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HAVING & RAISING CHILDREN

1. Most of you will marry and have children. They will become the source of
your greatest pride and happiness. I hope so. Rear them in love. You dont
have to kick them around. You dont have to get angry with them. You just
have to love them. If they make mistakes, forgive them and help them to
avoid a repetition. But let them see in you their truest and best friend, their
constant support.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, Lifes Obligations, Ensign, February 1999, pp.
17-18.

2. The vital importance of teaching truth in the home is fundamental. The


Church is important, but it is in the home where parents provide the required
understanding and direction for children. It is truly said that the most
important callings in time and eternity are those of father and mother. In time
we will be released from all other assignments we receive but not from that
of father and mother.
Elder Richard G. Scott, He Lives! All Glory to His Name! Ensign, May 2010

3. When we follow the prophets counsel to hold family home evening, family
prayer, and family scripture study, our homes become an incubator for our
childrens spiritual growth. There we teach them the gospel, bear our
testimonies, express our love, and listen as they share their feelings and
experiences. By our righteous choices and actions, we liberate them from
darkness by increasing their ability to walk in the light.
Robert D. Hales, Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life, October 2010 General
Conference, Saturday Afternoon Session.

4. As apostles and prophets, we are concerned not only for our children and
grandchildren but for yours as welland for each of Gods children. All that
the future holds in store for each sacred child of God will be shaped by his or
her parents, family, friends, and teachers. Thus, our faith now becomes part
of our posteritys faith later.
Russell M. Nelson, Face the Future with Faith, April 2011 General
Conference, Saturday Afternoon Session.

5. We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or dont say, how


we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a childs view of
himself or herself. But it is even more important in shaping that childs faith in
us and their faith in God. Be constructive in your comments to a child
always. Never tell them, even in whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or
homely. You would never do that maliciously, but they remember and may
struggle for years trying to forgetand to forgive. And try not to compare
your children, even if you think you are skillful at it. You may say most
positively that Susan is pretty and Sandra is bright, but all Susan will
remember is that she isnt bright and Sandra that she isnt pretty. Praise each
child individually for what that child is, and help him or her escape our
cultures obsession with comparing, competing, and never feeling we are
enough.
Jeffrey R. Holland, The Tongue of Angels, April 2007 General Conference,
Saturday morning session.

6. Spouses who hope that divorce will resolve conflicts often find that it
aggravates them, since the complexities that follow divorceespecially
where there are childrengenerate new conflicts. Think first of the children.
Because divorce separates the interests of children from the interests of their
parents, children are its first victims. Scholars of family life tell us that the
most important cause of the current decline in the well-being of children is
the current weakening of marriage, because family instability decreases
parental investment in children.
Dallin H. Oaks, Divorce, April 2007 General Conference, Sunday morning
session.

7. It seems that in every family, if not in every person, some physical


conditions exist that require special care. A pattern for coping with such a
challenge has been given by the Lord. He said, I give unto men weakness
that they may be humble; for if they humble themselves and have faith
in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Stellar spirits
are often housed in imperfect bodies. The gift of such a body can actually
strengthen a family as parents and siblings willingly build their lives around
that child born with special needs.
Russell M. Nelson, Decisions for Eternity, October 2013 General
Conference, Sunday afternoon session.

8. Start with your children. You parents bear the primary responsibility to
strengthen their faith. Let them feel your faith, even when sore trials come
upon you. Let your faith be focused on our loving Heavenly Father and His
Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Teach that faith with deep conviction.
Teach each precious boy or girl that he or she is a child of God, created in His
image, with a sacred purpose and potential. Each is born with challenges to
overcome and faith to be developed. . . Teach of faith in Gods plan of
salvation. Teach that our sojourn in mortality is a period of probation, a time
of trial and testing to see if we will do whatever the Lord commands us to do.
Teach of faith to keep all the commandments of God, knowing that they are
given to bless His children and bring them joy. Warn them that they will
encounter people who pick which commandments they will keep and ignore
others that they choose to break. I call this the cafeteria approach to
obedience. This practice of picking and choosing will not work. It will lead to
misery. To prepare to meet God, one keeps all of His commandments. It takes
faith to obey them, and keeping His commandments will strengthen that
faith. . . Teach of faith to know that obedience to the commandments of God
will provide physical and spiritual protection. And remember, Gods holy
angels are ever on call to help us.
Russell M. Nelson, Face the Future with Faith, April 2011 General
Conference, Saturday Afternoon Session.
9. Our Christian love and service naturally begin in the home. Parents, you are
called to be loving teachers and missionaries to your children and youth.
They are your investigators. You bear the responsibility to help them become
converted. In truth, all of us are seeking to be convertedwhich means being
filled with our Saviors love. As we follow Jesus Christ, His love motivates us
to support each other on our mortal journey. We cannot do it alone.
Elder Robert D. Hales, Come Follow Me by Practicing Christian Love and
Service, October 2016 General Conference, Saturday morning session.

10.Parents and grandparents, we tend to bemoan the state of the worldthat


schools are not teaching moral character. But there is much we can do. We
can take advantage of the teaching moments in our own familiesthat
means now. Dont let them slip by. When an opportunity comes to share your
thoughts about the gospel and the lessons of life, stop everything, sit down,
and talk with your children and grandchildren. We should not worry that we
are not professionally trained gospel teachers. No training class or manual is
as helpful as personally studying our scriptures, praying, pondering, and
seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will lead you along. I
promise you: the calling to be a parent includes the gift to teach in the ways
that are right for you and for your children. Remember, Gods power to
influence us righteously is His love. We love him, because he first loved us.
Elder Robert D. Hales, Come Follow Me by Practicing Christian Love and
Service, October 2016 General Conference, Saturday morning session.

11.Some of our most impactful Christian service is given by holding family


scripture study, family prayer, and family council meetings. For more than a
hundred years, Church leaders have called us to set aside uninterrupted time
each week. But many of us are still missing the blessings. Family home
evening is not a lecture from Mom and Dad. It is our family time to share
simple spiritual concepts and experiences, to help our children learn to care
and share, have fun together, bear testimony together, and grow and
progress together. As we hold family home evening every week, our love for
one another will grow stronger and we will suffer less. Let us remember, the
most important work we do in our families is through the power of the Holy
Ghost. Whenever we raise our voices in anger, the Spirit leaves our
companionships and families. When we speak in love, the Spirit can be with
us. Let us remember that our children and grandchildren measure our love by
how much devoted time we give them. Above all, dont lose patience and
dont give up!
Elder Robert D. Hales, Come Follow Me by Practicing Christian Love and
Service, October 2016 General Conference, Saturday morning session.

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