- Today in my analogy, I would like to emphasize not any particular earthly language but rather an eternal language that must be preserved in our families and never lost. I speak of the language of the gospel of Jesus Christ. By “language of the gospel,” I mean all the teachings of our prophets, our obedience to those teachings, and our following righteous traditions.
Elder Cordon gives us three things we can do to assure that the language of the gospel is preserved in our families.
First: Being More Diligent and Concerned at Home
- Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles cautioned that “weak gospel teaching and modeling in the home” is a powerful cause that may break the cycle of multigenerational families in the Church.
- We can therefore conclude that powerful teaching is extremely important to preserve the gospel in our families, and it requires diligence and effort.
- We have been invited many times to acquire the practice of daily family and personal scripture study. Many families that are doing this are blessed each day with greater unity and a closer relationship with the Lord.
- When will daily scripture study happen? It will happen when parents take the scriptures in hand and, with love, invite the family to gather together to study. It is difficult to see this study happening in any other way.
- Fathers and mothers, don’t miss out on these great blessings. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
Second: Strong Modeling in the Home
Elder Cordon shares a personal experience of how he gained a testimony of tithing from observing his father.
- After some events related to a civil war in Central America, my father’s business went bankrupt. He went from about 200 full-time employees to fewer than five sewing operators who worked as needed in the garage of our home. One day during those difficult times, I heard my parents discussing whether they should pay tithing or buy food for the children.
- On Sunday, I followed my father to see what he was going to do. After our Church meetings, I saw him take an envelope and put his tithing in it. That was only part of the lesson. The question that remained for me was what we were going to eat.
- Early Monday morning, some people knocked on our door. When I opened it, they asked for my father. I called for him, and when he arrived, the visitors told him about an urgent sewing order they needed as quickly as possible. They told him that the order was so urgent that they would pay for it in advance. That day I learned the principles of paying tithing and the blessings that follow.
He tells us that if we are to lead our children, they need to see the importance of the gospel in our lives by the way we live our lives.
- It is not enough just to talk to our children about the importance of temple marriage, fasting, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. They must see us making room in our schedules to attend the temple as frequently as we can. They need to see our commitment to fasting regularly and keeping the entire Sabbath day holy. If our youth cannot fast two meals, cannot study the scriptures regularly, and cannot turn off the TV during a big game on Sunday, will they have the spiritual self-discipline to resist the powerful temptations of today’s challenging world.
- As families, we need to avoid any tradition that will prevent us from keeping the Sabbath day holy or having daily scripture study and prayer at home. We need to close the digital doors of our home to pornography and all other evil influences. To combat the worldly traditions of our day, we need to use the scriptures and the voice of our modern prophets to teach our children about their divine identity, their purpose in life, and the divine mission of Jesus Christ.
Elder Cordon concludes with these words of wisdom.
- As children of God, we are imperfect people trying to learn a perfect language. Just as a mother is compassionate with her little children, our Heavenly Father is patient with our imperfections and mistakes. He treasures and understands our feeblest utterances, mumbled in sincerity, as if they were fine poetry. He rejoices at the sound of our first gospel words. He teaches us with perfect love.
We need to find good habits in our personal lives and in our families that help gain powerful testimonies in all family members. I have learned that example is the greatest teacher to my children. I will occasionally get a question from my kids about doing an activity on a Sunday and my answer is that we decided a long time ago what activities we will do on Sunday. I then ask them if that activity is inline with what we decided as a family. It is good to not have to tell them no. They know what we do in our household and they also know why we do things in our household. It is one thing to think the rules are restrictive but we need to make sure we back those rules up with reasons for our faith and what blessings come from obedience to the gospel.