When you first came to church, you might have sat quietly in the back of the room, listening and trying to understand the lesson and the language. Now that you’re feeling a little more at home, how can you become an effective class member?
The first step is to come to class prepared. Many classes have weekly reading assignments. Study these carefully during the week. As you read, make a note of any questions or thoughts you have and bring them with you. Even if you find you’re too shy to ask them in class, you can ask the teacher or a friend afterwards. Pray about the material and decide what it has to do with your own life.
Bring your scriptures to class with you each week. If you aren’t yet good at finding the passages read, someone else will be happy to find them for you, and some teachers will also give page numbers in case you have LDS versions of the Bible. You can also bring a small notepad and pencil, your questions, and the lesson manual if there is one.
Try to arrive on time to your class. Once there, choose someone to sit with. If you see someone sitting alone, ask if you can join her. Introduce yourself and find out who she is.
When class begins, end your conversation if you haven’t already, and pay attention to the instructor. Listen with an open heart to the messages. If something you hear bothers you, don’t argue about it. Instead, ask the teacher for more information later on, or pray about it when you get home. If you have questions, ask them. No question is foolish. You needn’t worry that you’re asking something everyone else already knows. Even the most experienced member needs a regular review of the basics. Asking a sincere question is different than arguing and won’t disrupt the spirit.
Take a few notes as you listen to the lesson. When you return home, review your notes and the study material to make sure you understand it. If you have questions that come to mind when you’re back home, contact the teacher or your home or visiting teacher for more information. You can also ask any other ward member for help.
At the end of class, take a moment to thank the teacher for her lesson. Preparing a class is a great deal of work, and it helps to know someone noticed. If something in the lesson was particularly helpful, let her know. She will enjoy knowing she made a difference.
A successful class is a joint effort between the teachers and the students. Even the newest member can serve the church by becoming a
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.