Parents as Teachers: Christian Moral Standards and Biblical Values for Children and Youth

Parents as Teachers:

Christian Moral Standards and Biblical Values for Children and Youth

Written, Not with Ink

C.A. Davidson

keyoldAnd 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 )

 

Moses and 10 cropJochebed, 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.

10commandmentsLaws 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.

lesmisbookIn 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.

Gethsemane2Parents 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 Tuesday

knightandlady

  1. Give examples in the world today of human injustice, in which the Ten Commandments have been perverted and the atonement of Christ is denied.
  2. 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

 

truth1Shall 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!

 

ShieldresizeTrue 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

 

holyspiritI 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.

girlmodesty_largeI 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.

familyprayerI 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.

 

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Stress Relief Tips: Obedience to God, Courageous Living, Fear Not

Stress Relief Tips:

Obedience to God, Courageous Living, Fear Not

Let Us All Press On

Evan Stephens

Fear not, though the enemy deride, Courage, for the Lord is on our side.We will heed not what the wicked may say, but the Lord alone we will obey.

 

Let us all press on in the work of the Lord, That when live is ever we may gain a reward.

In the fight for right let us wield a sword, the mighty sword of truth.

 

 

We will not retreat, though our numbers may be few when compared with the opposite host in view;

But an unseen power will aid me and you in the glorious cause of truth.

 

If we do what’s right we have no need to fear, for the Lord, our helper, will ever be near.

In the days of trial his saints he will cheer and prosper the cause of truth.

 

Fear not, though the enemy deride,

Courage, for the Lord is on our side.

We will heed not what the wicked may say,

But the Lord alone we will obey.

Parents as Teachers of Courageous Living, Step by Step

Gospel Today: Parents as Teachers of Moral Standards

Gospel Today: Parents as Teachers of Moral Standards

Teaching Moral Standards: One Family’s Experience

By Jocelyn Christensen

Here are some ways our family has been able to apply the principles from “My Gospel Standards.”

Clean Language

right-wrongsignWhen our oldest child started school, we struggled to figure out how to prepare him for the inappropriate language he might hear from other children. In the end, we came up with this guideline: “If you hear someone using a word that you have never heard Mom or Dad use at home, then ask us what it means before using it yourself.” We have also taught our children to pay attention to how certain words make them feel.

We also taught a family home evening lesson about using C.L.E.A.N. language:

C – Choose your words carefully.

L – Learn the meanings of words before using them.

E – Encourage others with the words you say.

A – Avoid slang or replacement words.

N – Never use hurtful or vulgar language.

Although we tried to make these guidelines easy to remember and reviewed them often, we wondered how much our children would retain. One day when our children were playing outside, I overheard one of my daughters say to the other, “You shouldn’t say that! Remember, you should ‘encourage others with the words you say’!” They had been listening, after all.

Music

musicnotesOne day in the car a song came on the radio that was popular in my youth but which didn’t reflect the music standards I had committed to living. After a moment, I turned the song off. With a big sigh of relief, my son said, “Thanks for turning that off, Mom!” I explained to my son that sometimes it’s hard even as adults to make good choices but that we all must work hard every day to keep the standards.

That experience reminded me just how much my children depend on me to make correct choices. It also showed me that involving my children in my efforts to choose virtue can strengthen our entire family in our resolve to live the standards.

Modesty

girlmodesty_largeWhen our children were still young, I realized that teaching them to value modesty over the fashion of the day would be harder to do later, so I’d better start now.

First I examined my own wardrobe. “My Gospel Standards” says, “I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.” I wanted to make sure I was dressing myself out of respect for Heavenly Father, not out of respect for the standards of the world.

Next I looked at my children’s clothing. Some of the outfits that we had received secondhand were not modest enough to meet the standards in For the Strength of Youth. So we took them out of our clothing rotation and replaced them with more modest clothing as our budget allowed. We try to remind our children that their beauty comes from inside of them, not from their clothes.

Loving Others

In my efforts to teach my children gospel standards, I realized they also depend on me to model love and acceptance of other people, regardless of how those people look.

Some time ago, while several other women and I were waiting to pick up our children from preschool, I noticed that some of the moms were dressed provocatively and were pierced and tattooed and that there wasn’t much social interaction between them and the moms who maintained a more modest appearance. So one day I struck up a conversation with one of the moms from the first group, and although I didn’t expect to have much in common with her, we quickly became friends. Since then, this mother’s family has joined us for Church functions and birthday parties, and our daughters have enjoyed frequent play dates together.

As we make efforts to be kind and friendly to those who don’t share our beliefs, all the while holding firmly to our standards, our example may not only encourage our own children to be kind but also influence other families to be charitable toward those they see as “different.” In this and other ways, we can make “My Gospel Standards” not just a list of declarations but a way of life.