Preparing children for baptism by planting truths in their hearts

Gospel principles do not live from generation to generation just because they are right, nor even because they have been commanded.

"Gospel principles," explained Michaelene P. Grassli, Primary general president, "continue from generation to generation only when they are carefully planted in the hearts of children as they grow up."To "carefully plant" these truths into the hearts of the children, parents, ward priesthood leaders and Primary teachers and leaders should begin preparing children for baptism at a young age instead of waiting the week before their 8th birthday, she said.

While the parents have the prime responsibility and opportunity to instill in each child the desire for baptism, direction from the priesthood and Church programs can provide an important support system for parents, Sister Grassli remarked.

"When parents, priesthood and Primary leaders all understand their role and do what is best for the children, then the children have a good chance of developing the necessary faith and desire needed for baptism.

"Our children want to come into the fold of God," she added. "We need to help them understand how they can do that through baptism. We teach them that the covenant of baptism is an individual covenant between them and Heavenly Father, that He knows each of them personally, and that His gospel plan is true, with baptism being a key part of that plan.

"We are accountable to help children be prepared to stand against Satan's temptations and to understand how the Holy Ghost can be their companion.

"Mothers and fathers know the hearts of their children and are best equipped to translate the principles of the gospel into terms children can understand."

Family home evenings, scripture study and informal teaching moments are opportune times to discuss baptism, she said. Parents can also give their children Church worship experiences by taking them to Church.

"The Lord has taught that we should meet together weekly to learn together and worship (Mosiah 18:25)," she said. "He specifically commanded Joseph Smith that materials should be prepared for the children to be taught in a Church setting. (D&C 55:4.) The Church is a support to parents.

"Great blessings come to the children when they learn the gospel with other

Continued on page 5

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed