Parents as Teachers:
Christian Moral Standards and Biblical Values for Children and Youth
Written, Not with Ink
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophesies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Nephi 25:26 )
Jochebed, mother of Moses, gently laid her infant son in a carefully crafted little ark, then watched over the short river journey of her precious cargo until he was safely in the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter. Even then, in the king’s court, she was there, nursing him and vigilant in his care.
Despite the opposition of those who would have killed him, Moses grew to manhood, delivered his people from bondage, and left to the world the priceless moral code known as the Ten Commandments. Moses went on to his reward, but opposition to his work continues.
In the New World, about 148 B.C., the prophet Abinadi was put to death by a king, for defending the plan of salvation and the Ten Commandments.
This revered code has been preserved, found today inscribed in stone or metal. The Ten Commandments have been ridiculed, forbidden, removed from public display. Yet within the calm eye of stormy hostility, this code remains serene, steadfast, and immovable.
After the children of Israel broke the Ten Commandments and other higher laws, Moses was instructed to create a complex structure of rules and regulations.
Today, many try to replace the Ten Commandments with gargantuan legal documents of government regulation.
Laws of men come and go. People have been killed or thrown in jail defending the Ten Commandments. But this moral code persists as a foundation for all civilized societies. Why? Because its Author is absolute— the same, yesterday, today, and forever. The Ten Commandments are moral absolutes.
Those whose behavior is consistent with moral absolutes are guided by what is called “internal government.” These individuals can successfully govern themselves, but are accountable to a just God.
When internal government breaks down, external government takes over, with rules, regulation, and bureaucracy. Persons under external government are accountable to men, who may not be just.
In Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, a timeless novel about justice and mercy, hero Jean Valjean served in prison for decades because he stole one loaf of bread. He learned about mercy when a compassionate priest bought his freedom with two valuable silver candle holders. Because of that gracious gift, Valjean lived out his life serving and bringing joy to others. But Javert, his jailer, refusing to accept the price paid for Jean’s deliverance, became obsessed with re-capturing him. Failing in his objective, Javert finally ended his own miserable life. Such is the state of man at the hands of human justice.
In a civilized society, however, justice must be served, or there would be nothing to deter evil and protect the innocent. But much as we may desire to be morally perfect, we all fall short. What is to be done?
Many today reject moral absolutes because, like Javert, they do not understand the plan of mercy. A loving Father in heaven knew that his children would fail to keep all the commandments that justice required. Only His perfect Son could meet the absolute demands of justice and pay the price for His children’s deliverance.
Parents need not be afraid of holding their children to high moral standards. The atonement of Christ is a safety net in the times of falling short, but it is fastened to repentance. Like Valjean, our children must forsake evil, or justice will have claims upon them.
If we as parents, like Jochebed, diligently train, nurture, and safeguard the internal government in our children, their souls will remain clean and whole when all around them are falling apart. Despite the fading ink of human doctrine, our children can remain true to eternal principles, written, not with ink, but in the fleshy tables of their hearts. (2Cor.3:3)
But remember, “It is easier to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent.” (Ezra Taft Benson)
Children prepared with strong internal government will always make honor and virtue their choice; they will triumph over evil, and rejoice.
Dinner Topics for Thursday
- Give examples in the world today of human injustice, in which the Ten Commandments have been perverted and the atonement of Christ is denied.
- If we do our very best to live high moral standards, but fall short, what must we do to receive the mercy of Christ?
Copyright © 2010 by Christine A. Davidson
True to the Faith
By Evan Stephens
Shall the youth of Zion falter in defending truth and right?
While the enemy assaileth, shall we shrink or shun the fight? No!
While we know the powers of darkness seek to thwart the work of God,
Shall the children of the promise cease to grasp the iron rod? No!
We will work out our salvation; we will cleave unto the truth;
We will watch and pray and labor with the fervent zeal of youth. Yes!
We will strive to be found worthy of the kingdom of our Lord,
With the faithful ones redeemed who have loved and kept his word. Yes!
True to the faith that our parents have cherished,
True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,
To God’s command, soul, heart, and hand,
Faithful and true we will ever stand.
Christian Standards for Children and Youth
I will follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.
I will listen to the Holy Spirit.
I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.
I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.
I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.
I will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family.
I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.
I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.
I will do my part to strengthen my family.