Russell M. Nelson
(Adapted from an April 1991 conference address. See Ensign, pages 22–25.)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right (Eph. 6:1).

Several years ago, I was invited to give an important lecture at a medical school in New York City. The night before the lecture, Sister Nelson and I were invited to dinner at the home of our host professor. There he proudly introduced us to an honor medical student—his beautiful daughter.

Some weeks later, that professor telephoned me in an obvious state of grief. I asked, “What is the matter?”

“Remember our daughter, whom you met at our home?”

“Of course,” I replied. “I’ll never forget such a stunning young lady.”

Then her father sobbed and said, “Last night she was killed in an automobile accident!” Trying to gain composure, he continued: “She asked permission to go to a dance with a certain young man. I didn’t have a good feeling about it. I told her so and asked her not to go. She asked, ‘Why?’ I told her that I simply was uneasy. She had always been an obedient daughter, but she said that if I could not give her a good reason to decline, she wanted to go. And so she did. At the dance, alcoholic beverages were served. Her escort drank a bit—we don’t know how much. While returning home, he was driving too fast, missed a turn, and careened through a guardrail into a reservoir below. They were both submerged and taken to their death.”

As I shared my feeling of sadness, he concluded: “My grief is made worse because I had the distinct feeling that trouble lay ahead. Why couldn’t I have been more persuasive?”

This experience will not have been in vain if others can listen and learn from it. Children, honor your parents, even when they cannot give a satisfactory explanation for their feelings. Please have faith in this scripture, which applies to all age groups: “Hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Prov. 1:8).

Parents have a divine duty to teach their children to love the Lord. Children have an equal obligation to “obey [their] parents in the Lord” (Eph. 6:1).

Wise children, listen to learn from parents.

[illustration] Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett