Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
Pres. Packer says youth is best time for learning
Deseret News 18Aug99 C2
By Marci Williams: Deseret News staff writer
PROVO, UTAH -- In an Education Week devotional, Boyd K. Packer,
acting president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Quorum of the Twelve, stressed the importance and ultimate
responsibility of teaching children. "Youth is the time for easy
learning," said President Packer. "That is why the teachers of
children and youth have been a fundamental concern for the leaders of
the church from the very beginning."
With the Education Week theme being "Quest for Light and Truth",
Packer admitted at the annual BYU conference that he did not learn as
quickly in his "upper middle age" as he did when he was younger.
Packer will turn 75 in three weeks. "It is increasingly difficult
for me to memorize scriptures or lines of poetry. In my youth I
could repeat something a time or two and remember it. If I said it
over many times,particularly if I wrote it down, it was quite
permanently recorded in my mind."
Speaking of a parent's ultimate responsibility to teach their
children, President Packer said, "Teaching children brings its own
rewards." "Have you not yet learned that when you teach you learn
more from teaching than do your children from learning?"
He quoted a Doctrine and Covenants scripture that warns all parents.
"...to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the son
of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by
the laying on of hands, when 8 years old, the sin be upon the heads
of the parents."
Remarking that the best of lessons, both temporal and spiritual, can
be learned from ordinary life experiences, President Packer stressed
the spiritual knowledge which can be drawn from higher sources. "I
have learned this from experience: Life will teach us some things we
didn't think we wanted to know. Those lessons can be the most
valuable ones," he said.
Quoting from the book of Matthew, President Packer said the best
example of teaching children was provided by Jesus Christ as he
commanded his disciples in Jerusalem to "suffer the little children
and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of