Friday, March 5, 2010

The Responsibilities of Parentshood

First, such a father or mother is not alone. Our first parents knew the pain and suffering of seeing some of their children reject the teachings of eternal life. Centuries later Jacob came to know of the jealousy and ill feelings of his older sons toward his beloved Joseph. The great prophet Alma, who had a son named Alma, prayed at length to the Lord regarding the rebellions attitude of his son and no doubt was overwhelmed with concern and worry about the dissension and the wickedness his son was causing among those who were within the Church. Our Father in Heaven has also lost many of His spirit children to the world; He knows the feelings of your heart.

Second, we should remember that errors of judgement are generally less serious than errors of intent.

Third, even if there was a mistake made with full knowledge and understanding, there is the principle of repentance for release and comfort. Rather than constantly dwelling on what we perceive as a mistake or a sin or a failure to the detriment of our progress in the gospel or our association with family and friends, it would be better for us to turn away from it. As with any mistake, we may repent by being sorrowful and by attempting to correct or rectify the consequences, to whatever extent possible. We should look forward with renewed faith.

Fourth, don't give up hope for a boy or a girl who has strayed. Many who have appeared to be completely lost have returned. We must be prayerful and, if possible, let our children know of our love and concern.

Fifth, remember that ours was not the only influence that contributed to the actions of our children, whether those actions were good of bad.

Sixth, know that our Heavenly Father will recognize the love and the sacrifice, the worry and the concern, even though our great effort has been unsuccessful. Parents' hearts are oftimes broken, yet they must realize that the ultimate responsibility lies with the child after parents have taught correct principles.

Seventh, whatever the sorrow, whatever the oncern, whatever the pain and anguish, look for a way to turn it to beneficial use -perhaps in helping others to avoid the same problems, or perhaps by developing a greater insight into the feelings of others who are struggling in a similar way. Surely we will have a deeper understanding of the love of our Heavenly Father when, through prayer, we finally come to know that He understands and wants us to look forward.

The eight and final point of reminder is that everyone is different. Each of us is unique. Each child is unique. Just as each of us has different point in the race of life, and just each of us has different strengths and weaknesses and talents, so each child is blessed with his own specialset of caracteristics. We must not assume that the Lord will judge the success of one in precisely the same way as another. As parents we often assume that if our child doesn't become an overarchiever in every way, we have failed. We should be careful in our judgements.

Let us not misunderstand. The responsibilities of parentshood are of the greatest importance. The results of our efforts will have eternal consequences for us and the sons and daughters we raise. Anyone who becomes a parent is under strict obligation to protect and love his children and assist them to return to their Heavenly Father. All parents should understand that hte Lord will not hold guiltless those who neglect those responsibilities.

After the Exodus and while Israel was in the wilderness, Moses, in teaching his people, instructed them that the commandments of the Lord should be taught by parents to their children in the home. He said to them;

'And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
'And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when you risest up;'

We should never let Satan fool us into thingking that all is lost. Let us take pride in the good and right things we have done; rejhect and cast out of our lives those things that are wrong; look to the Lord for forgiveness, strength, and comfort; and then move onward.

A successful parent is one who has loved, one who has sacrificed, and who has cared for, taught, and ministered to the needs of a child. If you have done all of these and your child is still wayward or troublesome or worldly, it could well be that you are, nevertheless, a successful parent. Perhaps there are children who have come into the world that would challenge any set of parents undr any set of circumstances. Likewise, perhaps there are others who would bless the lives of, and be a joy to, almost any father or mother.

I am concerned that there are parents who may be pronouncing harsh jusgements upon themselves and may be alloeing these feelings to destroy theri lives, when in fact they have done their best and should continue in faith. May all who are parents find joy in their efforts with their children.