Moral Character Education: Moral Compass Quotes, Integrity Quotes

Moral Character Education:

Moral Compass Quotes, Integrity Quotes

Integrity

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. ~Proverbs 20:7

All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid. Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. ~Job 27:3-5

Out of the well of integrity springs an empowered, sin-resistant generation. ~Joy D. Jones

One of the greatest accomplishments of our lives is to promote an honest, earnest integrity within ourselves. This means that we become spiritually sound, intellectually sincere, morally honest, and always personally responsible to God. Integrity is that golden key which will unlock the door to almost any success. ~Howard W. Hunter

 

Teaching at Home

A father reads to his three young children from the Holy Bible.

We need to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. We need [to have] a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and [to] use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. ~Russell M. Nelson

Even if “everyone is doing it,” wrong is never right. Evil, error, and darkness will never be truth, even if popular. In fact, 50 million people can be wrong—totally wrong. Immorality is still immorality in the eyes of God. ~Russell M. Nelson

Home life, proper teaching in the home, parental guidance and leadership—these are the panacea for the ailments of the world and its children. They are the cure for spiritual and emotional diseases and the remedy for its problems. Parents should not leave the training of children to others. ~Spencer W. Kimball

No success can compensate for failure in the home. ~David O. McKay

‘The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.’ ~Harold B. Lee

Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

A man should never neglect his family for business. ~Walt Disney

 

Moral Compass

“True greatness is never a result of a chance occurrence or a onetime effort or achievement. Greatness requires the development of character. It requires a multitude of correct decisions in every day choices between good and evil that Boyd K Packer spoke about when he said, ‘Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.’ “Those choices will also show clearly what we are.” ~Howard W. Hunter

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” ― Alexander Pope

Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. ~Edmund Burke

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spencer W. Kimball : Love people, not things; use things, not people.

Choose your friends with caution, plan your future with purpose, and frame your life with faith. ~Thomas S. Monson

It has been said that the door of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny. ~Thomas S. Monson

 

For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. ~Psalm 5:12

Advertisements

Parenting Tips: Gospel Teachings for Father and Son

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Gospel Teachings for Father and Son

By Larry M. Gibson

key“Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words” (attributed to Francis of Assisi). Every day you are teaching your children what it means to be a father. You are laying a foundation for the next generation. Your sons will learn how to be husbands and fathers by observing the way you fulfill these roles. ~Larry M. Gibson

My father taught me a significant lesson when I was young. He sensed that I was becoming too enamored with temporal things. When I had money, I immediately spent it—almost always on myself.

One afternoon he took me to purchase some new shoes. On the second floor of the department store, he invited me to look out the window with him.

“What do you see?” he asked.

father-teaching-son-window

“Buildings, sky, people” was my response.

“How many?”

“A lot!”

He then pulled this coin from his pocket. As he handed it to me, he asked, “What is this?”

I immediately knew: “A silver dollar!”

 

Drawing on his knowledge of chemistry, he said, “If you melt that silver dollar and mix it with the right ingredients, you would have silver nitrate. If we coated this window with silver nitrate, what would you see?”

father-teaching-son-mirrorI had no idea, so he escorted me to a full-length mirror and asked, “Now what do you see?”

“I see me.”

“No,” he replied, “what you see is silver reflecting you. If you focus on the silver, all you will see is yourself, and like a veil, it will keep you from seeing clearly the eternal destiny Heavenly Father has prepared just for you.”

“Larry,” he continued, “‘seek not the things of this world but seek … first … the kingdom of God, and to establish [His] righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you’” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 6:38 [in Matthew 6:33, footnote a]).

He told me to keep the dollar and never lose it. Each time I looked at it, I was to think about the eternal destiny that Heavenly Father has for me.

I loved my father and how he taught. I wanted to be like him. He planted in my heart the desire to be a good father, and my deepest hope is that I am living up to his example.

picture-quote-decisions-destinyOur beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, has often said that our decisions determine our destiny and have eternal consequences (see “Decisions Determine Destiny” [Church Educational System fireside, Nov. 6, 2005], 2; lds.org/broadcasts).

Should we not, then, develop a clear vision of our eternal destiny, particularly the one that Heavenly Father wants us to achieve—eternal fatherhood? Let our eternal destiny drive all of our decisions. Regardless of how difficult those decisions may be, Father will sustain us.

I learned about the power of such a vision when I joined my 12- and 13-year-old sons for a 50/20 competition. A 50/20 consists of walking 50 miles (80 km) in less than 20 hours. We started at 9:00 p.m. and walked all that night and most of the next day. It was an excruciating 19 hours, but we succeeded.

Upon returning home, we literally crawled into the house, where a wonderful wife and mother had prepared a lovely dinner, which we didn’t touch. My younger son collapsed, totally exhausted, on the couch, while my older son crawled downstairs to his bedroom.

After some painful rest of my own, I went to my younger son to make sure he was still alive.

“Are you OK?” I asked.

“Dad, that was the hardest thing I have ever done, and I never want to do it again.”

I wasn’t about to tell him that I would never do it again either. Instead, I told him how proud I was that he had accomplished such a hard thing. I knew it would prepare him for other hard things he would face in his future. With that thought, I said, “Son, let me make you this promise. When you go on your mission, you will never have to walk 50 miles in one day.”

“Good, Dad! Then I’m going.”

Those simple words filled my soul with gratitude and joy.

I then went downstairs to my oldest son. I lay by him—then touched him. “Son, are you all right?”

“Dad, that was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, and I will never, ever do it again.” His eyes closed—then opened—and he said, “Unless my son wants me to.”

Tears came as I expressed how grateful I was for him. I told him I knew he was going to be a much better father than I was. My heart was full because at his young and tender age he already recognized that one of his most sacred priesthood duties was to be a father. He had no fear of that role and title—the very title that God Himself wants us to use when we speak to Him. I knew I had the responsibility to nurture the embers of fatherhood that were burning within my son.

These words of the Savior took on a much deeper meaning to me as a father:

robbins-face-christ“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for [whatsoever things He] doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19).

“I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me” (John 8:28).

I love being a husband and father—married to a chosen daughter of heavenly parents. I love her. It is one of the most fulfilling parts of my life. My hope that night was that my five sons and their sister would always see in me the joy that comes from eternal marriage, fatherhood, and family.

Fathers, I am sure you have heard the saying “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words” (attributed to Francis of Assisi). Every day you are teaching your children what it means to be a father. You are laying a foundation for the next generation. Your sons will learn how to be husbands and fathers by observing the way you fulfill these roles. For example:

Do they know how much you love and cherish their mother and how much you love being their father?

They will learn how to treat their future wife and children as they watch you treat each one of them just as Heavenly Father would.

Through your example, they can learn how to respect, honor, and protect womanhood.

In your home, they can learn to preside over their family in love and righteousness. They can learn to provide the necessities of life and protection for their family—temporally and spiritually (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129).

Brethren, with all the energy of my soul, I ask you to consider this question: Do your sons see you striving to do what Heavenly Father would have them do?

I pray the answer is yes. If the answer is no, it’s not too late to change, but you must begin today. And I testify that Heavenly Father will help you.

Now, you young men, whom I dearly love, you know you are preparing to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, receive sacred temple ordinances, fulfill your duty and obligation to serve a full-time mission, and then, without waiting too long, get married in the temple to a daughter of God and have a family. You are then to lead your family in spiritual things as guided by the Holy Ghost (see D&C 20:44; 46:2; 107:12).

Fatherhood Training

I have asked many young men around the world, “Why are you here?”

So far, not one has responded, “To learn to be a father, that I might be prepared and qualified to receive all that Heavenly Father has.”

Let’s examine your Aaronic Priesthood duties as described in section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Be sensitive to what you feel as I apply these duties to your service in your family.

Father's Blessing by L.A. Olas

Father’s Blessing by L.A. Olas

“Invite all [of your family] to come unto Christ” (verse 59).

“Watch over [them] always, and be with and strengthen them” (verse 53).

“Preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize” members of your family (verse 46).

“Exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties” (verse 47).

“See that there is no iniquity in [your family], neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking” (verse 54).

“See that [your family meets] together often” (verse 55).

Assist your father in his duties as patriarch. Support your mother with priesthood strength when a father is not present (see verses 52, 56).

When asked, “ordain other priests, teachers, and deacons” in your family (verse 48).

Doesn’t this sound like the work and role of a father ?

father-teaching-boy-readingbookdutytoGodFulfilling your Aaronic Priesthood duties is preparing you young men for fatherhood. The Duty to God resource can help you learn about and make specific plans to fulfill your duties. It can serve as a guide and assistance as you seek Heavenly Father’s will and set goals to accomplish it.

Father in Heaven has brought you here at this particular time for a special work and eternal purpose. He wants you to see clearly and understand what that purpose is. He is your Father, and you can always turn to Him for guidance.

I know that Heavenly Father is concerned about each of us individually and has a personal plan for us to achieve our eternal destiny. He has sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to help us overcome our imperfections through the Atonement. He has blessed us with the Holy Ghost to be a witness, companion, and guide to our eternal destination if we will Jesus-bcome-disciple-lds-churchrely on Him. May we each enjoy the fulness of Father’s blessings in this life and the fulfillment of His work and His glory by becoming fathers to our families for eternity.

Resource for Fathers. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints enjoy tons of training for men and boys—not just a course of study of a few weeks— but life-long, year in and year out, organized in every unit of the church body, from boy scout age to adult parenting and leadership, gospel teachings on developing Christ-like attributes for godly men as a way of life.

How you can help in Mentoring Young Adults, Imparting Biblical Family Values, and Securing their Future

Gallery

Parenting Tips: First Lady Melania Trump advises Teaching Moral Courage, Patriotism

Parenting Tips: First Lady Melania Trump advises Teaching Moral Courage, Patriotism First Lady Melania Trump: It Is Parental Responsibility to Raise Children Who Have Moral Clarity, Love of Country Penny Starr “Show me the loving bonds between your families today … Continue reading

Parenting Tips: Nuclear Family Success through Faith in Jesus Christ

Parenting Tips:

Nuclear Family Success through Faith in Jesus Christ

Being a mother is about loving the Father

Rachel Davis

American Family Association Journal Staff Writer

 “You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God’s fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Life with little ones is beautifully hard. Understanding motherhood from the perspective of Spurgeon makes all the difference in the theory, practice, and appreciation of this high calling.

AFA Journal recently spoke with two godly women who see it this way. They are from different parts of the country and have different family dynamics, but both agree in their understanding that motherhood is “fundamentally about your relationship to God.”

Those are the words of Idaho native Rachel Jankovic, mother of four girls and three boys ages 1 to 12. She is married to Luke, and they live less than a mile from where she was born. Jankovic is a homemaker, blogger, and author.

An avid runner and experienced homeschool teacher, Esther Sanders is a Wisconsin native but now lives in Mississippi where she and her husband Greg parent seven girls ages 8 to 20. A family friend describes them this way: “Greg and Esther are outstanding parents not because they have a formula but because they have created in their home a family culture that orbits around their faith in Christ, rather than the world.”

AFA Journal asked Jankovic and Sanders to talk about being a mother:

AFA Journal: How do you define motherhood?
Rachel Jankovic: In the very simplest way – being the female parent of a child. Motherhood is so symbolic that we say many things are motherly or many things might remind us of a mother, but at the very center, this is what it means.
Esther Sanders: Selflessness! You give … and then give a little more … all the while knowing that you will receive “in due season” a bountiful harvest (Galatians 6:9).

AFAJ: What are some practical ways that you keep your role as a mother in perspective and keep order and balance in your home?
Rachel Jankovic: I’m not more wife than I am mother, or more woman than I am wife. The one thing that I am that swallows up all the rest is that I am a Christian, first. So that relationship defines all of my other relationships [and responsibilities].
Esther Sanders:My husband has encouraged me to create margins (down time) so that when the unexpected comes – and it will – I have time to stop and discipline my kids, talk things out, and rearrange my schedule to best be the mom I need to be. We were very intentional about disciplining our children and pressing the gospel to their hearts, especially while they were young.

Another great idea that my husband gets credit for is reminding me to “do the ordinary.” Many people are looking for the next big thing that they can be part of, but being a mom and doing it well is the next big thing.

AFAJ: Why is it important that your role as a mother comes second to your role as a wife?
  Esther Sanders:Our children need to see good role models from their sin-flawed mom and dad. We are created in God’s image and need to mirror Him. My role as a wife must be of more importance than my role as a mother because we are training disciples, not making friends with our children. The payoff will be great in the years ahead because then we will enjoy friendships with our children in a new and special way.

AFAJ: What encouragement would you give to single and/or widowed mothers who are seeking to raise children to love the Lord but feel all alone?
Esther Sanders:I would encourage them by saying that God’s mercies “are new each day” (Lamentations 3:23). He will only give us today what we can handle, and we need not worry about tomorrow. There are so many promises in Scripture that tell us these things. We must go to the Source. We can’t do it on our own, whether single, divorced, widowed, or married.

AFAJ: What do you do when you feel overwhelmed and like you’ve totally messed up?
  Rachel Jankovic:Whenever you are being tempted to get introspective and despairing, the answer is the same: Look to Christ. The more you dig around in your heart, the more nastiness you will find. Look to your Savior. Thank the Lord that your mothering is not dependent on you doing the right things at all the right moments and having all the strength within yourself.
Esther Sanders:I confess my sin – first to God and then to my children. They need to see that their mom is a sinner “saved by grace” (Ephesians 2:8), the same grace that has saved them. Humanly speaking, I look forward to the next day when I can start fresh and consciously ask the Spirit for help to lead them.

AFAJ: How should Christian women respond to the feminist agenda that is being embraced by our culture today?
Rachel Jankovic:The most important thing for Christian women is to stay focused on what the Bible teaches. … Our actual obedience to the Word of God is very simple: I will do it; use me Lord. You need to have that attitude when you approach your work and calling. The Bible is not feminist, and much of it sounds horrible to a feminist. But obedience is still real freedom, no matter what people say.

AFAJ: What do you do daily to keep Jesus at the center of it all?
  Esther Sanders:Spend time in the Word – simple reading of the Bible, memorizing it, listening to podcasts, playing great hymns of the faith on the piano, meeting and being accountable to other moms who are raising their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

AFAJ: What one piece of advice would you give to mothers?
Rachel Jankovic:Do your work joyfully, patiently, kindly, and thoughtfully. Don’t buy into the things the world says about motherhood and homemaking. The world of your home, your children, and the domestic arts are neither unimportant nor irrelevant. … Make beautiful things; make joyful people. Make full tables and lives full of laughter. Make memories of faithfulness. It won’t be easy, but it will be so rich.
Esther Sanders: Do the ordinary. It may not be praiseworthy in this world, but its eternal rewards are priceless.

See how you can draw your family closer to God in these troubled times

In addition to the Bible, Esther Sanders recommends these books about motherhood:
Give them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick
Praise Her in the Gates by Nancy Wilson
Mother by Kathleen Norris
Unseduced and Unshaken by Rosalie de Rosset

Rachel Jankovic: has authored two books: Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches and Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood both available at bookstores and online. She also blogs at feminagirls.com.

 

Parenting Tips: Fortifying Rising Generation by Teaching Integrity, Repentance of Sin, and Covenant Relationship

Parenting Tips:

Fortifying the Rising Generation by Teaching Integrity, Repentance of Sin, and Covenant Relationship

A Sin-Resistant Generation

By Joy D. Jones

Out of the well of integrity springs an empowered, sin-resistant generation.

As you teach, lead, and love children, you can receive personal revelation that will aid you in creating and arming valiant, sin-resistant children.

A year and a half ago, President Russell M. Nelson spoke of the need “to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.1 That phrase—“a sin-resistant generation”—struck a deep spiritual chord within me.

We honor children who strive to live pure and obedient lives. I have witnessed the strength of many children throughout the world. They stand resilient, “steadfast and immovable”2 in a variety of challenging circumstances and environments. These children understand their divine identity, feel Heavenly Father’s love for them, and seek to obey His will.

However, there are children who struggle to stand “steadfast and immovable” and whose delicate minds are being wounded.3 They are being attacked on every side by “the fiery darts of the adversary4 and are in need of reinforcement and support. They are an overwhelming motivation for us to step up and wage a war against sin in our effort to bring our children unto Christ.

Listen to the words of Elder Bruce R. McConkie nearly 43 years ago:

“As members of the Church, we are engaged in a mighty conflict. We are at war. We have enlisted in the cause of Christ to fight against Lucifer. …

“The great war that rages on every side and which unfortunately is resulting in many casualties, some fatal, is no new thing. …

“Now there neither are nor can be any neutrals in this war.5

Today the war continues with increased intensity. The battle touches us all, and our children are on the front lines facing the opposing forces. Thus, the need intensifies for us to strengthen our spiritual strategies.

Fortifying children to become sin-resistant is a task and a blessing for parents, grandparents, family members, teachers, and leaders. We each bear responsibility to help. However, the Lord has specifically instructed parents to teach their children “to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost” and “to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.”6

How to “bring up [our] children in light and truth”7 may be a challenging question since it is individualized for each family and each child, but Heavenly Father has given universal guidelines that will help us.

The Spirit will inspire us in the most effective ways we can spiritually inoculate our children.

How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

 

1) Have a vision of the importance of this responsibility

To begin, having a vision of the importance of this responsibility is essential. We must understand our—and their—divine identity and purpose before we can help our children see who they are and why they are here. We must help them know without question that they are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and that He has divine expectations of them.

2) Understand the doctrine of Repentance

Second, understanding the doctrine of repentance is essential for becoming resistant to sin. Being sin-resistant doesn’t mean being sinless, but it does imply being continually repentant, vigilant, and valiant. Perhaps being sin-resistant comes as a blessing from repeatedly resisting sin.

As James said, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8

The stripling warriors “were exceedingly valiant for courage … ; but behold, this was not all—they were … true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, … they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.”9 These young men went to war carrying Christlike virtues as weapons against their adversaries.

President Thomas S. Monson reminded us that

 “the call for courage comes constantly to each of us. Every day of our lives courage is needed—not just for the momentous events but more often as we make decisions or respond to circumstances around us.”10

3) Start Early and Be Steady

                . . . .With Holy Habits and Righteous Routines

Our children don spiritual armor as they establish patterns of personal daily discipleship. Perhaps we underestimate the abilities of children to grasp the concept of daily discipleship. President Henry B. Eyring counseled us to “start early and be steady.”11 So a third key to helping children become sin-resistant is to begin at very early ages to lovingly infuse them with basic gospel doctrines and principles—from the scriptures, the Articles of Faith, the For the Strength of Youth booklet, Primary songs, hymns, and our own personal testimonies—that will lead children to the Savior.

Creating consistent habits of prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and Sabbath worship leads to wholeness, internal consistency, and strong moral values—in other words, spiritual integrity. In today’s world where integrity has all but disappeared, our children deserve to understand what true integrity is and why it is so important—especially as we prepare them to make and keep sacred covenants at baptism and in the temple. As Preach My Gospel teaches, “Keeping commitments prepares people [including very young people] to make and keep sacred covenants.”12

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has taught, “When we talk about covenant keeping, we are talking about the heart and soul of our purpose in mortality.”13 There is unusual power in making and keeping covenants with our Heavenly Father. The adversary knows this, so he has obscured the concept of covenant making.14 Helping children understand, make, and keep sacred covenants is another key in creating a sin-resistant generation.

Sin-resistant Children Keep Promises

How do we prepare our children to make and keep sacred covenants as they enter and progress along the covenant path? Teaching children to keep simple promises when they are young will empower them to keep holy covenants later in life.

Let me share a simple example: In family home evening, a father asked, “How are we getting along as a family?” Five-year-old Lizzie complained that her big brother, Kevin, was teasing her too much and hurting her feelings. Kevin reluctantly admitted that Lizzie was right. Kevin’s mother asked him what he could do to get along better with his sister. Kevin thought and decided he would promise Lizzie that he would go one whole day without teasing her.

At the end of the next day as everyone gathered for family prayer, Kevin’s dad asked Kevin how he had done. Kevin’s response was “Dad, I kept my promise!” Lizzie happily agreed, and the family congratulated Kevin.

Kevin’s mother then suggested that if he could keep his promise for one day, why couldn’t he do it for two days? Kevin agreed to try it again. Two days passed, Kevin was successful in keeping his promise, and Lizzie was even more thankful! When his father asked why he was keeping his promises so well, Kevin said, “I kept my promise because I said I would.”

Integrity

A succession of small, successfully kept promises leads to integrity. The consistent practice of promise keeping is spiritual preparation for children to receive their first covenant of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, wherein they covenant to serve God and keep His commandments.15 Promises and covenants are inseparable.

In the book of Daniel, we learn of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refusing to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s idol.16 The king warned them that they would be cast into a burning fiery furnace if they didn’t comply. They refused and said:

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. …

“But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods.”17

Keeping Covenants is Always Independent of Our Situation

“But if not.” Consider the meaning of these three words and how they relate to keeping covenants. These three young men were not basing their obedience upon being delivered. Even if they were not delivered, they would keep their promise to the Lord because they said they would. Keeping our covenants is always independent of our situation. These three young men, just as the stripling warriors, are wonderful examples of sin-resistance for our children.

How do these examples apply in our homes and to our families? “Line upon line, precept upon precept,”18 we help children taste success in small bites. As they keep their promises, they feel the Spirit in their lives. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught that “the consummate reward of integrity is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.19 Then shall our children’s “confidence wax strong in the presence of God.”20

Out of the well of integrity springs an empowered, sin-resistant generation.

Brothers and sisters, hold your little ones close—so close that they see your daily religious behavior and watch you keeping your promises and covenants. “Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate.”21 We are indeed helping to teach and raise a sin-resistant generation unto the Lord promise by promise and covenant by covenant.

I testify that Jesus Christ leads this Church. As you teach, lead, and love children in the Savior’s way, you can receive personal revelation that will aid you in creating and arming valiant, sin-resistant children. My prayer is that our children will echo the words of Nephi: “Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?”22 I testify that our Savior atoned for the sins of the world23—because He said He would—and that He loves us more than we mere mortals can even comprehend24—because He said He would.

How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

Parenting Tips: Strengthening Families through Faith in Jesus Christ

Parenting Tips:

Strengthening Families through Faith in Jesus Christ

Hope for When Your Family Feels Broken

By LDS.org Blog Staff

Being a parent today is tough—and arguably more complex than ever before.

We didn’t come here to learn how to love ourselves. That we already know how to do. Whether I’m self-loving or self-loathing (it’s the opposite ends of the same stick, which is self-absorption), we really came here to learn how to love others. And nothing needs to ever be wasted. Everything is for our experience.

Instead of just worrying about how to prevent underage drinking, parents today are also fretting about drugs that look like candy and legal substances (that you’d never think twice about) being abused in ways that make them harmful, even deadly.

Instead of worrying about how much time their kids are watching TV after school, they’re questioning whether there’s anything they can do to pry their kids away from their video games, phones, and tablets.

And instead of making sure their kids are ready to move out and be on their own at age 18, parents today are wondering how long they’ll be caring for their adult children, their families, and grandchildren and if they’re ultimately helping or hindering their progress in life.

Being a parent today is tough. We could all use some help in navigating some of the complexities that are unique to our day. And often the solutions to those unique challenges are found in the “ultimate self-help book” that’s right in front of us, but not necessarily utilized every day as a guide for parents—the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, as found in scriptures and words of living prophets and apostles, we can find solutions to today’s problems. That’s the idea behind the new Mormon Channel series, Gospel Solutions for Families, which promises “practical, relevant tips for raising children in faith.”

In this episode, show host and mother of three, Amy Iverson, sits down for a half-hour conversation with Sister Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, and Dr. Liz Hale, a licensed clinical psychologist, to talk about teaching the ideal pattern for families when you’re divorced, a single parent, or in another complex family situation we may consider to be less than ideal.

Dr. Hale has spent nearly 25 years in her practice focusing on strengthening marriage and family relationships. Sister Stephens has spent four years visiting with and teaching women around the world as part of her calling in the Relief Society. She has six children and 21 grandchildren.

Read on to see some of their answers and gospel insights relating to teaching the ideal in less-than-ideal circumstances

Amy: How can we be thoughtful when teaching our children or others when our own lives may not live up to the ideal, and maybe neither do the lives of those we are teaching?

Sister Carole M. Stephens: I think that we need to just begin from a foundation of love. We just always have to be sending forth love and not judging. Be open to questions and validating the concerns of others. If we can just show that Christlike love and just always be reaching out to every child and every woman, they’ll be receptive to what we’re teaching. None of us has the ideal family. You are married with children, you’re married without children, you’re single never married, you’re single divorced, you’re widowed. We have all of these different groups of women in the Church. But I really have a concern that sometimes when we segment ourselves into these silos we create “-ites” in the Church. And that’s something we really don’t need. We need unity among our women. We need everyone to feel like they’re included, that they’re needed, that they’re part of, and that they’re loved. And you teach that to your children by modeling that behavior in how you treat others.

Amy: How can we move past some of our trials and heartbreaks to teach our children the ideal?

Dr. Liz Hale: It is why we’re here. It reminds me of this quote from Orson F. Whitney:

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”

We’re so blessed to know that we’re here for a purpose.

We didn’t come here to learn how to love ourselves. That we already know how to do. Whether I’m self-loving or self-loathing (it’s the opposite ends of the same stick, which is self-absorption), we really came here to learn how to love others. And nothing needs to ever be wasted. Everything is for our experience.

Sister Stephens: I know when we’re going through the struggle we wonder “Why?” But after we’re beyond it and we can look back, we realize how much it’s changed us, how much we grew through the experience, and that refinement is really key. But we never have to do this alone. Surround yourself with good friends and family, people who have been through tough times, are on the other sides of things, and can share some of that hindsight. We can be lifted by others, and when we are lifted, we can then have the strength to help lift our children.

Amy: What would you say to those who feel their “broken” family has ruined the future for their kids?

Dr. Hale: It’s not the marital status that determines the happiness of a child. What makes a child unhappy is the lack of unconditional love in their life. We can always show unconditional love. Any time we’re angry or disappointed with our children, consider that we might be wrong. Are we making it about us and how “you’re making me look not so good as a parent right now,” instead of “I’m so concerned about you; help me understand where you’re coming from”? When we make it about “I care about you” and “you know you’re loved without a doubt” then our kids trust us. They find happiness in our relationship with them. We can choose how our everyday relationships will look and feel. We can all write our own scripts.

For those who think, “This is just how my family has always been,” and they’re stuck because of it, you can change. After being taught the Lord’s pattern for families, our kids can decide who they’ll date, when they’ll date, who they’ll marry, what their standards will be. They’ll do the best they can with the decisions before them and then take that leap of faith. They can be fearless that good things will happen in life. There will undoubtedly be struggles, but that’s why we have faith. The stronger that is, the more clear we are of who we are, the more endurable those things will be. It’s not if hard things will come; it will be when they’ll come and what they will be, but there is always hope. To children in any family circumstance, you can make your future different.

Sister Stephens: That’s what the gift of agency is all about. It’s our ability to choose what the next steps are for us, and it’s also our opportunity to say, “We can’t be weighed down and we can’t allow the agency of others to control our agency forever.” The agency of someone else does not control our individual happiness. We can be happy. We can get out of sorrow and regret.

I think of when the Savior was walking on the water and Peter’s desire to do the same. When Peter was focused on the Savior, he had the faith to get out of the boat amid all the winds and the waves, all the turmoil around him, and walk on the water. It was only when he lost his focus and he got distracted by everything happening around him that he was beginning to sink. And I love that word, “beginning.” All of us every single day are beginning to sink, in some way, under the weight of responsibility. But Peter exercised his faith and he used his agency to ask for help and reached out his hand. The Lord in turn reached out His hand and caught Peter and said, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Focus on the Savior. Trust God’s plan. Trust our divine identity. Trust the Savior. Trust His Atonement. The Father has provided everything we need to be successful in this mortality that He knew would be so difficult. But we have to learn to trust in that.

Get more practical advice from Sister Carole M. Stephens and Dr. Liz Hale by watching or listening to this full Gospel Solutions for Families episode on the Mormon Channel.