Jesus taught things people were not used to hearing, in fact they were “astonished” at his teachings. This seems especially evident in the sermon on the mount. His teachings didn’t sound like anything they were familiar with, but he taught with authority they accepted. Likewise, our prophets and apostles teach us today.

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” is filled with simple, timeless truths — a modern day sermon for us — that doesn’t sound like the secular or popular teachings we are used to hearing. In fact, much of it may leave us feeling astonished. But if we hope to prioritize God over the things of the world, it’s important we understand them; and gain a testimony of the authority by which they’re taught.

The very first sentence in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” begins, “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim …” Stating clearly and boldly, the authority and roles by which they summarize and teach important elements of the Plan of Happiness in this proclamation, is a first important piece to understanding and accepting it. Every sentence of the proclamation can be more sincerely loved when that first important principle is one we have a testimony of. Prioritizing and working on a testimony of that authority helps with all that follows.

Like those learning from Christ in that sermon so long ago, we can know for ourselves that authority rests today with His prophets and apostles. They love and teach us with His authority.

“For he taught them as one having authority.” (Matt 7:29)

Art: j.kirk richards

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