Duty to Teach Children

duty to youth

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When To Teach Children About the Gospel

When President Heber J. Grant spoke, his words were plain, simple, direct and often blunt. Sometimes they almost reflected a touch of rustic in the man.

But they had the ring of honesty about them.

And when he spoke in the great Tabernacle at General Conference time, those words rang with sober truthfulness.

"I have heard men and women say that they were going to let their sons and daughters grow in maturity before they sought to teach them the principles of the gospel. . .

". . . that they were not going to cram the gospel down them in their childhood."

When he heard this, President Grant said, "I think they are lacking faith in the principles of the gospel and do not comprehend it as they should."

"The Lord has said it is our duty to teach our children in their youth, and I prefer to take His word for it rather than the words of those who are not obeying His commandments."

He paused to let the significance of that thought be absorbed. Then:

"It is folly to imagine that our children will grow up with a knowledge of the gospel without teaching."

President Grant explained that some persons had the idea that because they had been married in the temple, according to the new and everlasting covenant, their children were bound to grow up and be good Latter-day Saints; that they were born to it and couldn't do otherwise.

"It is not so," explained President Grant.

"I have learned the multiplication table, and so has my wife, but do you think I am a big enough fool to believe our children will be born with a knowledge of the multiplication table?" he asked.

"I may know that the gospel is true, and so may my wife; but I want to tell you that our children will not know the gospel is true, unless they study it and gain a testimony for themselves.

"Parents are only deceiving themselves in imagining that their children will be born with a knowledge of the gospel. Children born in the covenant will have greater claim upon the blessings of the Lord, but the devil will seek the harder to lead them astray," he warned.

(excerpt from a series in the 'Church News' called Prophets on the Family)