FFF#4 2015 Basic Doctrines

So my head has been swimming lately with lots and lots of seminary things, which would explain why my blog post today is so late 🙂  But it is still Friday, right?  At least in this hemisphere…..

Tomorrow is our stake conference.  In conjunction with stake conference, our stake primary is hosting their stake primary leadership meeting.  Before I was called as a seminary teacher, I agreed to help them in presenting a class for their leadership meeting.  With all that has been going on in my brain lately, I am so very grateful that when they asked me to do it, almost immediately, I knew what the presentation would be and what the Lord wanted me to teach.

Do you want a preview?

OK.  Here is the confession.  I did type the above three paragraphs last Friday.  But as I was getting ready to type up my presentation, I realized that I had lost my outline, which I had had for three weeks.  And I lost it the day before the presentation?  Really??!!!  So I spent the rest of my blogging time looking and praying for my outline, which I eventually found on my couch.  But not until I had been looking for about 45 minutes and made another trip to the church to check for it there.
I gave my presentation.  It went really well.  Then we had stake conference.  Which was also pretty amazing with tons of information about proper parenting, and working with our marital council.  Then it was back to teaching seminary.  And I haven’t had time to sit down and do any blogging until today.  So here we are.  Now I’ll jump into the presentation I gave on Saturday.

My specific topic was personalizing your primary program to your primary.  It will seem, as I get into it, that I’m not really going there, but I’ll tie it in, I promise.  In the mean time, the rest of the presentation has multiple applications.

I divided my group into four smaller groups, and I gave each of the groups a specific assignment to search out the basic doctrines taught in their assigned place.

The assignments were:

The Articles of Faith (obviously about 13 basic doctrines)

The Sharing Time Outline for 2015 (one doctrine each month, so 12.  Any sharing time outline would work.)

Alma 18: 5, and 16-40 (This is Ammon teaching King Lamoni–look for the basic doctrines Ammon taught him.)

Alma 22:1-15 (This is Aaron teaching King Lamoni’s father–same thing, look for the basic doctrines Aaron taught him.)

If you want to have some fun, take some time and do all four of those assignments yourself and see what you come up with.  I have my list 🙂

But you will be happy to know, that when I became the seminary teacher, in the back of the teacher’s manual (you can look this up yourself online here) it outlines the basic doctrines we are teaching in our church.  Guess what??!!  That same list matches the basic doctrines taught in the Articles of Faith, and also in the Primary Sharing Time Outline.  Pretty much, they all start out the same way.  What would you guess that is?


Do you believe in Him?  Do you know He is your father and you are His child?  He has one begotten son.  Jesus Christ.  The two of them, along with the Holy Ghost, comprise the Godhead.

The first basic doctrine is about the nature of the Godhead.

Next?  How about God has a plan for us.  Before we came to earth we lived with Him.  He created an earth for us where we can learn for ourselves from our own experience how to choose between good and evil.  If we make mistakes, which we will, He has a plan for that too.  Someday, we can return to live with Him in heaven.

The second basic doctrine talks about the Plan of Salvation, Agency, the Premortal life, the Creation, the Fall, Mortal life, and Life after Death.

Third?  Yep.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ.

In order to return to live with our Father in Heaven, we have to learn how the atonement works, and then how to apply it in our lives during mortality.  Faith, Repentance, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

Number four is Dispensation, Apostasy and Restoration. 

Number five:  Prophets and Revelation, and as such, we have scripture.  Here is where we teach that the Prophet speaks for Jesus Christ.  He tells us what Jesus would if He were here.  The scriptures are the words and experiences of previous prophets throughout the world’s history.

Number six:  Priesthood and Priesthood Keys, the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods.  For a more in depth study, click the link above.

Number seven:  Ordinances and Covenants.  We must participate in the saving ordinances and make sacred covenants with God in order to return to Him.  Our acceptance of these covenants is eternally binding and we will be held accountable to God for obeying and honoring them.

Number eight:  Marriage and Family.  Before today, this doctrine was readily understood and accepted generally by society.  In our day and age, however, it has to be spelled out and taught.  The Family:  A Proclamation to the World is a prophetic document for our day and time.  It explains the ‘whys and hows’ of the family, our most basic unit of society.

Number nine:  Commandments.  God has given us principles and commandments that when obeyed will bring us happiness and freedom.  Obedience is a major key in our ability to receive and understand revelation and to receive the attendant blessings. 

seriously?  Some people have too much time on their hands.

Those are the basic doctrines we teach.  Those are the focus of our doctrinal teaching in primary, and in young men and young women and in seminary.  These basic doctrines build upon one another.  Each person’s doctrinal understanding is like lego building blocks.  As the doctrines are taught in the right order and received into the heart of the learner, their mind and spirit becomes more capable of accepting the next doctrinal principle.  If there are holes in doctrinal learning, it makes knowing, believing and living the next principles more difficult.

The point in teaching primary (or any class, or your own children), is recognizing where they are in their doctrinal learning and understanding which doctrinal principle comes next.  If your child or a child does not have an understanding that Heavenly Father, the God and great creator of earth and heaven, is their father who loves them, why should it matter to them if they return to live with Him or not?  Understanding that there is a God and understanding who He is and our relationship to Him is paramount in understanding ourselves and what we are to do with our mortality.  For a more in depth and amazing look at this particular doctrine, read this address by Elder Tad R. Callister.  It is amazing!

Now besides the basic doctrines, there are also basic behaviors that make learning the doctrines easier and more easily understood.  We will talk about those this coming Friday.

However, for my primary stake leadership presentation, I expressed that each of their children in their primary is somewhere along that doctrinal learning continuum.  The basic doctrines are expressed in a particular order.  That order is for a reason, because the doctrines build on one another.  Write your program with those thoughts in mind.  Then place your children into the doctrines they are learning or need to be applying.  Some children know the doctrine, but do not live it.  Help them learn to apply that doctrine by expressing how those doctrines apply in their lives or how they can apply.  Give them opportunities to practice that doctrine.  (For our last program, I told one child to tell of a time when they served their family.  If they didn’t have one, they needed to create one and then tell us about it.)  One thing to remember, if you do not know where that child is in their doctrinal learning, the Lord does.  He will impress you with which doctrines would be most meaningful and accepted with which child.

I think I will save my other thoughts for writing your primary program for another post.   However, look forward to Friday, (if I get my act together) to discuss the basic behaviors necessary to open the door for testimony of the basic doctrines.

Happy Wednesday!

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