The Teachings of Parents


Ezra Taft Benson

Our Heavenly Father loves all of His children of all nations everywhere. Because He loves us so much, He has given us loving parents who care for us and teach us. Our mothers and fathers are our first and best teachers, and what they teach us can help us to grow up to be good and useful men and women. The tremendous influence for good of responsible parents throughout history is impossible to measure.

One little boy, whose parents’ teachings helped him, later became a truly great man and the first president of his country.

A retired army general and patriot spent years searching for information about this famous man’s childhood. He discovered that the boy came from a good home where he was taught and guided carefully by his parents. They taught the boy to have faith in the Lord and how to pray. They gave him certain rules to memorize and keep so that he could live a wholesome and righteous life of service.

Here are just a few of them:

Associate only with good people.

Accept corrections thankfully.

When you speak of God, do so reverently.

Do not reprove another when you are angry.

Let your recreations be manful, not sinful.

Speak not injurious words even in fun.

Do not brag about your accomplishments.

Laugh not loudly or at all without a good reason.

Do not put too much in your mouth at one time.

Do not give advice unless you are asked.

Do not talk with food in the mouth.

Speak not evil of those who are absent.

Honor and obey your parents.

Do not swear or revile anyone.

Be attentive when others speak.

Do not try to attract attention to yourself.

Be modest in your clothes.

Do not laugh at your own jokes.

Do not eat in the streets.

Point not with thy finger.

Serve guests first.

Sit up straight while eating.

As he became a man, this boy’s letters and deeds showed that he followed these rules all his life.

The name of this great man is George Washington, the first president of the United States.

I pray that all of our boys and girls will follow the examples of the noble men and women of all nations.