Families, communities, and nations are stronger when parents understand and accept their responsibility to teach their children in their home. Parents are the first and greatest teachers that their children will ever have, and they teach by both word and example. Parents have the power to change many lives by teaching correct principles to their children.
From the time of Adam God has placed upon the heads of parents the responsibility to teach their children. An ancient American prophet-king by the name of King Benjamin was very direct and plain when teaching this principle to his people.
And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. (See Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Mosiah 4:14-15.)
According to King Benjamin, parents are to care for and teach their children physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. They are to feed and clothe their children, to teach them how to get along with each other, and to be obedient to the laws of God.
The current Prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth, even President Russell M. Nelson, reiterated the need for parents to teach their children when he spoke during the recent October 2018 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his opening remarks President Nelson says that “It is time for a home-centered Church, supported by what takes place inside our branch, ward, and stake buildings.” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/10/opening-remarks?lang=eng
As the Church continues to expand throughout the world, many members live where we have no chapels—and may not for the foreseeable future….
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. Accordingly, we now want to put in place organizational adjustments that will further fortify our members and their families.
In later talks we were instructed that the Sunday meeting schedule would be reduced from a three-hour block to a two-hour block in order for parents and children to have more time at home to study the scriptures and to learn gospel principles. The new schedule will start in January 2019, and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ will provide materials to assist parents and families in teaching and learning the doctrines of the gospel.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explains that the three-hour block of meeting was difficult for several groups of members, such as little children, elderly, invalids, etc. However, the change has a spiritual purpose also.
But there is so much more to this adjustment than just shortening the Sunday meetinghouse schedule. President Nelson has acknowledged with gratitude how much is being accomplished as a result of your faithfulness to previous invitations. He and the entire leadership of the Church desire to bring greater gospel joy – to parents, children, youth, singles, the elderly, new converts, and those people the missionaries are teaching – through a home-centered, Church-supported, balanced effort. The purposes and blessings associated with this adjustment and other recent changes include the following:
. Deepening conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthening faith in Them.
. Strengthening individuals and families through home-centered, Church-supported curriculum that contributes to joyful gospel living.
. Honoring the Sabbath day, with a focus on the ordinance of the sacrament.
. Helping all of Heavenly Father’s children on both sides of the veil through
missionary work and receiving ordinances and covenants and blessings of the temple.
The new Sunday meeting schedule will allow families more time together at home on Sunday. Families can use this time to hold a family home evening and gospel study time. Because parents have the greatest effects on the behavior of their children, this change will give them more time for teaching and training them. Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when parents fully accept their responsibility to teach their children.