21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
(3 Nephi 27:21)
Effective teachers are proficient in the skills they teach to others. They can therefore guide their students toward mastery of those skills, not merely recite a list of instructions which they have received from others. Above all, they can say, “Watch me and follow my example.” The skills they teach are part of them, so their teaching is credible and genuine.
After washing the apostles’ feet just before his crucifixion and resurrection, the Savior invited them to follow His example:
Know ye what I have done to you?
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
As we read in the passage above, He provided similar guidance during His visit to the American continent: “The works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do,” He told His twelve disciples; “for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do.”
In the most recent general conference, Devin G. Durrant reminded us that “our most impactful parental teaching is our example” (“Teaching in the Home—a Joyful and Sacred Responsibility,” General Conference, April 2018).
Today, I will remember that the example I set for my children is at least as important as the words I use when I teach. I will strive to live according the principles I want them to learn. I will remember that the Savior not only taught us but also showed us how we should live.