As you’ve studied the Book of Mormon this year, you’ve probably noticed how different the Nephites could be from one generation to the next. If one generation was exceedingly righteous, it wasn’t unusual for their progeny to apostatize and start fighting against the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Not every generation is so drastically different from the one that preceded it, but it’s an instructive lesson all the same. God is omnipotent and yet He doesn’t do work for us if we can do it ourselves. Thus, if we have the chance to teach our children the value of the Gospel traditions that we cherish, it is incumbent upon us to do so.
This important task can seem daunting for many reasons: how do we know when we’ve taught our children everything they need to know? What’s the right way to reinforce Gospel standards in the home? What if they just flat-out reject it, what then?
Ever since I became a father I have worried about these things. I grew up in the Church, in a family with a father who worked and a mother who was home every day. Statistically, I had the best possible shot at inheriting the Gospel traditions because the family is God’s intended unit for us.
Thus it was a joy to read these three books by Robert L. Millet. They specifically cover the duties of a righteous priesthood holder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Each title is around 150 pages, so the length doesn’t make them prohibitive to process. Filled with doctrinal dives and personal anecdotes from Millet himself, I constantly found inspiration in listening to these books while I drove, pondering on what to teach my sons–and more importantly, how.
Those of us Church members who inherit Gospel traditions are not excused from our duty to study the Gospel in detail. We can’t just survive on inertia, doing what we’ve always done, especially if we don’t know why. Millet provides examples of everything from personal conduct to our attitude toward the priesthood, the hierarchy of men who hold priesthood keys, and the blessings that come from keeping sacred covenants with God.
I would recommend these three books to any Church member, especially priesthood holders. Even if you’ve been a faithful member your whole life, even if you study every day, read Millet. They make handy, efficient references for what the Lord expects of us, and how we can set an example to others around us.
- “Spiritually Strong Homes and Families” -Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, April 1993
- “Priesthood Power” -President Thomas S. Monson, April 2011
- “Covenants” -Elder Russell M. Nelson, October 2011