This story was originally published on LDS Living in October 2018.
"We are each responsible for our individual spiritual growth. And scriptures make it clear that parents have the primary responsibility to teach the doctrine to their children," President Russell M. Nelson said during the October 2018 general conference. "It is the responsibility of the Church to assist each member in the divinely defined goal of increasing his or her gospel knowledge."
Shortly after conference, President Nelson embarked on a tour of South America, which will culminate with the dedication of the Concepción Chile Temple on October 28. Since becoming our prophet, President Nelson has ministered to members around the world at a pace and with a personal touch that is mindboggling. With each new tour comes inspired messages and insight into what we most need to hear as worldwide Latter-day Saints.
While following President Nelson's 2018 tour, I noticed that the topic of teaching in the home was a theme in his messages in Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay.
"You parents and teachers have a great responsibility to teach these children,” President Nelson told the Saints in Bolivia. "What are you going to teach your children? I would like to suggest you do what the Savior did." In addition to sharing messages about strengthening children, President Nelson has shown this type of love and care in action.
Elder Gary E. Stevenson, who is accompanying the prophet on his South American tour says, “One other observation I’ve had on this trip is the connection the prophet has with children, the love the children have for him and that he has for them. . . .We were touched tonight as the meeting finished and the children gathered around him. It was for me reminiscent of the Savior and his love for the children.”
Here are some of the doctrines our prophet has asked us to teach our children to better inspire home-centered gospel learning.
1. "Teach your children about the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children" (Paraguay Visit).
2. "I plead with you to teach your children what it really means when they sing, ‘I Am a Child of God.’ They are created in His very image. And He has given them a great gift of a body, with a heart that beats, with a brain that thinks, and all of these marvelous attributes they have" (Paraguay Visit).
3. "Teach them to converse with their Father in Heaven" (Paraguay Visit).
4. "And teach them about the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us" (Bolivia Visit).
5. "Help them to understand why we take the sacrament on Sundays and why the Lord came to planet earth to restore His Church again" (Paraguay Visit).
6. "Please teach your children about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. His Atonement is the most important event in the history of the world and the foundation of our religion. Everything else in our religion is secondary" (Peru Visit).
These messages reiterate President Nelson's message from conference: "The long-standing objective of the Church is to assist all members to increase their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and in His Atonement, to assist them in making and keeping their covenants with God, and to strengthen and seal their families. In this complex world today, this is not easy. The adversary is increasing his attacks on faith and upon us and our families at an exponential rate. To survive spiritually, we need counterstrategies and proactive plans."
We are blessed to have a prophet who can help guide us to know the best proactive plans for our lives.