Importance of Teaching Children

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“We have rules to teach, guide, and protect children. Why? Because of the great love we have for them.”
 
Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” 2015 General Conference
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“I can’t think of a better example of helping someone gain understanding than the story of Helen Keller. She was blind and deaf and lived in a world that was dark and quiet. A teacher named Anne Sullivan came to help her. How would you teach a child who can’t even see or hear you?
 
“For a long time, Anne struggled to connect with Helen. One day around noon, she took her out to the water pump. She put one of Helen’s hands under the waterspout and began to pump the water. Anne then spelled out the word W-A-T-E-R on Helen’s other hand. Nothing happened. So she tried again. W-A-T-E-R. Helen squeezed Anne’s hand because she began to understand. By nightfall, she had learned 30 words. Within a matter of months, she had learned 600 words and was able to read Braille. Helen Keller went on to earn a college degree and helped change the world for people who couldn’t see or hear. It was a miracle, and her teacher was the miracle worker, just like you will be, parents.”
 
Bradley D. Foster, Quorum of the Seventy
It’s Never Too Early and It’s Never Too Late,” October 2015 General Conference
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“The world will teach our children if we do not, and children are capable of learning all the world will teach them at a very young age. What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today. Teach them in every circumstance; let every dilemma, every consequence, every trial that they may face provide an opportunity to teach them how to hold on to gospel truths.”

Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary General President
Stay On the Path,” October 2010 General Conference

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“Even very young children can understand and accept things of an eternal nature. They love the scriptures, and they love the prophet. They intuitively want to be good. It is up to us to help them keep that connection to heaven open. It is up to us to protect them from influences that detract from the Spirit. We can find help and direction in the scriptures. Then we can teach our children to find their own answers there. We can teach our children correct principles and help them apply those principles to their lives. We can direct them toward the Spirit so that they can receive their own witness of the truths they are learning. We can help them find the joy of living the gospel. This will build a firm foundation of faith and obedience in their lives that will strengthen them.”

Cheryl C. Lant, Primary General President
That Our Children Might See the Face of the Savior,” April 2010 General Conference

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“The scriptures, prayer, and making and keeping covenants have not only helped the people of Ammon but also first-generation members everywhere—including me. You see, while I was born of goodly parents, I was not taught the gospel at home […]It was left to Primary teachers, Young Women leaders, and priesthood leaders to provide me with gospel instruction. When I was seven years old, my junior Sunday School teacher taught us about prayer, and I wanted to pray. She taught us about tithing, and I wanted to pay tithing. She taught us about fasting, and, well, I was only seven years old, so I didn’t want to fast. But when she taught us about baptism, I wanted to be baptized.”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
A Lesson from the Book of Mormon,” October 2007 General Conference

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“Children are open to gospel truths more than at any other time, and protected childhood is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to teach and strengthen children to choose the right.”

Margaret S. Lifferth, First Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Behold Your Little Ones,” October 2006 General Conference

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“Brothers and sisters, as a mother and a Primary leader, I know this work with children is not easy. Protecting, teaching, and loving children can be demanding, often discouraging, sometimes exhausting, and occasionally the fruits of our efforts are long delayed. But it is precisely because it is not easy to bring children to the Savior that we must come to Him ourselves.”

Margaret S. Lifferth, First Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Behold Your Little Ones,” October 2006 General Conference

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“Children need the peace that comes from knowing they have a loving Heavenly Father, who sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to bring light and hope into the world. It is up to us as adults to direct children to that peace and light.”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
All Thy Children Shall Be Taught,” April 2005 General Conference

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“The spiritual plight of some children in the world today is depicted in a painting by the Danish artist Carl Bloch. This painting beautifully illustrates a scriptural account found in John, chapter 5. Christ, the healer and comforter, is the focus of the painting. He is lifting a covering from a man who has had infirmities since birth. The man is waiting for the miracle of healing in the pool of Bethesda, but he has no one to assist him. As the man waits, hoping for a miracle, Christ stands in his presence with the power to heal him.

“The painting includes several figures in the background, none of whom are looking directly at Christ. The Lord is in their midst, yet only one man sees Him as such. All the others appear to be going about their daily business, oblivious to the great power of Jesus and the miracle about to occur in their presence. A young child and a woman, perhaps his mother, are in view of Jesus; yet like the others, their eyes are focused elsewhere. In the very presence of the Savior, this woman fails to direct the child to the Savior. I wonder, would we, too, have missed this opportunity to come unto Christ? Are life’s experiences distracting us and dulling our spiritual view so we are not focusing on that which matters most? I wonder, do we miss opportunities to learn of the Lord and feel His love? Do we miss opportunities to share with others—especially children—that which matters most, the gospel of Jesus Christ? We have all seen children and youth standing in the crowds confused and wanting to know what matters most.

“I can almost hear this child and other children crying out the words so many of us have sung, ‘Teach me to walk in the light.’ Remember the words:

Teach me to walk in the light of his love;
Teach me to pray to my Father above;
Teach me to know of the things that are right;
Teach me, teach me to walk in the light.

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
All Thy Children Shall Be Taught,” April 2005 General Conference

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“Children who have the gospel tucked into their hearts recognize the hand of the Lord in their lives. Children know more than we sometimes suppose and can do more than we sometimes think. I have learned that children who have the light of the gospel are believing. They do not doubt. Samantha, age 11, said, ‘I know the gospel is true because I can feel it.’ Three-year-old Benjamin said, ‘I know Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers because He loves me.’ Children who have the light of the gospel say, ‘I know the Holy Ghost is directing my life because I feel happy when I choose to follow its promptings.’ ”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
All Thy Children Shall Be Taught,” April 2005 General Conference

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“To maintain a firm stance for ourselves and help others stand firm, the message of the restored gospel must be firmly planted in our hearts and taught in our homes. In your own homes, give your children and loved ones the spiritual armor they will need as they leave you each day and venture away from the safe fortress of your home….The truths of the gospel and knowledge of the plan of salvation are weapons your family members can use for victory over Satan’s evil forces.”

Virginia U. Jensen, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Stand Firm,” October 2001 General Conference

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“Our Father in Heaven wants us to teach His children, to teach them who they really are, and to bring them to the Savior. In her general conference message last October, I remember Sister Pinegar’s searching question: ‘Who will teach the children?’ It was not only a question, but an invitation for all of us, all of us who find children within the circle of our influence, to answer the call of our Father in Heaven to teach His children.”

Anne G. Wirthlin, First Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Touch the Hearts of the Children,” October 1995 General Conference

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“Although it is our responsibility to teach the children, they often teach us.”

Dwan J. Young, Primary General President
Teach Children the Gospel,” April 1988 General Conference

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“When you teach your children how to work—when you, as members, and your children become educated and engage in appropriate employment and careers—future problems are averted.”

Marian R. Boyer, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Relief Society in Welfare,” October 1981 General Conference

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“As Latter-day Saint homebuilders, our greatest challenge is to bring up our children in light and truth—to develop the spiritual nature of each family member. Our greatest role is as a teacher.”

Marian R. Boyer, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Organize Yourselves,” October 1980 General Conference

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“In these days of tumult, confusion, and anxiety, we must remember that our girls too are being tested at this time of vibrant challenge and promise and opportunity. Teaching and rearing them is a sacred trust and a solemn responsibility.”

Naomi M. Shumway, Primary General President
Teaching Our Little Women,” October 1979 General Conference

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“The inspiration for a children’s class came to Aurelia Rogers of Farmington, Utah, one hundred years ago. There was a need to teach children the principles of the gospel in children’s language along with good manners and dress…

“In March 1878, Eliza R. Snow and others attended a Relief Society conference in Farmington. Aurelia Rogers later wrote:
 
“ ‘After the meeting, … when on their way to the depot, these sisters … stopped at my home. … The topic of our conversation was the young people, and the rough, careless ways of many of the young men and boys. … I asked the question, ‘What will our girls do for good husbands, if this state of things continues? … Could there not be an organization for little boys, and have them trained to make better men?’ ‘
 
“Eliza R. Snow seemed deeply impressed with the question and indicated she would speak to the Brethren…
 
“Aurelia wrote that in contemplating the possibility of an organization for boys, ‘A fire seemed to burn within me. … The query then arose in my mind could there not be an organization for little boys wherein they could be taught everything good, and how to behave.’
 
“Up until that time little girls had never been mentioned, but Aurelia felt the class would not be complete without them. The name Primarywas suggested as ‘the first’ or ‘original.’
 
“On August 11, 1878, Aurelia Spencer Rogers was set apart to preside over that first Primary Association by Bishop [John W. ] Hess. At his suggestion, Aurelia Rogers and her new counselors, Louisa Haight and Helen Miller, visited all the homes to secure the names of the children and to see if their parents were willing to send them to Primary. Following this careful preparation, 115 boys and 100 girls came to the stone chapel on August 25, 1878, for the first meeting. Citizens passing the meetinghouse that eventful day heard the children’s voices singing:
 
In our lovely Deseret,
Where the Saints of God have met
There’s a multitude of children all around;
They are generous and brave,They have precious souls to save,
They must listen and obey the gospel’s sound.
Hark! hark! hark, ’tis children’s music,
Children’s voices, O how sweet,
When in innocence and love
Like the angels up above,
They with happy hearts and cheerful faces meet.
 
“Today the Church honors a faithful and distinguished pioneer woman. Aurelia Spencer Rogers—a child of adversity, testing, determination, and love, who built her faith event by event, challenge by challenge.”
 
David B. Haight, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Primary Enriches the Lives of Children,” April 1978 General Conference

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