March, 4, 2011

How Will the Saints Educate Their Children?

While president of BYU, Elder Jeffery R. Holland once said, “This Church is always only one generation away from extinction. All we would have to do to destroy this work is stop teaching our children for one generation.”

This concept is continued in Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “And these words, which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

The Saints, after establishing themselves in western settlements, had many tasks that required the assistance of their children, such as clearing land, constructing shelters, and raising crops. However, the Saints knew there was urgency in educating their children. Brigham Young said that parents should be teaching their children from the books of the world and revelations of the Lord.

From an early point in the Church’s history the importance of a spiritual as well as a secular education was a focus. This desire to continue educating of the Church’s young ones lead to the immediate organization of schools and later to the organization of youth programs and Sunday Schools.

The Church’s progression would be halted without the dedication of teachers and parents in helping the youth develop their spiritual and secular knowledge.