Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Rising Generation
My husband keeps a daily gratitude journal, inspired by President Eyring's October 2007 General Conference talk, Oh Remember, Remember.
Here's today's post:
Yesterday, I summarized for you Elder Nelson's reminders from our Stake Conference. This was similar to the counsel he gave your mother when she was set apart to be on the Young Women Board. He wants us to teach the children in Primary to Understand.
Look at Section 68:25
And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
Note that the verse does not say teach the children. Teaching is an activity. It tells parents to teach them to understand. Understanding is an outcome.
In my personal study, I am on 2 Nephi 32. Note the counsel in verses 3 and 5:
3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
Now if you review the 16 point checklist from yesterday, does it make you want to approach this challenge any differently?
And here is my response:
I was reading about the 'rising generation' in Mosiah on Sunday. Poor King Benjamin and Prophet Alma had children who worked against the church! Why? Mosiah 26:1-3 - They couldn't understand the words of the prophet. Why couldn't they understand? because they didn't believe.
That sounds like a scary downward cycle - how do we prevent it?
First - they only need a desire to believe to get started towards understanding (Alma 32:27).
President Packer, said in his General Conference talk, that he relied on his parents testimony at first. He believed because he knew his parents believed.
Do our children know that we know? "We do not doubt our mothers knew it." (Stripling warriors - Alma 56:48).
We have a great responsibility - first to make sure our children (and grandchildren) know that we know. And second - to help them transition to their own understanding and firm testimony (see 1 Nephi 10:17-19). General Conference was all about how to do that.
One last thought - prayers of parents are powerful. We pray for each of you every day - that you will be nudged by the spirit to grow closer and closer to God. We know you can do that by studying the Book of Mormon, following the prophets, staying obedient to the commandments, and praying.
Alma Sr's prayers were so powerful that God sent an angel and an earthquake to scare his son back into obedience. Read about it in Mosiah 27.