating. It may be difficult at first. Moreover, we may not feel we are the most qualified to teach it as we are still unsteady ourselves. Page 1 of 4 Financial Self-reliance: Teacher Instructions However, as we steady our own foundation, follow the principles we are teaching, seek Heavenly Father’s help and listen to the promptings of the Spirit, we will be guided and directed in our efforts to help and teach others to be financially self-reliant. To help you understand the principles you will be teaching, I encourage you to read this manual completely if possible before you begin teaching these lessons. Doctrine, Principles and Application There is a relationship between doctrine, principles, and application that is important to understand as you teach this series on financial self-reliance. Doctrine is the truth about ourselves, our lives, our history, and our relationship to our Father in Heaven and his Son Jesus Christ. True doctrine is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. In its fulness, the gospel includes all the doctrines, principles, laws, ordinances, and covenants necessary for us to be exalted in the celestial kingdom. Elder Boyd K. Packer talked about the importance of doctrine when he said: True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. … That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel. (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 20; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17). In this series, we emphasize doctrine first. We hope to help individuals understand the doctrine that underlies the things you are teaching. Principles are those things that do not change and that are important for us to understand. Our learning should include trying to understand principles. In ice-skating, the principle was to have a wide base or foundation when you learned to skate. Elder Poelman wrote about principles when he said: The gospel of Jesus Christ is a divine and perfect plan. It is composed of eternal, unchanging principles, laws, and ordinances which are universally applicable to every individual regardless of time, place, or circumstance. Gospel principles never change. . .The Church has authority to teach correctly the principles and doctrines of the gospel and to administer its essential ordinances. (Ronald E. Poelman, “The Gospel and the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 64.) As a gospel teacher, you must not be satisfied with merely teaching doctrine and principles, even if you do so in an original, engaging way. Your purpose is to help others live according to the doctrines and principles they learn. It is the application of what we are teaching that will make a difference in the lives of those you teach, not the teaching. President Harold B. Lee counseled on the importance of application when he said: All the principles and ordinances of the gospel are in a sense but invitations to learning the gospel by the practice of its teachings. No person knows the principle of tithing until he pays tithing. No one knows the principle of the Word of Wisdom until he keeps the Word of Wisdom. Children, or grownups for that Page 2 of 4 Financial Self-reliance: Teacher Instructions matter, are not converted to tithing, the Word of Wisdom, keeping the Sabbath day holy, or prayer by hearing someone talk about these principles. We learn the gospel by living it. … We never really know anything of the teachings of the gospel until we have experienced the blessings that come from living each principle. (Stand Ye in Holy Places , 215). The true measure of our teaching is the influence we have in our student’s lives to help them change behavior for good. It is important that we understand doctrines, principles and application. All are critical to changing and helping others becoming the person Heavenly Father would have them become. This series will work these areas. Learn, Teach, Apply and Report This class on personal finance follows a four-step process. First, learn. You will teach the students in Sunday School. They will have a student manual and you will teach from a teacher’s manual. Your teacher’s manual will have more information than you can teach within the allotted time. Please listen to the promptings of the Spirit to decide which material you should teach. Second, teach. Students will teach prepared Family Home Evening lessons to their families on the subjects provided. Activities are available to help students teach the material to families. Parents can pick and choose which material would best meet the needs of their families. Third, apply. Students apply the material discussed in class and taught in family home Evening to their lives during the week. There will be other assignments made which students should try to accomplish. Fourth, report. Students will report on their progress and experiences the next week in class. Through this process, you will take the students from where they are in the direction of where they should be—to become more financially self-reliant. Additional Reading Elder M. Russell Ballard in his talk “O Be Wise” gave wise counsel that we can use as we strive to help others become more financially self-reliant. I encourage you to review this article before you teach. (Ensign, Nov. 2006, p. 17). Caution: Your purpose as a teacher in this class on financial self-reliance is not to teach your own ideas, your own preferred investment strategy, or to sell insurance, investments, or other Page 3 of 4 Financial Self-reliance: Teacher Instructions financial products. Your purpose is to teach the material doctrine and principles presented in the manual in a way that invites the Spirit into your class and helps people change their behavior to become more financially self-reliant. That is our purpose for this class. Page 4 of 4
"learn to ice skate online"