Yesterday, for family night, we read and discussed a talk by Elder Larry Y. Wilson called "Only upon the Principles of Righteousness". He says, "Wise parents prepare their children to get along without them. They provide opportunities for growth as children acquire spiritual maturity to exercise their agency properly."
I felt like this was an important topic to discuss this week especially since our children are the ones who face the world as it is today. There is so much evil that weaves itself in and out of their daily activities. I am so amazed when I see young people so willing to follow in the footsteps of our Savior. I am so proud of them as they make righteous choices. Was it in their upbringing or was it a conscientious choice?
I know of homes where the spirit is so strong that you have no doubt that the parents have taught their children to love and respect God. But even though they teach their children the same principles one child may make choices that are not on a good spiritual path. The scriptures site this example in the story of Cain and Abel. Both are brought up in the same righteous home, but one chooses to do good while the other does not. This can happen in any home. But why does that happen? In most cases, it is not the parents fault but it is the choice of their child. We all have our agency to choose.
Even though we want all our children to make those righteous decisions some may not make it easy for us to teach those principles. We need to be strong and stand firm in teaching moral principles by countering the opposition of the world our children live in. We do this by teaching them in their homes. This is a safe place for them to learn and live good moral values.
We have to give them opportunities to make righteous choices. When they are out of our sight they will need to know how to stand firm in the principles that they have been taught from home. These principles, whether you think they are listening or not, will save their eternal lives. We can never give up on them even though they may fall sometimes. We need to help them up and, hopefully they will have gained a testimony of what works and what doesn't through their experiences, then continue on their journey.
On the other hand I know some that have been raised in unrighteous homes and still chose to live a life of spirituality. They are happy and find success in obtaining goals through righteous decisions. We know what true happiness is, now it is up to us to teach our children to find the same. We have to give them many opportunities to recognize the spirit and to act upon it. When they figure this out they will understand the peace that you and I feel in the Savior.
I don't know about you but I know I will sleep a lot better knowing my child will more than likely make wise decisions when I am not around. Sometimes I worry that I haven't taught them enough but how will I know if I don't let them test the waters. It's a scary thing to let go of your children to make decisions for their lives. I know this because I am dealing with it right now. I have one child that I am currently worried about but I am trying to let go so she can have experiences in her life that will help her to continue on a path of righteousness. I will continue to pray and guide her but like a baby taking its first step...I have to let go or she will never learn to walk. I can only pray that she will remember her teachings and make good decisions that will bless her life for good.