Friday, June 16, 2017

Guide me and walk beside me

President Gordon B. Hinckley “My plea--and I wish I were more eloquent in voicing it--is a plea to save the children. Too many of them walk with pain and fear, in loneliness and despair. Children need sunlight. They need happiness. They need love and nurture. They need kindness and refreshment and affection. Every home, regardless of the cost of the house, can provide an environment of love which will be an environment of salvation.” The Proclamation of the Family says ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens. … Husbands and wives--mothers and fathers--will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these. obligations.”Parents have the responsibility to recognize the divine in their children and to teach them to live righteously and choose good (see D&C 68:25).
Each spirit child of God is unique. Each spirit enters a mortal body, also unique in its genetic composition. Consequently, each child exhibits individual interests, talents, personality, desires, and abilities. Parents, siblings, and others also influence each developing child. Step 1. Parents must be wise in how they respond to their children. Brigham Young encouraged parents to “study their [children’s] dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly.”                              Principles for Successful Parenting

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve gave nine principles to guide fathers and mothers in their parenting responsibilities: “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” Parents can teach and apply these principles in many ways.
    Faith. Parents should teach children to have faith in Jesus Christ and use their growing faith in gospel principles to govern their personal lives (see Matthew 17:20; Hebrews 11:6; 3 Nephi 18:20; D&C 68:25).

    Prayer. Children should learn to pray individually and as a family. Children can learn early about the power of prayer (see Enos 1:1–5; Mosiah 27:8–14; Alma 34:17–27; 37:37; 3 Nephi 18:21).

    Repentance. Parents should acknowledge, confess, and forsake sins so that they can enjoy the guiding influence of the Holy Ghost. They can help their children understand and apply these principles in their lives (see Alma 34:33; 3 Nephi 9:22; Moroni 10:32–33; D&C 6:9; 58:42–43).

    Forgiveness. Parents can be an example of forgiveness by forgiving themselves, their spouses, and their children for shortcomings (see Matthew 6:14–15; Ephesians 4:32; Mosiah 26:29–31; D&C 64:8–10).

    Respect. Family members are to learn to respect one another. Parents and children can learn to treat each other with courtesy and tenderness, holding each other in highest esteem (see Mark 9:42; D&C 121:41–46). Parents should try to eliminate critical thoughts and words about each other and about their children.

    Love. Parents are to love their children in the manner described by Paul, Alma, and Mormon--with patience, kindness, gentleness, unselfishness, and humility (see 1 Corinthians 13; Alma 7:23–24; Moroni 7:45–48).

    Compassion. Parents can show compassion for each other and for their children. They should feel sorrow for the adversities experienced by family members and seek to understand and support family members during their difficult times (see Ruth 1:11–17; Zechariah 7:8–10; Luke 15:11–32).

    Work. Family work gives children opportunities to learn to appreciate work and to feel the satisfaction of accomplishment (see D&C 42:42; 58:27–28), especially as parents and children work together. Work should be tailored to the age and abilities of children to foster feelings of success and confidence.

    Wholesome Recreation. Families are strengthened and revitalized when family members join in wholesome, enjoyable activities.

The greatest of these principles is love (see Matthew 22:36–40; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Moroni 7:46). The most important thing parents can do for their children is to love them in a Christlike manner. When children feel and know they are loved, they are more likely to listen to their parents’ teachings, follow their example, and accept their discipline. Love should motivate and guide all parental

The Gospel Standard for Parental Influence.

Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord gave counsel that sets the standard for parental influence:
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
“By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile--
“Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
“That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death” (D&C 121:41–44).

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