It is fun to see a child understand a new concept, but it is more rewarding to see them make connections to heaven and increase their spiritual education. Joseph Smith said, “There is no knowledge, no learning that can compensate the individual for the loss of his belief in heaven and in the saving principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. An education that leads a man from these central truths cannot compensate him for the great loss of spiritual things.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:321-322.)
Keeping this in mind I taught my children with a visual aid of a tree.
Parley P. Pratt in his book, Key to the Science of Theology, said, “All that is useful, great and good, all that is calculated to sustain, comfort, instruct, edify, purify, refine or exalt intelligences, originated by this science [of Theology] and this science alone, all other sciences being but branches growing out of this root.”
I drew a tree with a large trunk and eight branches. I taught them that all learning “grows out” of Theology, the study and belief in God. We then labeled the trunk Theology and each of the branches a different subject of learning. I then asked them what they thought the roots could represent. After much discussion we came to the conclusion that the roots represented correct principles of the gospel, the word and laws of God.
Over the next fifteen years this concept has grown tremendously in our home. We even commissioned an artist, my mom, to paint us a friendly tree with eight branches that hangs in our living room.
Over the next several months we are dedicating our live video podcasts to sharing with you what we have learned from this experience in hopes that it will assist you in your homes.