Good Morning Brothers and Sisters. In the Ensign of the issue of January 1990, Thomas S. Monson shared an experience where he had overheard three young boys discussing their fathers. One boy spoke out saying: “My dad is bigger than your dad,” to which another replied, “Well, my dad is smarter than your dad.” The third boy countered, “My dad is a doctor”; then, turning to one boy, he taunted, “and your dad is only a teacher”. The call of a mother terminated the conversation, but the words continued to echo in my ears. Only a teacher. Only a teacher.
The Urban dictionary provides multiple definitions of the word ‘teacher’ but one that particularly stands out to me is: one who inspires, motivates, and opens up minds to endless possibilities of which one can achieve. Today dear brothers and sisters, my talk will be about how Learning begins in the Home.
Perhaps the teacher you and I remember best is the one who influenced us the most. She may not have used a chalkboard nor possessed a college degree, but her lessons were everlasting and her concern genuine. Yes, I speak of mother, but also include father. In reality every parent is a teacher. Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. Each parent has an individual and important role in rearing, nurturing, and supporting their children.
Many parents will believe that once their children are at school, they can relax and let the education system take control. It is quite the opposite. Parents have a great influence on not only a child’s results in school but also their success in life. There are many ways that a parent can start to introduce the importance of an education in the lives of their children. You can start by:
Speaking to your child a lot. We need to use positive, encouraging talk with a lot of new words and ideas. From the time your child is born they need to hear a lot of language. This part in their development is very crucial. Speak to your child in both your native language and English.
Read with your child 15 minutes every day. Start reading to your child when they are very young. As your child learns to read, take turns reading aloud. This will help your child learn new words, gain a love of learning and reading and develop your child’s reading and listening skills.
You can also do something as simple as asking your child for help when cooking dinner or you can ask them to measure out ingredients for a cake which is a simple method of mathematics. Each of these experiences will benefit your child’s future.
Learning Work in the Home
Learning to work also begins in the Home. Helping your child develop their capacity to work will bless them and their family, both now and in the future. Teach your child discipline and how to use their spare time effectively. Monitor the activities that keep them from productive work, such as using the internet, playing video games and watching television. Teach your child to enjoy doing chores by doing it with them.
Learning the Gospel in the Home
Building the kingdom of God begins with building a righteous home and family. During a child’s early years, a parent should also teach their children to love the Gospel. In ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’, it reads: ‘Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live’. Study the scriptures and the words of the latter-day prophets. Teach your children about Heavenly Fathers plan and that each of them have an important role in it. This spiritual learning will help them find answers to the challenges that may arise.
Alma 37:35 O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.
It is extremely important that you young men and you young women get all of the education that you can. The Lord has said very plainly that His people are to gain knowledge of countries and kingdoms and of things of the world through the process of education, even by study and by faith. Education will prepare you for greater service in the world and in the Church. It will help you better provide for yourself, your family, and those in need. It will also help you be a wise counsellor and companion to your future spouse and an informed and effective teacher of your future children. Education is the key which will unlock the door of opportunity for you that may otherwise be closed to you.
Plan now to obtain an education. Be willing to work diligently and make sacrifices if necessary. Share your educational goals with your family, friends, and leaders so they can support and encourage you. My dear brothers and sisters, take advantage of every educational opportunity that you can possibly afford, and you fathers and mothers, encourage your sons and daughters to gain an education which will bless their lives.
D;C 130:18-19: “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in his life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come”
I am very grateful to have been raised in a family that values the importance of education and encourages me to pursue a quality education. I believe that without them I would not be where I am at today. I would like to end my talk by bearing my testimony…. In the of Jesus Christ, AMEN!