- There are those who are in tune with the music of faith. You know who you are. You love the Lord and His gospel and continuously try to live and share His message, especially with your families. You are in harmony with the promptings of the Spirit, have awakened to the power of God’s word, have religious observance in your homes, and diligently try to live Christlike lives as His disciples.
- We acknowledge that there are members who are less interested in and less faithful to some of the Savior’s teachings. Our desire is for these members to awaken fully to faith and increase their activity and commitment.
Teaching our children how to have faith and to be in tune with spiritual things in their lives is a test for all parents. Elder Oaks gave some wise counsel in the past that Elder Cook believes is vital to helping our children:
- Our great desire is to raise our children in truth and righteousness. One principle that will help us accomplish this is to avoid being overly judgmental about conduct that is foolish or unwise but not sinful. Many years ago, when my wife and I had children at home, Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught that it was important to distinguish between youthful mistakes which should be corrected and sins that require chastening and repentance. Where there is lack of wisdom, our children need instruction. Where there is sin, repentance is essential. We found this to be helpful in our own family.
He shares that he believes that praying with our children is important to building their faith.
- Mothers and fathers praying with children may be more important than any other example.
Elder Cook emphasizes the importance of the Book of Mormon in helping our families understand the essential role of faith in our lives.
- I hope we are reading the Book of Mormon with our children regularly. Persistence in reading the scriptures daily as a family is the key. We know that family scripture study and family home evenings are not always perfect. Regardless of the challenges you face, do not become discouraged.
He reminds us that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate test of this life. Without faith, we are not able to hear and understand the spiritual things in life.
- Please understand that having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments are and always will be the defining test of mortality. Above all else, each of us must realize that when one is tone-deaf to the music of faith, he or she is out of tune with the Spirit.
Finally, Elder Cook ends with this counsel:
- Our doctrine is clear; we are to be positive and of good cheer. We emphasize our faith, not our fears. We rejoice in the Lord’s assurance that He will stand by us and give us guidance and direction. The Holy Ghost testifies to our hearts that we have a loving Father in Heaven, whose merciful plan for our redemption will be fulfilled in every aspect because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The thing that stuck out to me the most from this talk was the counsel that Elder Cook took from Elder Oaks. I needed to be awakened to the idea that some youthful attitudes and habits are not good in our children but they are not sinful. It is my obligation to help my children grow from these issues. But where things are identified as being sinful, I have the responsibility to help my children seek out the proper steps to repentance. My role as a father was defined a little by this counsel and I will be pondering how to be a better parent in the coming days.