Brother Tad R. Callister: ‘Parents: The prime gospel teachers of their children”

Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

It is parents’ duty to teach their children the doctrines of the gospel, said Brother Tad. R Callister during the Saturday afternoon session of general conference.

“As parents we are to be the prime gospel teachers and examples for our children — not the bishop, the Sunday School, the Young Women or Young Men, but the parents,” he said. “As their prime gospel teachers, we can teach them the power and reality of the Atonement — of their identity and divine destiny and in so doing give them a rock foundation upon which to build. When all is said and done, the home is the ideal forum for teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Brother Callister, the Sunday School general president, told a story about a boy named Ben Carson, who went from the worst student in his 5th grade class to the top of his class by grade 7. He later attended Yale University and Johns Hopkins Medical School. At John Hopkins he became Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery and a world-renowned surgeon.

“How was that possible?” asked Brother Callister. “Largely because of a mother who without many of the advantages of life magnified her calling as a parent.”

He added, “The scriptures speak of the role of parents — that is their duty to teach their children the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

When Brother Callister visited Beirut, Lebanon, for an assignment, he met a girl named Sarah whose main source of the gospel was her parents. Her family lived far from any LDS congregation.

“They did not have the Church in their community,” Brother Callister explained. “But they did have the gospel in their home. [Sarah’s] mother was her prime gospel teacher.”

Brother Callister said his parents were also his prime gospel teachers. One of the many things they taught him was the importance of prayer.

Parents also can also teach their children to use their time wisely, Brother Callister said. Parents might need to restrict their children’s time with television or electronic devices and direct it toward more “productive gospel-oriented efforts.”

“As parents, we can proceed with the assurance God will never leave us alone,” Brother Callister said. “God never gives us a responsibility without offering divine aid, of that I can testify. May we in our divine role as parents, and in partnership with God, become the prime gospel teachers and examples for our children.”

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