Understand Our Duty and Obligation to Teach the Pure Doctrines of Christ
Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children
~ Moses 6:58 ~
We cannot wait for conversion to simply happen to our children. Accidental conversion is not a principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Becoming like our Savior will not happen randomly. Being intentional in loving, teaching, and testifying can help children begin at a young age to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is essential to our children’s testimony of and conversion to Jesus Christ; we desire them to “always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them.”
~ Joy D. Jones – Essential Conversations – April 2021 General Conference ~
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
~ The Family – A Proclamation to the World ~
In Word: Relationships matter. Faith and hope matters. In life, we are going to have hardships, disappointments, and tragedies. As a Latter-day Saint Christian, it is our duty and obligation to help raise children according to the values and teachings of our faith. Yet, today, this parental responsibility is under attack. Faith in Christ is under attack. Many are claiming that we are at the threshold of the last days. Yet here we are – a father and a mother with a strong testimony in Jesus Christ and His restored Gospel. We worry about the type of social culture and environment our children are being assimilated into. More importantly, how are we a influence and impact on our children’s lives matters the most. Not what society says is the best way.
Today, more than ever, our children need to be raised up with a strong and bold faith in understanding and knowing who Jesus Christ is. Develop a strong testimony in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Possess a true and authentic intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Scripture is very clear on this. The savior made it a point to teach that it is far better for an individual to tie a millstone around their neck and be tossed into the sea (Matthew 18:6 and Luke 17:2) when it comes to teaching children to stumble and offend God. Our duty and obligation are to teach them to live right and true to the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Deed: Our faith in Christ – in the plan of salvation – requires us to be unapologetic when raising our children. It is not enough to send children off to Church. We must actively live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives as a living sacrifice and testimony to the power and grace of God’s sovereign love toward us and Christ’s infinite atonement. Unfortunately, many children who have been brought up may not have the spiritual attention and reverence needed to lay the foundation of a bold and courageous faith in Jesus Christ. This is where teachers, leaders, and others within our community of faith come alongside and minister.
What are we required to teach freely? The plan of salvation. The love of our Heavenly Father. Our divine heritage, our sense of meaning and purpose in this life. Our divine destiny. The Love of God and the Love of Christ. How to be of service and commit us to walk in humility, forgiveness, and in truth and light (Doctrine and Covenants 93:40). All this begins with fellowship and love within our homes, within our hearts, and within our community. And many times, have there been individuals who have become members of the faith simply because of their children.
Take a Moment to Ponder: Many of us may have already watched our children grow into adulthood. Some of us may have been denied the opportunity to be parents. Some may have neglected their duties. And there are those who may have grown up in homes where we were not taught these principal truths. Throughout scripture we read how many fathers prayed for wayward children. Despite our best efforts. Whatever the situation you are in – how does this message of hope resonate with you today? What are you struggling with as a parent? As a leader? A minister? A teacher? How willing are you to freely teach these things unto your children? What are your concerns regarding where your children are in their spiritual growth and life? Take these concerns to the altar of prayer and seek God’s wisdom and counsel. He will always direct your path.
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