1.1.4 The Role of Families in God’s Plan
As part of our Heavenly Father’s plan, we were born into families. He established families to bring us happiness, to help us learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and to prepare us for eternal life.
Parents have the vital responsibility to help their children prepare to return to Heavenly Father. Parents fulfill this responsibility by teaching their children to follow Jesus Christ and live His gospel.
11.1 Parents have the first responsibility for the spiritual and physical welfare of their children (see D&C 68:25–28). The bishopric, Primary leaders, and Primary teachers support but do not replace parents in this responsibility.
- Weekly Thoughts and Tips, Friend
- “Parents’ Teaching Responsibility,” Teaching, No Greater Call
- “Regular Occasions for Teaching in the Home,” Teaching, No Greater Call
- “Teaching Moments in Family Life,” Teaching, No Greater Call
- “Age Characteristics of Children,” Teaching, No Greater Call
Bishops give special attention to 7-year-old children in the ward, ensuring that their parents, Primary leaders and teachers, and home teachers help them prepare for baptism and confirmation. Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society leaders also encourage parents to teach and prepare their children for these ordinances. When children reach age 8, the bishop makes sure they have every opportunity to accept the gospel and be baptized and confirmed.
Faith in God
11.5.2 Where practical, the Primary may hold activity days for boys and girls ages 8 through 11. Leaders and teachers use the Faith in God guidebooks as resources for activity days, supporting the work children and parents do at home to fulfill Faith in God requirements.
Activity days are held no more than twice each month. They may be held at the meetinghouse or in a home. As leaders determine the frequency and location of activity days, they consider the time constraints of the children’s families, travel distance and costs, children’s safety, and other local circumstances. Leaders ensure that activity days follow the guidelines in 11.8.1 and in chapter 13.
Scouting in Primary
Scouting supports boys and their families by giving them an additional opportunity to put into practice the gospel principles they learn at home and in Primary. Parental involvement and help is a key to success in this program. (Scouting Handbook, 6.0)
Preparation for Aaronic Priesthood
8.2 Parents have the first responsibility for the spiritual and physical welfare of their children (see D&C 68:25–28). The bishopric and other Aaronic Priesthood leaders support but do not replace parents in this responsibility. They offer support in the following ways:
They assist parents in helping their sons prepare for priesthood ordinations, the temple endowment, full-time missionary service, temple marriage, and fatherhood.
They encourage communication between young men and their parents.
They ensure that quorum activities and other youth events do not put undue burdens on families or compete with family activities.
Leaders should be especially sensitive to young men who come from homes that lack strong support for gospel living.
8.6.1 The parents of a 10- or 11-year-old boy have the primary responsibility for helping him prepare to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. Other family members and home teachers assist. The support of home teachers may be especially important in homes where the father is absent or is not an active member of the Church.
11.5.5 A meeting called Priesthood Preview is held each year for 11-year-old boys and their parents. The purpose of this meeting is to help boys understand the priesthood and strengthen their commitment to prepare to receive it.
Testimony Bearing in Primary
Testimony meetings are discouraged in Primary. However, parents, Primary leaders, and teachers may provide other opportunities for testimony bearing. For example, children may share their testimonies when they give lessons in family home evening and when they give talks in sharing time. Such opportunities help children prepare to share their testimonies in fast and testimony meeting when they are old enough to do so without assistance from a parent, sibling, or other person.
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