3 Nevertheless, I speak unto you again; for I am desirous for the welfare of your souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you; and ye yourselves know that it ever has been. For I have exhorted you with all diligence; and I have taught you the words of my father; and I have spoken unto you concerning all things which are written, from the creation of the world.
(2 Nephi 6:3)
To teach is to serve. Great teachers are motivated by love for their students and a desire for their students’ success. As Jacob highlights in the passage above, his motivation for continuing to teach “with all diligence” is his “great anxiety” for his people and his desire “for the welfare of [their] souls.”
These are the words he uses at the beginning of a lengthy sermon to the people of Nephi. On a later occasion, he begins a sermon with similar words:
And ye yourselves know that I have hitherto been diligent in the office of my calling; but I this day am weighed down with much more desire and anxiety for the welfare of your souls than I have hitherto been (Jacob 2:3).
As I have thought about how I can follow Jacob’s example today, I have considered the many situations in which I serve as a teacher. In the words of L. Tom Perry:
Nearly all of our associations and relationships involve the process of teaching. One of the major responsibilities of parents is to teach their children. Many of our assignments in the world of work involve being a teacher. Every assignment we receive in the Church requires some form of teaching (“Teach Them the Word of God with All Diligence,” General Conference, April 1999).
Today I will be a diligent teacher at home, at work, and in my church assignments. I will follow Jacob’s example of attentive teaching motivated by a deep desire for the welfare of my students.