Teach Correct Principles, Elder Perry Counsels Parents
Teaching correct principles in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility for parents, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve said during the Saturday afternoon session of general conference.
“The joining together of a man and a woman to be legally and lawfully wed not only is preparation for the future generations to inherit the earth, but it also brings the greatest joy and satisfaction that can be found in this mortal experience,” he said. “This is especially true when the powers of the priesthood proclaim marriage to be for time and for all eternity. Children born to such a marriage have a security that is found nowhere else.”
That is why lessons taught in the home by goodly parents are becoming increasingly important in today's world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread, he said.
“As we know, [Satan] is attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society—the family. In clever and carefully camouflaged ways, he is attacking commitments to family life throughout the world, and undermining the culture and covenants of faithful Latter-day Saints. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is the most sacred and important responsibility.”
While other institutions—such as the church and school—can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), the responsibility ultimately rests on the parents. In an effort to help parents access the help and support they need to teach the gospel to their children, Elder Perry shared five things parents can do to create stronger family cultures.
1. Parents can pray in earnest, asking the Eternal Father to help them love, understand and guide the children He has sent to them.
2. They can hold family prayer, scripture study and family home evenings, and eat together as often as possible, making mealtime a time of communication and the teaching of values.
3. Parents can fully avail themselves of the Church's support network, communicating with their children's Primary teachers, youth leaders and class and quorum presidencies. By communicating with those who are called and set apart to work with their children, parents can provide essential understanding of a child's special and specific needs.
4. Parents can share their testimonies often with their children, commit them to keep the commandments of God and promise the blessings that Heavenly Father promises His faithful children.
5. Parents can organize their families based on clear, simple family rules and expectations, wholesome family traditions and rituals, and “family economics,” where children have household responsibilities and earn money so they can learn to budget, save and pay tithing.
“These suggestions for creating stronger family cultures work in tandem with the culture of the Church,” he said. “Our strengthened family cultures will be a protection for our children from the 'fiery darts of the adversary' embedded in their peer cultures, the entertainment and celebrity cultures, the credit and entitlement cultures and the Internet and media cultures to which they are exposed constantly.”
These things will help children live in the world, and not become of the world, Elder Perry said.
“The onslaught of wickedness against our children is more subtle and brazen than it has ever been,” he said. “Building a strong family culture adds another layer of protection for our children, insulating them from worldly influences.”