- Perhaps the world’s troubles could be solved if we could turn over the leadership of nations to the children for a few days. Through love they would find solutions to the misunderstandings, mistrust, and misconduct of adults in the world. If all men and women could love Jesus Christ as these lovely children do, many world problems could be solved. Sooner, perhaps, than we realize, the fate of nations will be in the hands of today’s children.
We are in partnership with God to raise our children in righteousness.
- Every human being is a spirit child of God and lived with Heavenly Father before coming to earth. He entrusts his spirit children to earthly parents who provide a mortal body for them through the miracle of physical birth and gives to parents the sacred opportunity and responsibility to love, protect, teach, and to bring them up in light and truth so they may one day, through the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, return to our Father’s presence. These precious souls come to us in purity and innocence. As parents, we assume an immense responsibility for their care and well-being. Parents share this sacred trust with brothers and sisters, grandparents, teachers, neighbors, and all who touch the lives and impress or influence the souls of these precious children.
The first years of life are crucial to who our children will become. We need to help our children learn and grow to be adults that meet the full potential that God expects of them.
- The critical nature of the first tender formative years cannot be overstated. These little ones are like seedlings in a plant nursery. All look much the same in the beginning, but each one will grow to become independent and unique. Parents are to nourish, tend, and teach their children so they will grow to their full stature and potential.
Teachers and leaders play a critical role in helping our children become who God wants them to be.
- True teachers and leaders see children as they may become. They see the valiant missionary who will one day share his testimony with the world and later become a righteous father who honors his priesthood. The inspired teacher sees pure and beautiful mothers and future presidents of the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary, even though today they may be girls who giggle and chatter on the back row in the classroom. Sometimes people say, “Well, boys will be boys!” Not so—boys will be men, and almost before we know it.
Elder Ballard shares some great advice to parents who are just starting out. He tell us to not let the things of a career, overshadow the most important responsibility you have as a parent.
- You young parents who are beginning your families must guard against seeking financial gain, worldly comforts, or achievement at the expense of your children. You must guard against being so anxious to get to work or to a meeting that you do not have time for your family, especially time to listen to anxious little voices.
- We cannot and we must not allow the school, community, television, or even Church organizations to establish our children’s values. The Lord has placed this duty with mothers and fathers. It is one from which we cannot escape and one that cannot be delegated. Others may help, but parents remain accountable. Therefore, we must guard the sanctity of our homes because that is where children develop their values, attitudes, and habits for everyday living.
Take time when your children are young to be part of their formative development. Our best chance to reach them is in these early years where they are so impressionable and eager to learn to be all God wants them to be.
- We plead with you to take time for your children and your grandchildren while they are young. Special moments may come only once. Before we are aware, they have grown older, and our best opportunity for teaching them how to live happy and fulfilling lives is past.
My daughter is getting ready to leave the house again to move away and live with some girlfriends. So much nervousness and anxiety is inside of me as I question if I have taught her enough, if I have given her the foundation to stay strong to the values and teachings that I hold so dear. I have many wonderful memories of raising her and showing her love. I find that my prayers are a little more sincere when I talk to Heavenly Father about her and what I hope for her. I know that with our children, we have a brief time to make those memories and to teach them the gospel truths. I hope that I have done enough to give her the guidance she needs in her life. And I realize I have more opportunities with my younger children and can't let those moments pass by.