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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1964

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1964.” You can view other years here.

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1964:  Feb.:  Women assisting in Home Teaching.

“The Home Teaching manual has referred to the assignment of women as companions to Home Teachers in certain instances.  In some cases this has been misunderstood by bishops. 

Women are not to be assigned regularly as companions.  Only in special cases where it is clear that their services are needed, or where they are required to accompany their husbands, should they be so assigned.  In these cases they should be companions to their husbands only.

The following letter has been sent out to all stake presidencies:

Dear Brethren:

We feel that the following item is of such importance as to justify our calling it to your attention.  In the Priesthood Home Teaching Leader’s Handbook on page A-3 appears the following:

To provide flexibility in meeting the needs of the families, the bishop may call as a junior Home Teaching companion another Melchizedek Priesthood member, an Aaronic Priesthood member, or the wife of the senior companion.

It is the decision of the brethren that ‘the wife of the senior companion’ not be written into our Home Teaching instructions.  The calling of women as junior companions must be at the instance of the Bishop and is to be the exception.  It is not to be a general practice.

Faithfully and sincerely,

Marion G. Romney, Chairman

John H. Vandenberg, Vice Chairman

Alvin R. Dyer, Managing Director.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 67:119, Feb., 1964)

Mar.:  Baptismal policies.

“Baptismal Policies:  A child should be baptized on his eighth birthday or as soon thereafter as possible.  Baptismal fonts should be made available the year round for this purpose.  Any body of water large enough to immerse the candidate may be used, except that persons should not be baptized in bathtubs or any other such receptacles.  Baptisms on Sunday should be avoided.  Photographs or motion pictures are not to be made of the service.

The person officiating must stand in the water with the candidate being baptized.  He as well as the individual being baptized should be appropriately dressed.  They may wear white clothing.  Special care should be taken to see that the rules of modesty are not violated.  Waders, hip boots, and bathing caps should not be worn by any of those concerned.

Bishops should give special attention to all seven-year-old children in the ward and see that they are prepared for and taught about baptism by their parents and also by other church officers.

Names of unbaptized children of members should be carried on the ward membership record until December 31st of the year in which the 21st birthday occurs.  Their names should be referred to the stake missionaries so they may work with them.  After every reasonable effort has failed to effect the baptism the membership record card should be sent to the Presiding Bishopric’s Office with the notation, ‘Cancelled, 21 years of age, not baptized,’ written across the face.

A convert is defined as:

a. Any person 12 years of age or over who is baptized and confirmed whose parents (one or both) are members.

b. Any person 8 years of age or over who is baptized and confirmed whose parents are not members of the Church.

Mentally Deficient Persons:  Persons who are not accoutable and cannot repent need not be baptized, no matter what their age.  They should be included as a member of record and notation made in the place for baptism ‘Not Accountable.’  If they become accountable, they can then be baptized.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 67:213, Mar., 1964)

3 Oct.:  70s and missionary work.

“Long ago, 129 years to be exact, Joseph the Prophet invited Brigham and Joseph Young to his house at Kirtland to sing for him.  The Young brothers had excellent blending voices and were fond of singing together.  The songs they sang were the sentimental songs of the New York frontier, coupled with some hymns popular with the Methodists but true enough in sentiment to be adopted by the Church.  An old diary of Brigham Young contains two or three of these songs, laboriously copied out in his old-fashioned handwriting.

The Prophet was touched by what they sang and engaged them in a long conversation.  He recounted a vision in which he saw the heavenly reward of those who had died during the Zion’s Camp march.  He wept as he mentioned the beauty and glory of their kingdoms.  He told Brigham that he was to be one of the twelve special witnesses, soon to be called, and he appointed him to spread the word that Saturday next a conference would be held at which the Twelve would be chosen.  Then he turned to Joseph and said some strange words, ‘Brother Joseph, the Lord has made you president of the seventies.’

From that day unto now men have been ordained to the ‘seventies.’

Many have conceived it as a personal call to teach all who would give heed to their declaration of testimony.  Others have passively accepted the ordination, responding as called to local office and local service.  Some have felt that with the office of seventy comes some special endowment which sets them apart from others in a special way.

The quorums of the seventy in this day number approximately 400.  Their total is in the neighborhood of 22,000 men.  Each of these men is a member of a ward, presided over by a bishop, and is subject to the call of his stake president to do missionary work.  As is the case in all church responsibilities the seventies are subject to call by authority before they take part in the organized missionary work of the Church.

Today the missionary system has been carefully organized as to the content of the message and the method of its presentation.  The method of presenting the gospel to people in 1840 would be of small avail in this day of sophisticated men and women.  Todays method of work fits today.

The seventies, therefore, must be prepared for today.  Is a seventy to be called as a teaching missionary?  Then he must learn the prepared lessons and the techniques of their delivery.  At the same time he must learn to be flexible in the use of the lessons so that he can meet each situation as it arises.  This will require both technical training and the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord.  Every seventy in the Church who has the ability to teach should prepare himself by practice and training to be ready to teach the gospel should he be called and should make himself available for call.  This means that opportunities must be given to him to prepare himself.  The quorum presidents are responsible for this opportunity.  The quorums should operate schools of preparation.  The presidents of quorums should be alert to the progress of their brethren in the preparatory effort, notifying the stake president when a man is trained and ready.  Calls to be ateaching missionaries on a mass basis would be bound for failure.  Calls to trained seventies would result in success.

In this new program quorum members not called to be missionaries are to become finders of prospects.  I think we call the prospects investigators at times.  In this important activity, the seventies go forth to discover people who will be interested and who will listen to the message of the missionaries.  This also requires training.  Here the prospect is to be persuaded to receive the instruction in gospel principles.  The training therefore must be in the art of persuasion.  Quorum presidents shoiuld prepare these members by training courses in this art.

The enlargement of the effort will depend on these men now called ‘finders.’  These discover interested people and arrange with them to hear the lessons taught by the missionaries.  You can see that their importance can hardly be overestimated.  They assist members to succeed in the program of ‘every member, every family, a missionary.’  They go into new territory, seeking the honest in heart.  Theirs is the more difficult of the two missionary efforts of finding and teaching.

In all of this work, the stake president’s is the guiding hand.  He arranges to release the men from ward responsibilities so they can serve the quorum presidents as finders, and he calls personally those to act as missionaries.  His reservoir of men for both of these responsibilities should be the seventies quorum.  And so it will be if there is an alert presidency preparing its members and making them available.

The gospel is to be preached.  Under the direction of the Twelve the seventy are to assist in the preaching.  So say the revelations.  But an effort must be made by the men involved to prepare for the call.  At the present moment the Presidency and the Twelve have placed the responsibility for missionary work in the stakes on the stake presidents and have asked them to call worthy seventies.  Then let us become trained and able, and the stake presidents will call upon us.  they will use the best available men for the job.  The seventy should fit that description.

As I read the revelations and see the provisions made by the Lord for the work of this dispensation, my feeling for the great overreaching power of the gospel grows stronger and stronger.  In the authority of the restoration is the power to implement its success.

Joseph Smith laid the groundwork, and each succeeding president has added to the structure as the need has arisen.  President McKay leads this work now and, as the living prophet, has established this present system.  It is under his direction and approbation.  That he is a prophet I bear witness.  I also testify that the gospel was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, whose mission was revealed to him in his youth, who spent his maturing years in preparing for the work, and who gave his complete adult life to its restoration, finally sealing his testimony with his blood.  The least we can do is to give our complete devotion to it.

If any man, if any body of men, should stand true, it is the seventies.  Specially chosen, called to be special witnesses, let us bear our witness with the knowledge of the truth to spur us on and with the further knowledge that the Lord has called us to it.  But let us do it in order and by appointment as the Lord’s servants designate.

On behalf of the seventies, we pledge this day to you, President McKay, that we shall give redoubled effort to help implement this call to have the seventies prepared and called to do missionary work, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.”  (S. Dilworth Young, 3 Oct., 1964; CR Oct., 1964, pp. 69-70)

3/4 Oct.:  Update on Correlation.

“That’s the end of the quotation.  [quoted 1st Presidency letter initiating Correlation, from CR Apr., 1963, pp. 82-83.]  

In those instructions there were four important factors named in developing effective correlation.  First, we must see that the whole effort of correlation is to strengthen the home and to give aid to the home in its problems, giving it special aid and succor as needed.

Second, the strength of the priesthood must be fully employed within the total responsibility of priesthood quorums as clearly set forth in the revelations.

Third, we must survey the purposes lying behind the creation and purpose of each auxiliary organization.

And fourth, the prime and ultimate objective of all that is done is the building up of a knowledge of the gospel, a power to promulgate the same, a promotion of the faith, growth, and stronger testimony of the principles of the gospel among the members of the Church.

Now, to give you just a quick statement as to the progress that has been made until now.  We have endeavored to proceed as a Correlation Committee in an orderly and logical manner: first, by placing the priesthood quorums as the Lord has directed us in his revelations; second, by giving strength to the home in ways that I will presently outline as they have been approved by the First Presidency and the Twelve; and third, by a total correlation of the curricula and activities of all the organizations, priesthood, auxiliaries, institutes, and seminaries.  This last phase is now in its final stages of development looking toward full implementation.

One of the musts in this fully co-ordinated church program is to get our leaders–the General Authorities, general boards, stake, mission, ward, and branch authorities–to ‘think’ correlation through these three heaven-ordained institutions instead of diverting to a fringe committee of some sort for a certain activity or instruction which might well have been encompassed within the boundaries of the completely correlated priesthood, home, and auxiliary responsibilities.

We have witnessed a tendency to use in some cases the correlation program of home teaching, for example, as the ‘whipping boy’ for any deficiencies in the performance of the various organizations as compared to its previous figures, and some would have us believe that it is the home teaching program that has caused that downgrading of comparative statistical figures.

Every auxiliary and priesthood leader in the Church is given a voice in the functioning of each organization with the home teachers to see that every church member is given attention as needed.

The real fault in many cases is with the leader who in the monthly ward council meeting should have aided in perfecting the most effective correlation of his particular organization with home teaching.  We would like those things kept in mind by all of you leaders as you move these programs forward.

In all this we recognize that we must teach and reteach with patience and long-suffering until the basic fundamentals of correlation are fully understood and applied in every ward, priesthood quorum, and auxiliary organization, to the end that, hopefully, every General Authority, and stake, and mission authority will catch the vision of the possibilities of a concentrated effort of church organization in a mighty answer to the problems afflicting the world in which we live.

Now, we should make a restatement and recitation of those fundamentals which are essential always to our learning in the Lord’s work.  In defining the fields in which the priesthood quorums must take precedence: First, by a careful reading of the revelations we have found this:

The duty of the elders, priests, teachers, deacons, and members of the church of Christ–An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize; . . .

And to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church; . . .

The priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament,

And to visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties. . . .

The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them; . . .

And is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the church, by the deacons, if occasion requires.  (D&C 20:38, 42, 46-47, 53, 57.)

After the Lord had given these plain instructions, one of the great revelations on priesthood closed with this great admonition with which you should be familiar.

Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.

He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand.  (D&C 107:99-100.)

Home teaching then means ‘watching over the Church’ as the scriptures have defined it.  Missionary work is but home teaching to those who are not now members of the Church, and home teaching is nothing more or less than missionary work to church members.

The major responsibility in missionary work has been given to the seventies quorums, aided by the Aaronic Priesthood.  Quorums of seventy, we have heard during our entire lifetime, are one day to be called out as quorums to preach the gospel, and some of us thought that meant to some far-away country.  The day is here when seventies are being called as quorums, where every member of the seventies quorum can engage in some phase of missionary work.  We remember again what the Lord said, that the Council of the Twelve should call upon the seventies when in need of assistance to fill the various calls for preaching and administering the gospel instead of any others.  This is not to be construed to lessen the feeling of every member of the Church to be a missionary.  The missionary plan calls for the Saints to co-operate fully as requested and led by their leaders.  In stakes which presently have few seventies, other priesthood holders must be assigned to these prime missionary duties. 

First, before I pass this subject, I should call attention to the fact that our Aaronic Priesthood was given a very vital place in the revelations where the Lord told us:

Therefore, take with you those who are ordained unto the lesser priesthood, and send them before you to make appointments, and to prepare the way, and to fill apointments that you yourselves are not able to fill.  Behold, this is the way that mine apostles, in ancient days, built up my church unto me.  (D&C 84:107-108.)

And that becomes now the Aaronic Priesthood youth missionary committee–a priest, a teacher, and a deacon, with the bishopric heading up the Aaronic Priesthood, aided by the girls of comparable ages.  They now are to enlist and to, shall I say, proselyte their friends and bring them into church activity programs.

In the genealogical work, we recall the words of the Prophet Joseph:  ‘The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead.’  (TPJS, p. 356.)  And then in a great revelation the Lord said:

Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood.  For him to whom these keys are given there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living.  (D&C 128:11.)

To provide an effective relationship with the priesthood, the high priests group leader in each ward has been designated as an adviser to the genealogical work.  While all quorums have responsibility in genealogical work, the leadership and co-ordination in the ward rest with the bishop and the high priests group leader.  Melchizedek Priesthood quorums are right now engaged in studying their place in the genealogical program in their Melchizedek Priesthood quorum classes.

A scripture quoting King Benjamin has long been quoted describing our welfare program.  Now we apply it to the priesthood quorums:

I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.  (Mosiah 4:26.)

Here again, while all quorums are to participate, the great strength of the elders quorums of the Church are specifically charged with advisory co-ordination of church welfare under the direction of the bishop.

Moving now to a correlated curriculum and the activities of the priesthood quorums, the fundamentals of this program, as I have told you, have already been predetermined; what will be taught, subjects taught from three-year-olds up to the oldest adult, and the general plan have already been approved.  Our committees are now working on a fully co-ordinated program to present to the First Presidency.  We are hopeful that this will be accomplished within the next year or so.

In all of these studies we have never had absent from our minds the responsibilities the Lord has placed upon the parents in the home in the teaching of our children.  You recall what the Lord said:

And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not 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 the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.

For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized.

And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.

And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.

And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

And the inhabitants of Zion also shall remember their labors, inasmuch as they are appointed to labor, in all faithfulness; for the idler shall be had in remembrance before the Lord.  (D&C 68:25-30.)

The instructions to which I have made reference and about which President McKay spoke were given about fifty years ago.  I read from a letter sent out to the Church in 1915 over the signature of President Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, and Charles W. Penrose.  But I suppose it is something like Mark Twain said about the weather:  ‘We talk a lot about the weather, but we don’t seem to do anything about it.’  Now we have talked a lot about family home evenings, and this is the announcement which was made.  After I have given you this I will make a few comments and then outline the program by which we are now to give strength to the teaching of the family by the parents in the home.  This is a quote from the letter.

We advise and urge the inauguration of a ‘Home Evening’ throughout the Church, at which time father and mother may gather their boys and girls about them in the home, and teach them the word of the Lord. . . . This ‘Home Evening’ should be devoted to prayer, singing hymns, songs, instrumental music, scripture reading, family topics, and specific instructions on the principles of the gospel, and on the ethical problems of life, as well as the duties and obligations of children to parents, the home, the Church, society, and the nation.

Then to those who would put this family home hour or evening into practice the Presidency made this promise:

If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result.  Love at home an obedience to parents will increase.  Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them.

Our Sunday School organization has been helping to emphasize this important responsibility by articles in The Instructor and by a program which they have entitled, ‘Gospel Living in the Home.’

Our Primary organization has had what they have called a Primary Home Partnership, by which the lessons taught in Primary are carried into the home, hopefully to become a part of the family home evening.

President Joseph F. Smith, in commenting about the responsibility of parents in teaching their children, said this:

Do not let your children out to specialists in these things, but teach them by your own precept and example, by your own fireside.  Be a specialist yourself in the truth.  Let our meetings, schools and organizations, instead of being our only or leading teachers, be supplements to our teachings and training in the home.  Not one child in a hundred would go astray, if the home environment, example and training, were in harmony with the truth in the gospel of Christ, as revealed and taught to the Latter-day Saints.  (Gospel Doctrine, p. 302.)

About this same matter President Wilford Woodruff said:

It is one of the greatest blessings that God ever bestowed upon children that they have had parents who were in possession of true principles in relation to their Heavenly Father, salvation, eternal life, and were qualified and capable of teaching and traditionating their children in the same that they may be qualified to fulfil the object of their creation. . . . Ninety-nine out of every hundred children who are taught by their parents the principles of honesty and integrity, truth and virtue, will observe them through life.  (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 266-268.)

And then from President Heber J. Grant:

I have heard men and women say that they were going to let their sons and daughters grow to maturity before they sought to teach them the principles of the gospel, that they were not going to cram the gospel down them in their childhood, before they were able to comprehend it.  When I hear men and women say this, I think they are lacking faith in the principles of the gospel and do not comprehend it as they should.  The Lord has said it is our duty to teach our children in their youth, and I prefer to take His word for it rather than the words of those who are not obeying His commandments.  It is folly to imagine that our children will grow up with a knowledge of the gospel without teaching. . . . I may know that the gospel is true, and so may my wife; but I want to tell you that our children will not know that the gospel is true, unless they study it and gain a testimony for themselves.  Parents are deceiving themselves in imagining that their children will be born with a knowledge of the gospel.  (Gospel Standards, p. 155.)

This next year will see some definite steps taken to strengthen the hands of the parents in carrying out these great God-given admonitions in placing stress upon the teaching of the gospel in the home.  The first step will be to give every parent a set of lessons, one for each week throughout the coming year, for them to teach the gospel to their family in the home.  As we have talked about the frequency of this, we are not sure whether one for every week, or three for a month, or two for a month, or one a month may be the desirable, but we call your attention to this.  I have studied the proposed lessons which we are going to have studied by the priesthood quorums on the subject of what the father’s responsibility is in teaching the gospel in the home.  The Relief Society will teach a similar lesson once a month in the Relief Society for the mothers.  As I read these proposed lessons, the more of these weekly home lessons we can have taught in the home, the better we will be able to correlate with the priesthood instruction and the Relief Society lessons.

There will be, we suppose, some optional activity.  We are asking auxiliary heads to publish month by month next year suggestions for suitable activities for each age group represented–the Primary for little children, the Era for teenage children, the Sunday School for both old and young, and the Relief Society for mothers primarily.  The time has now come when the General Authorities have decided to correlate and co-ordinate all of these efforts under the direction of the priesthood, and we announce, then, a new program to assist parents in the teaching of the gospel in the home.  This program, ‘Teaching and Living the Gospel in the Home,’ is to be inaugurated throughout the Church in January 1965.  As an example, the first four lessons for Primary children are as follows:

‘I Am a Child of My Heavenly Father.’

‘I Am a Child of My Heavenly Father with Special Gifts from Him.’

‘I Am a Child of My Heavenly Father–His Heir.’

‘As a Child of My Heavenly Father I Have the Right to Pray to Him.’

The Melchizedek Priesthood lessons, as I have said, will be given throughout the entire year of 1965 designed to help the fathers and every priesthood holder become better fathers and husbands.  The general theme of these lessons is ‘Magnifying the Priesthood in the Home.’  As an example, the first ten lessons are as follows:

‘Why the Church Has Initiated a Family Home Evening Program.’

‘Studying the Scriptures.’

‘Carrying Out the Challenge Relating to the Program Given in Priesthood Meeting.’

‘Activities Outlined in Home Program.’

‘The Eternal Family is One of the Most Important Ways to Obtain Lasting Joy.’

‘The Family and the Patriarchal Order.’

‘Providing Opportunities and a Proper Environment for the Spirit Children of Our Heavenly Father to Come to this Earth.’

‘Teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Children.’

‘A Basic Unit of Society.’

‘Making Satisfactory Adjustments in Marriage.’

I came across one of the lessons for the Relief Society to teach mothers what their role is in teaching the gospel in the home, and I found this rather interesting observation, ‘How often in past years have we heard a Latter-day Saint mother say, “I wish my husband could have heard the discussion today.  Had he done so, I am sure he would feel differently about a particular problem we have in our home.”‘  It is a realistic observation that with widely divergent points of view the efforts of one parent often may nullify the efforts of the other parent, sometimes with great detriment to the persons involved and to the problems which need to be resolved.  The first Relief Society lesson is entitled ‘Introduction for Teaching the Gospel in the Home’; the second one, ‘The Eternal Family.’

Simultaneously fathers and mothers will be taught, and the home teachers in their visits to the homes of members in December 1964 will explain the new program and will present the parents with the Home Evening Manual.  Additional instructions and suggestions will be given to the home teachers during 1965 so that they can be of assistance to the parents in strengthening home relationships.

In order to introduce this program, it is proposed that at one of the first priesthood meetings after this general conference there be a program carried out to introduce to the priesthood in each stake in the Church the family home evening program.  We have now material which will be sent to you to give you suggestions on that program.

In introducing the program in each ward we have prepared a filmstrip on the family home evening program which may be available to every stake and through the stake to every ward.  The major objectives of the filmstrip are to explain the family home evening program, to interest and motivate parents in implementing the program, and to demonstrate to parents methods by which they can carry out the program in their own families.

These lessons can be adapted, and suggestions will be made in order to fit every age child in the home.

With that much having been said, we would like to call your attention to what the Lord has said:

How long can running waters remain impure?  What power shall stay the heavens?  As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.  (D&C 121:33.)

We have discovered an interesting fact at our Mormon Pavilion at the World’s Fair in New York: that the great strength of our pavilion as a missionary project is not in the paintings, not in the sculpture work, not in the film, but in the presentation of the missionaries who have the priesthood of God and in the wonderful spirit which our missionaries have.

As you go out tomorrow look to the east, just underneath the west towers of the great Salt Lake Temple, and see a depiction of the dipper pointing toward the North Star, which Truman O. Angell said in an article in the Millennial Star was to symbolize to the Church ‘that through the priesthood of God, the lost might find their way.’  May every priesthood holder remember that responsibility.

I was at Boston Stake conference a few weeks ago.  We installed a young pilot who had served in the Air Force, a fighter pilot, as a counselor in the stake presidency.  I was very much impressed by his feeling of responsibility.  He said something which I want to impress upon you leaders throughout the entire Church.  He said, ‘I am very fearful of this responsibility now as a member of the stake presidency, because I have come to know that the most dangerous of all traffic aids is a fallen lighthouse, since so many people depend upon it for guidance and for safety.’

To have a leader that fails, a ‘fallen lighthouse’ upon whom God depends in a ward or stake or in a general capacity, is the most dangerous thing in the world, because so many are depending on the functioning of that particular man.  And so we propose to give out to the Church now these plans which we ask you as stake leaders to be prepared to announce in your stakes as soon as you can after this conference.  We will give you materials to help train your ward people and home teachers in order that we may get off at the beginning of the year in this great project of the Lord, that for fifty years has been urged and now is to be strengthened by a set of planned lessons for the parents in the home, actually outlined for the parents to teach their children and to carry out appropriate activities to aid in the strengthening of the home.  As I have thought of home night, I have thought of my own family, and I suppose all of you have as you have been listening.  When our oldest daughter was to be married to a fine Latter-day Saint boy the two mothers were in the corner of the room talking to each other, and the mother of our oldest daughter said, ‘You know, from the time my little girl was born, I have been praying all of my life that somewhere a mother would be preparing a son worthy to marry my daughter.’  And this other mother smiled and said, ‘Isn’t that strange?  This is my only son who is being married to your daughter, and ever since he was born, I, too, have been praying that somewhere there would be a mother preparing a daughter worthy to meet and to marry my son.’

It is that kind of home attention–mothers preparing daughters, fathers and mothers, sons–that will make us and our homes stronger today.

One of the hopes we have in this program is that the four standard works will be in the possession of every boy and girl deacons age and older and that on Easter, on birthdays, on Christmas, on New Year’s, you make this a part of your family giving to your children, so they may have the joy of personally owning the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, and from these precious pages begin to be instructed in the ways of the Lord.

As I thought of what we are doing now and its possible impact, the words of the Prophet Micah came, 

But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  (Mic. 4:1-2.)

I say to you, Latter-day Saint mothers and fathers, if you will rise to the responsibility of teaching your children in the home–priesthood quorums preparing the fathers, the Relief Society the mothers–the day will soon be dawning when the whole world will come to our doors and will say, ‘Show us your way that we may walk in your path.’

May the Lord bless us all.  We thank the Lord tonight for a prophet leader who has the vision and courage to continue to guide us and to point the way to the strengthening of the Church through the Priesthood of Almighty God which I bear testimony to in his power and in his authority for the salvation of all mankind within the limitations as indicated by each setting apart by the laying on of hands.  To that I bear humble testimony in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.”  (Harold B. Lee, 3 Oct., 1964; CR Oct., 1964, pp. 80-87)

“We should like to hear from Elder Harold B. Lee, with a testimony and blessing at the close of this conference.  He spoke to us last night but has not spoken at a general session, and without previous notice we will ask him to speak to us now, please.”  (Hugh B. Brown, 4 Oct., 1964; CR Oct., 1964, p. 137)

“I suppose it is unnecessary to say that this is unscheduled, unprogrammed, unrehearsed, and, as you will soon observe, unprepared.

My mind has been filled with the realization that in 1964 and the year just preceding, we have been receiving as pertinent and important divine direction as has ever been given to the Church in any similar period in its history through the prophet and leader who now presides as the President of this Church.  You may recognized it in some of the developments we know as the correlation program.  You have seen it being unraveled bit by bit, and you will see and hear more of it.

One of the first assignments that was given to President Elmer G. Peterson of the Utah State University who served in the church welfare program, he being a member of our agricultural committee with Dr. John A. Widtsoe as the chairman, was some agricultural assignment.  After he had made his report of this assignment, he made this significant statement: ‘Brethren, I have discovered again something that I have always known.  The members of this Church are like soldiers in the ranks, and all they need is for someone to give them marching orders.’

Now that is exactly what is being done.  You may not be aware of the fact that there are approximately five hundred specially called, specially trained specialists in four great priesthood fields and in the auxiliary organizations who go out by regular assignments to stake conferences and to regional meetings throughout the entire Church to give specific and definite directions as to the carrying out of the great program which is intended to concentrate the forces of the Lord to meet the challenging opposition of the onslaughts of evil that are so apparent among us.

A week ago yesterday I had a glorious hour with President McKay, as keen and alert and as assured as to this matter of renewing our determination to have a weekly family home night as I have ever seen President McKay.  And he said, ‘We have talked about this thing for fifty years.  Now it is time we were doing something about it.’

Now that something is to be done in four different ways.  In the first place there have been prepared a full year’s lessons for parents to guide them in the teaching of the gospel in the home.  These lesson manuals will be brought into the home by the home teachers, who will then as their part of the program give helpful suggestions and directions to homes which may need that direction.

Priesthood quorums for the next year will study, every weekly class period, the place of the father in the teaching of the gospel to his own children in the home.  And once a month the mothers will have a similar lesson.

As I have read and studied these lessons, I have become aware that the more nearly we have a weekly home gospel discussion lesson with appropriate activity, the more nearly we will be able to co-ordinate with the Relief Society and Melchizedek Priesthood lessons.  There will be optional lessons suggested for optional home nights on other things that some may care to have to augment the gospel lesson instruction.

. . . .

I say to you Latter-day Saint mothers and fathers that if you will rise to the responsibility of teaching your children in the home–priesthood quorums preparing the fathers, the Relief Society the mothers–the day will soon be dawning when the whole world will come to our doors and will say, ‘Show us your way that we may walk in your path.'”  (Harold B. Lee, 4 Oct., 1964; CR Oct., 1964, pp. 137-138)