This year, 2019, the new home centered, church-supported approach to gospel learning begins. This new way of studying and learning about the gospel can help deepen conversion and testimony, and help individuals and families see everyday opportunities to learn from the scriptures. This special change – although it could be new and challenging for some – can bring remarkable blessings to families if followed consistently. Here are five important blessings of this new gospel learning approach.
Helps families become more spiritually self-reliant
Spiritual self-reliance is an important part of our efforts to become like the Savior. When we are spiritually self-reliant, we do not depend on another’s testimony – we seek opportunities to build it. When we become more self-reliant spiritually, we begin to look for spiritual experiences through prayer, scripture study, and service. When we have a strong testimony of the gospel, we know where to turn when we encounter problems – the Lord. We also become more effective at helping others in times of spiritual need. Imagine what a family can do if they – individually and collectively – are spiritually self-reliant.
Learning the scriptures, knowing more about Jesus Christ, understanding Heavenly Father’s plan as a family can bless the testimonies of each family member. A spiritually self-reliant family is what the Lord needs in these latter days filled with corruption and immorality, and spiritual self-reliance is what a family needs to combat the temptations of today. Elder Boyd K. Packer warned “If we lose our emotional and spiritual self-reliance, we can be weakened quite as much, perhaps even more, than when we become dependent materially.” As you study with your families, you become more spiritually self-reliant, you become better prepared for the challenges of these latter-days.
Helps families combat the effects of social media
When a Pathway student was asked about the benefits of regular 30-minute conversations without social media interruption,, she said it strengthened her friendship with her Pathway partner. Imagine what regular scripture study – without social media interruption – could do for your family. One of the blessings of the home-centered, church-supported gospel learning approach is improved family relationships. When a family gathers together to learn the gospel, and to hear insights and impressions from each other, negative feelings are alleviated and the needs of members of the family are identified. Spending time with your family can also increase understanding for each member of the family.
Helps children recognize the spirit at a younger age
These children sent here to earth are valiant individuals – the temptations they face are more difficult, and they face them at a younger age. One of the best ways to help children and youth face temptations, and triumph over the adversary is to help them recognize the spirit at a young age. This important gospel skill can help them discern what’s right and wrong, stand for truth and righteousness, build their testimonies, find answers to their prayers, and know where to turn when they are bombarded by challenges. Like learning a new language, or a new skill, recognizing the spirit comes with practice. As we “talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ, preach of Christ, and prophesy of Christ” in the home, we help our children and youth learn how to hear and heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost. As you teach, learn, and bear your testimony together as a family, children can learn to recognize their own spiritual experiences.
Helps Make Families Ready for Latter-day Challenges
In these latter days, the adversary’s biggest target is the family. President Boyd K. Packer remarked “We live in a very dangerous world that threatens those things that are most spiritual. The family, the fundamental organization in time and eternity, is under attack from forces seen and unseen. The adversary is about. His objective is to cause injury. If he can weaken and destroy the family, he will have succeeded.” One of the most effective ways to protect the family from the onslaught of temptations is to go back to the basics – family prayer and family scripture study. With this great shift – making the home a place for gospel learning – comes the blessing of strengthened families. As individual family members’ testimonies of the Savior are strengthened, the family will be able to withstand the trials and temptations coming their way.
The Family Can Draw Closer to the Savior
As homes “transform into a sanctuary of faith” through this home-centered, church-supported gospel learning approach, the family can “build faith in Heavenly Father and His plan of salvation and in the Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement.” As parents and children talk more of Christ, they can draw closer to Him, and truly know Him and not just about Him.
This new approach – one of the biggest changes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – can bring “remarkable blessings” to the family. May all of us take this revelation to heart and learn with our families. By doing so, we can indeed see miracles within our individual lives and our families.