Elder L. Tom Perry reminisced about memorizing the Articles of Faith as a requirement in a Primary class as a lead-in to his priesthood session address about the doctrines contained therein.
His teacher, he recalled, “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,” said Elder Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve.
“We learn from the first Article of Faith that the Godhead is three personages: God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.
“The second article teaches us that we are responsible for our own actions on earth.
“The third gives us a vision of the Savior’s mission for the salvation of Father in Heaven’ s children.
“The fourth teaches us the importance of the basic principles and ordinances.”
Elder Perry said his teacher’s words have been a source of inspiration because of the emphasis she placed on the value of gospel study.
He explained that a church in which true doctrine is no longer taught is as useless as a cell phone without a battery in guiding one back to Heavenly Father.
“After we start to understand the basic doctrine of Christ, the fifth and sixth Articles of Faith teach us the organization and order of the priesthood,” Elder Perry observed.
He recounted the events of the restoration of the priesthood, in which Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were visited by John the Baptist, who ordained them and taught them about baptism.
“What a marvelous day in the history of the world!” Elder Perry exclaimed. “The priesthood was restored to the earth.”
He said, “The next three Articles of Faith — seven, eight and nine — outline resources available to instruct us in our mortal journey. We are given spiritual gifts to guide us as we follow the Lord’s teachings and to protect us from evil." The scriptures, he added, are another guide: if members read them carefully and follow their teachings, they will remain on the pathway to eternal life.
The ninth article, he said, teaches of the ongoing nature of revelation through prophets, seers and revelators; the scriptures; the voice of the Spirit; and ordained Church leaders.
“The 10th, 11th and 12th Articles of Faith instruct us on how to conduct missionary work and share the gospel in a world of many nations and various laws,” Elder Perry observed.
“The 13th Article of Faith provides special insight into how we should conduct our lives and present ourselves,” he said.
“You young men — I encourage you to use your bright minds to study and learn the Articles of Faith and the doctrines they teach,” Elder Perry admonished. “If you will use them as a guide to direct your studies of the gospel of Jesus Christ, you will find yourself prepared to declare your witness of the restored truth to the world. You will be able to declare in simple, straightforward and profound ways the core of your beliefs you hold dear as a member of the Church.”