As a parent, do you feel capable or qualified to teach basic gospel doctrines? With much in the world that opposes these doctrines, do you worry if your efforts will make a difference? With much in the world that opposes these doctrines, do you worry if your efforts will make a difference? This week’s lesson reminds us of the responsibility to teach our children. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” also teaches “… Parents have a sacred duty” and “will be held accountable before God.”
In the historic October 2018 General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson decared:
“The adversary is increasing his attacks on faith and upon us and our families at an exponential rate. To survive spiritually, we need counterstrategies and proactive plans. It is time for a home-centered Church, supported by what takes place inside our … buildings.”
Many came away from the conference feeling the need to “step it up” in teaching the gospel at home, but maybe wondering how. In the midst of a culture war in the 1970’s, parents who may have felt similar were offered this hope:
“Sometimes we think the whole job is up to us, forgetful that loved ones beyond our sight are thinking about us and our children. We forget that we have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother … constantly working to try to help us when we do all we can.” (Harold B Lee, February 1974)
A recent study found the simple act of praying together can help. “We found the family that prays together seems to benefit in more ways than just staying together. Family prayer reportedly provided unique, salient opportunities for family togetherness, interaction, social support, and connectedness” (Chelladurai, Joe M, Dollahite, David C, & Marks, Loren D., 2018).
Hundreds of years before Christ, Nephi (with some family challenges of his own) shared this encouragement, “We labor diligently to write, to persuade our children … to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. … that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”
Help from the other side, family prayer, talking, rejoicing and looking to Christ will help us do better. Perhaps not perfect, but better.