As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have frequently heard the admonition to invite the Holy Ghost into my classroom to teach my students. This admonition comes because the Holy Ghost is the true teacher. I am only an instrument through whom the Holy Ghost can work, and He does the teaching, testifying, comforting, and inspiring. If I live my life in such a way that I am worthy to receive the promptings of the Spirit, I can pray for His guidance as I prepare and teach. He can also help me create an atmosphere in the classroom so that others can also feel His influence.
President Howard W. Hunter, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, counseled Seminary teachers: “There is so much in our world that destroys the feeling of the Spirit and so much that would keep us from having the Spirit with us. We need to do all we can for these young people who are assaulted and barraged by worldliness all around them. We need to do everything possible to let them feel the sweet, reassuring presence of the Spirit of the Lord. Your classrooms are weekday sanctuaries where they should be able to find that.
“In one of the most basic revelations of this dispensation, the Lord said, `And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach’ (Doctrine and Covenants 42:14).
“I take this verse to mean not only that we should not teach without the Spirit, but also that we really cannot teach without it. Learning of spiritual things simply cannot take place without the instructional and confirming presence of the Spirit of the Lord” (“Eternal Investments” [address to religious educators, 10 Feb. 1989, 3).
We teach by the Spirit when the Holy Ghost is present and functioning is His role and carries the words of the lesson or the scriptures or the music to the heart of the student. There is little or no actual teaching or learning without the Spirit; therefore, we must have the Holy Ghost present in our classrooms and other teaching opportunities.
In order to teach by the Spirit, we must first keep the commandments and be clean before God because the Holy Ghost dwells only in moral cleanliness. Our bodies are our personal temples, and we invite the Holy Ghost when we keep ourselves clean physically, mentally, and socially.
President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “The Spirit of God speaking to the spirit of man has power to impart truth with greater effect and understanding than the truth can be imparted by personal contact even with heavenly beings. Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fiber and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten” (Doctrines of Salvation, compiled by Bruce R. McConkie, 3 volumes [1954-56], 1:47-48).