Back in 2009, Sister Julie B Beck (the RS General President at the time) spoke to seminary and institute teachers. Her talk was called Teaching the Doctrine of the Family. I watched the video for the first time the other day, and have since skimmed over the talk. I need to make some more thorough notes, but here is what I have so far (I used my notes to find the exact quotes in the talk):
- When we speak of qualifying for the blessings of eternal life, we mean qualifying for the blessings of eternal families. This was Christ’s doctrine, and this is some of what was restored that had been lost—understanding and clarity about family. Without these blessings, the earth is wasted…
The promises of the children made to the fathers was that their hearts would turn to their fathers. Their hearts would be turned to the blessings of eternal life that they could have. This is talking about temple blessings—temple ordinances and covenants without which “the whole earth [is] utterly wasted.”
So, if we teach about what is in every section of the Doctrine and Covenants, if we teach so that our students know all the rivers in the Book of Mormon, if they can name all the prophets of the Old Testament, if they can describe to you the pioneer trek and the history of the Latter-day Saints in the restored times but they don’t understand the promises made to the fathers and their part in it, it is “utterly wasted.” I would submit that all of our teaching is utterly wasted if they don’t understand the context that all of this is taught within.
- Korihor was an anti-Christ. Anti-Christ is antifamily. Any doctrine or principle our youth hear from the world that is antifamily is also anti-Christ. It’s that clear. They need to know
that if it’s antifamily, it’s anti-Christ. An anti- Christ is antifamily.
- Teach the students so that they don’t misunderstand (3 times she used the phrase)
- Let’s go to the question “What is it we hope this rising generation will understand and do because of what you will teach them?” Teach so they don’t misunderstand that every doctrine, every principle, everything you’re teaching leads them to the fulness of the gospel.
- So, what I submit to you as one of your responsibilities—besides teaching those doctrines so your students don’t misunderstand
- Your role in this is to teach them so they don’t misunderstand, to be very clear on key points of doctrine, which you find in the proclamation on the family.
Powerful, but great, stuff!
Note: If you would like to read the talk, you can download a PDF of the talk here.