In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated: “All human beings-male and female- are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.”
Each child or youth is like a seed. Hidden within is divine potential, divine gifts and divine destiny. We, as teachers, leaders and parents must help our children and youth to develop their divine potential, divine gifts, and to fulfill their divine destiny. But these are not easy tasks.
We can find an example of individuality by observing an apple and an orange. Although they are both fruits, they are very different. We won’t compare an apple with an orange, or expect the orange to be like an apple. For this is simply insane.
Yet, we often compare one child with other children and expect the child to possess the same gifts, or talents. For example, he or she must be good in math, music, arts, science, or anything we deem to be the mark of success in our specific culture.
Often, we adults project our unhealed past, or unfulfilled dreams, or our irrational expectations and judgments unto children and youth, and it takes a very wise, loving, mature, balanced child or youth not to react against our insanity.
Often, because of our own ignorance, we mistreat our children, and we claim we did all that in the name of love and righteousness. Yet, our fears are not love, our worries are not blessings, and our judgments are not kind words of healing or encouragement.
It takes a long time for a branch to grow, but it only takes minutes to chop it down.
We need to learn to be wise, humble, and loving enough to observe the uniqueness and the needs of our youth; we need to learn to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in guiding and nurturing them.
Beauty is not skin deep, and salvation is not just rules or laws deep. Religious training is so very important, for it helps us to be rooted deeply and strongly in the teachings and atonement of Jesus Christ and helps us to become like Christ.
Often we are like the pendulum, swinging from one end to the other. If someone praises us, if we are successful; if we are rich, if we are loved, then we feel happy and worthy. But if someone criticizes us, if we fail, if we are poor, then we feel so sad, so unworthy, so unlovable. These things happen because we simply don’t realize who we really are. We are children of God.
To be rooted in Christ means we know in our hearts, minds and souls, we are the beloved children of God; from this powerful state of being; being loving, being strong, being kind, being wise, being righteous, we live our lives, we serve the lord and his people. Yet most people don’t know who they are. From the state of scarcity, sin, fear, or guilt; they strive so hard to gain recognition and approval from the world.
The objective of seminaries and institutes of religion in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”) is to help youth and young adults understand and rely on the teachings and atonement of Jesus Christ, qualify for the blessings of the temple, and prepare themselves, their families, and others for eternal life with their Father in Heaven.
In order for a seed to grow into a strong, healthy tree and bear plenty of fruit, it needs to be rooted deeply in the teachings and atonement of Jesus Christ, it also needs water; and the water is God’s love and the pure love we have for each other. It also needs sunlight; the sun is God, Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost; for God is the true source, Jesus is the true savior and the Holy Ghost is the true teacher.
As a seminary teacher, I am so very proud of the LDS educational system. It is of a very high standard. Every lesson not only helps our youth to master the scriptures, but helps them apply the messages found there to their lives.
Let us all live the gospel of Jesus Christ and strive for the companionship of the Spirit. Let us learn to see other through the vision of Christ, love each other with the charity of Christ, and support each other with the strength of Christ and guide each other with the wisdom of Christ. Let our lives glorify God and bless many.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
This article was written by Mei Goh, Penang, Malaysia.