Chapter 30: Our Duty to Help Family Members

"Chapter 30: Our Duty to Help Family Members," Part Eight: Saving Our Families, ()


How can each family member help make the family a happy one?

Every Member of the Family Is Important

To have a loving and happy family takes work. Our Father in Heaven has given responsibilities to each person in the family. Each family member should be helpful, cheerful, and kind to the others. When we pray, work, sing, and play together, our families can be happy.

Having love for other members of our family makes it easier for us to do the things our Father in Heaven wants us to do. When we love our family, we want to do all we can to help them. Even things that are hard to do become easier if we do them with love. It takes time and work to be a good family member.

Discussion

  • How can each family member help make home a happier place?

  • Why is every member of the family important?

Our Father in Heaven Has Given Parents Special Responsibilities

Father and mother should work together to care for their children and to provide the things they need. They should also teach their children the gospel. They should teach them to pray and to obey our Father in Heaven’s commandments.

Father and mother should understand that sometimes children will make wrong choices even after they have been taught what is right.

When children do something wrong, parents should not stop trying to help them. Parents should continue to love and teach their children. They should also be good examples for them and fast and pray for them.

Parents should provide certain things for their families:

  1. 1.

    They should love their children and teach their children to love others.

  2. 2.

    They should teach their children the gospel.

  3. 3.

    They should teach family members how to pray.

  4. 4.

    They should teach their children to pay tithing and offerings by paying their own tithing and offerings.

  5. 5.

    They should teach their children how to work.

  6. 6.

    They should provide a clean home, clothing, and food.

  7. 7.

    They should be sure that their children learn to read, write, and do basic mathematics by sending them to school or teaching them in the home.

  8. 8.

    They should do all they can so that their children might learn a profession and be prepared to earn enough money for the things they need.

  9. 9.

    They should show their children how to spend money wisely and to save money for future needs.

  10. 10.

    They should help their children improve their skills and abilities. These may be things like the ability to teach, play music, sing, repair things, or be understanding with others.

Parents should be willing to work hard to help their children. Our Father in Heaven has said that parents should make sure their children treat each other well and have food and clothing.

Parents should plan ahead to be able to provide these things even if they become sick, lose their job, or have other problems. They can do this by saving money and storing extra food, clothing, and fuel in areas where this is permitted.

Discussion

  • What can parents do to provide for the needs of their families?

  • What can parents do to prepare for times when they might have problems?

The Father Has Specific Responsibilities

The father is the priesthood leader of the family. The father should lead his family with love and kindness. He should show his family how to live our Father in Heaven’s commandments by living them himself. He should also teach his family the gospel. He should call the family together for family prayer in the morning and in the evening. His wife should help him do these things.

The father should use his priesthood to bless the members of his family. He can give his little children a blessing and a name. He can baptize them when they are eight years old. He can ordain his sons to the priesthood and give his children special blessings when they need them. He can bless them when they are sick.

The father should spend time with each of his children individually. He should talk with them and learn to understand their needs and concerns. He should encourage them and tell them he loves them. He should tell them that they can always come to him for help with any problem they may have.

Discussion

  • What are the responsibilities of the father?

  • How can he use the priesthood he holds to help his family?

The Mother Has Specific Responsibilities

A mother’s most important responsibility is to give birth to children and to care for them and to teach them. To give bodies of flesh and bones to our Father in Heaven’s spirit children is a sacred duty. When a mother does this, she is a partner with our Father in Heaven. Giving birth to children is one of the greatest of all blessings.

A mother should be loving. She should help teach each child the gospel. She needs to help and work with each child. A mother should make each of her children feel important and should help them understand the things around them. She should work as a partner with her husband to do these things.

The Book of Mormon tells of a group of righteous young men who obeyed the teachings of their mothers. The mothers of these young men taught them to be honest, brave, and righteous. Their mothers also taught them that our Father in Heaven would keep them safe if they had faith in Jesus. These young men had to become soldiers to defend their land. Because these young men lived the teachings of their mothers and had faith, they had courage to do their duty in the face of great danger. Every mother can have great influence on the lives of her children.

Discussion

  • What are the responsibilities of the mother?

  • Why is motherhood called a partnership with our Father in Heaven?

When There Is Only One Parent

Sometimes a father or mother is left alone to raise a family and must do the work of both father and mother. Our Father in Heaven knows this is difficult to do. If such a person, whom we call a single parent, asks our Father in Heaven, our Father in Heaven will help that person care for the family.

A single parent can also have the help of home teachers.* Home teachers are members of the Church who are assigned to look after other Church members.

Discussion

  • Who can help single parents?

The Children Also Have Specific Responsibilities

Children should help their parents make their home a happy place. Children should help their parents clean the house and the area surrounding it. They can help prepare meals for the family, wash the dishes, and wash clothes. They can also help take care of their younger brothers and sisters.

Children should try hard to learn the things their parents teach them. They should learn to work hard and do jobs well. They should learn to do tasks they are given to do.

Children should obey Jesus’ commandments. They should help other family members. Our Father in Heaven is not pleased when children quarrel. Our Father in Heaven has told children to obey and show respect for their parents.

Children should love their parents. They should obey and respect them. Children also should take care of them when they are sick or when they are old and can no longer take care of themselves.

Discussion

  • What does our Father in Heaven expect children to do?

  • What should children do for their parents when their parents become old?

  • What should children do to obey and show respect for their parents?

The Need to Strengthen the Family

In the world today, many evil people are trying to change our ideas about the family. Television, movies, and magazines show many strange and wrong ideas about men and women and how they act towards each other. Wicked ideas are taught through programs that are made to appear funny and entertaining. Unchastity is shown as exciting and desirable. Children are pictured showing great disrespect for their parents. Good families are made fun of. Sometimes our children never see in movies or on television what good home life is really like.

Parents should try to protect their children from seeing movies and television shows of this kind. They should teach their children why they should not watch evil programs or movies. Most important of all, parents should always set a good example in their own home. If children see a good example daily in the home, they will be good children and, later on, will be good parents. If they see their parents show love to one another, they will want to be that kind of parent.

Discussion

  • Why should we choose carefully the things our children are permitted to see on television or in the movies?

Our Father in Heaven Wants Us to Help One Another

Every member of the family should love and help each other. We learn to help others by first helping our parents and our brothers and sisters. We should also help our relatives when they need help. We should not ask others for help as long as we are able to provide for ourselves. If we do, our Father in Heaven is not pleased with us.

Jesus loved everyone, and He came to earth to help us. He taught us to love and help everyone. When we love others as Jesus did, we will do all we can to help them.

Some of us ask our Father in Heaven to help those who need help, and then we do nothing ourselves to help them. This is not right. We must remember that our Father in Heaven helps others through us. We should first pray for those who need help and then help them in any way we can.

All of us need help from other people. When we are children, our parents feed, clothe, and care for us. As we grow older, other people teach us things we need to know and do. Many of us need the help of others when we are sick.

When we help other people, we receive blessings. Our ability to love increases, we become less selfish, and our own problems seem less serious. Our Father in Heaven has said that those who want to live with Him must love and help all His children.

Discussion

  • Why does our Father in Heaven want and need us to help others?

  • Who benefits from our help?

References

Every Member of the Family Is Important

The Need to Strengthen the Family

  • 2 Timothy 3:1–4 (There will be great wickedness in the last days, and we must be prepared.)

Our Father in Heaven Wants Us to Help One Another