“Introduction,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant (2011), v–vii
“Introduction,” Teachings: Heber J. Grant, v–vii
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have established the Teachings of Presidents of the Church series to help Church members deepen their understanding of gospel doctrine and draw closer to Jesus Christ through the teachings of the prophets in this dispensation. This book features the teachings of President Heber J. Grant, who served as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from November 1918 to May 1945.
Latter-day Saints will be blessed as they apply President Grant’s teachings in their lives. He emphasized: “No amount of knowledge, of inspiration and testimony as to the divinity of the work of God will be of benefit to us unless we put that knowledge into actual practice in the daily walks of life. It is not the amount that any individual may know that will benefit him and his fellows; but it is the practical application of that knowledge.”1
Each chapter in this book includes four sections: (1) an opening statement that briefly introduces the focus of the chapter; (2) “From the Life of Heber J. Grant,” which illustrates the message of the chapter by relating one or more events from President Grant’s life; (3) “Teachings of Heber J. Grant,” which presents doctrines from President Grant’s sermons and writings and from messages the First Presidency gave while he was President of the Church; and (4) “Suggestions for Study and Discussion,” which contains questions to encourage personal review and inquiry, application of gospel principles, and discussion at home and at church. Reading the questions before studying President Grant’s words may give additional insight into his teachings.
The book is to be used in the following settings:
Personal and family study. Through prayerful and thoughtful study, individuals may receive a personal witness of the truths taught by President Grant. This volume will add to each member’s gospel library and will serve as an important resource for family instruction and study in the home.
Discussion in Sunday meetings. This book is the text for Sunday meetings in high priests groups, elders quorums, and the Relief Society, usually on the second and third Sundays of each month. These Sunday meetings should be discussions that concentrate on gospel doctrines and principles. Teachers are to focus on the content of the book and help members apply these teachings in their lives. They may draw from the questions at the end of each chapter to encourage class discussion. As appropriate, members should bear testimony and share personal examples that relate to the lessons. When teachers humbly seek the Spirit in preparing and directing the lessons, all who participate will be strengthened in their knowledge of the truth.
Leaders and teachers are to encourage members to read the chapters in preparation for Sunday meetings and to bring the book to church. They should honor such preparation by teaching from President Grant’s words. When members have read a chapter in advance, they will be prepared to teach and edify each other.
It is not necessary or recommended that members purchase additional commentaries or reference texts to supplement the material in the book. Members are encouraged to turn to the scriptures for further study of the doctrine.
Since this book is designed for personal study and gospel reference, many chapters contain more material than can be fully addressed in Sunday meetings. Therefore, individuals must study at home in order to more thoroughly benefit from President Grant’s teachings.
The teachings of President Grant in this book are direct quotations from a variety of sources. The quotations have retained the punctuation, spelling, and capitalization of the original sources unless editorial or typographic changes have been necessary to improve readability. For this reason, readers may notice minor inconsistencies in the text.