- We, as parents, have the privilege and the responsibility of teaching gospel principles by our example and testimony to our loved ones.
He asks how our children will remember us. He uses this question as the backdrop of his talk and discusses the role of parents to love and help their children along the path of life.
- I find myself asking the question, “How will my children remember me?” How will your children remember you?
- The calling of father or mother is sacred and carries with it great significance. One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities given to us is that of being a parent—helping to bring to earth a child of God and having the sacred responsibility to love, care, and guide children back to our Heavenly Father. In many ways earthly parents represent their Heavenly Father in the process of nurturing, loving, caring, and teaching children. Children naturally look to their parents to learn of the characteristics of their Heavenly Father. After they come to love, respect, and have confidence in their earthly parents, they often unknowingly develop the same feelings towards their Heavenly Father.
Parents worry they have to be perfect, but having differing opinions is part of learning to love one another and respect one another. How we solve issues of disagreement shows the love and respect we have for our spouse and children.
- It helps children to see that good parents can have differing opinions, and that these differences can be worked out without striking, yelling, or throwing things. They need to see and feel calm communication with respect for each other’s viewpoints so they themselves will know how to work through differences in their own lives.
Parents have the responsibility to help their children have a relationship with God. This is done through teaching by example the power of prayer in our lives.
- Children who are taught to pray and who pray with their parents when young are more likely to pray when they are older. Those who are taught when they are young to love God and believe He lives will more often continue their spiritual development and increase their feelings of love as they mature.
Sometimes we have parents who were not good examples. We can't blame them for our issues, but instead, have to commit to breaking those bad examples for future generations.
- If the example we have received from our parents was not good, it is our responsibility to break the cycle.
- Certainly parents will make mistakes in their parenting process, but through humility, faith, prayer, and study, each person can learn a better way and in so doing bless the lives of family members now and teach correct traditions for the generations that follow.
He notes that one of the biggest issues we have in life is selfishness. We need to try to overcome this common characteristic and be more considerate of others.
- Selfishness is so frequently at the core of family relationship problems. When individuals focus on their own selfish interests, they miss opportunities to listen, to understand, or to consider the other person’s feelings or needs.
He closes with encouragement that we can be loving and remember that each of our children are children of God.
- Jesus was able to complete his mission of the Atonement on earth because of the knowledge, example, and love of His Father. Likewise, may each of us, as parents and especially as brethren in the priesthood, through our example, love, and care, be remembered by our children to have the qualities that our Heavenly Father and our Savior have, that we may endure to the end and some day return with our families to their celestial presence.
Elder Hales breaks down our responsibility as parents in raising a righteous generation. I was in a priesthood meeting last weekend and one gentleman noted that our obligation is to teach our children to pray recognizing that prayer is communication with someone that we are to have a great relationship with. He noted that when our children have a relationship with God, learn how to listen to His voice, they will never turn from that relationship in their lives. When our prayer are routine and not a discussion with God, we are not helping our children have the greatest relationship they can have in their lives. God is real, He hears and answers prayer. He answers the prayers of our children and it is our obligation to help them build this relationship and learn how God communicates with them.