"Parents can plant seeds in the hearts and minds of their children only if they know where the children are and what they are doing. Parents should not leave the teaching of their children to chance. They should be in charge of their homes and families, remembering that 'reproof gives wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.' (Prov. 29:15.) I have heard of parents who travel extensively for pleasure, leaving their teenage children without parental protection for extended periods. Unprotected teenagers can indulge in a 'little' sin without realizing the possible consequences in sorrow and disappointment.
"Too many of our young people have the idea that limited sin is not really wrong because it will be forgiven easily with no consequences. We see young people who are guilty of moral sins but are not overly concerned because they expect to repent quickly, thinking all is well. The idea that any sin is unimportant is false; it comes from the devil. 'The Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.' (D&C 1:31.) We should heed the counsel of Nephi when he wrote:
" 'Many . . . shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless fear Godhe will justify in committing a little sin; . . . there is no harm in this;
. . . and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few
stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. . . .
" 'And thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away
carefully down to hell.' (2 Ne. 28:8, 21.)"
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Seeds of Renewal," Ensign, May 1989, 8.
Likening the teachings of modern prophets and apostles to us:
We sometimes forget that parents are gospel teachers. Parents have been given strict responsibilities to teach their children specific doctrines, such as faith, repentance, and baptism and confirmation at the age of eight (see D&C 68:2528). How can parents prepare to fulfill their teaching responsibilities to their children with greater competence?
How can gospel teachers dissuade young people of the false notion that limited sin is not really wrong because it will be forgiven easily with no consequences? What are the consequences of sin?
Find and read five stories in the scriptures that teach that sin of any kind is not forgiven except on the condition of sincere repentance (see D&C 19:1521). Some examples that you might use include the story of Alma the younger and the four sons of Mosiah (see Mosiah 27:837); and the story of Corianton, the son of Alma the younger (see Alma 39:113).