Articles of Faith


l-tom-perry-largeThe Doctrines and Principles Contained in the Articles of Faith

When I was given the assignment to speak in the priesthood session of general conference, I immediately thought of a wonderful Primary teacher. Her great desire was to prepare us to be worthy of receiving the priesthood. She grilled us on the requirements then in place for graduation from Primary—memorize the names of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the Articles of Faith. She also made us a promise—if all of us could recite the thirteen Articles of Faith by memory, we could choose the place and go on an outing for our last class. We decided on a special spot we liked to hike to on the rocky slopes just above the first dam at the entrance of Logan Canyon, in northern Utah. There was a small, flat space in these rocky cliffs that had a natural fireplace where you could cook hot dogs and roast marshmallows. When we chose the location, however, we did not consider our teacher, who was older and certainly not the athletic type. If we had thought about it more carefully, it might have occurred to us that she would have a difficult time making the hike. Her promise was her bond, however, and she gamely followed us. First we climbed up the small hill. In our day there were no power lines to prevent access. With some help our teacher made it up the hill. Once over the top we dropped down into a rocky ridge to a place we called “Turtle Back.” After we arrived, it took our teacher a little while to catch her breath. By the time we prepared to sit down and eat, she had recovered enough to teach us our final lesson. She told us how she had enjoyed teaching us in Primary for the last two years. She complimented us on how we had mastered the Articles of Faith. She could call out the number of any one of them, and we could quote it back to her. Then she said memorizing the Articles of Faith would mean nothing more than a lot of words unless we understood the doctrines and principles contained in them. She encouraged us to study the gospel doctrine taught in each of the Articles of Faith. She explained that the doctrine found in the Articles of Faith was divided into sections.