Valerie Steimle is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon” woman). She has been writing as a family advocate for the past 20 years. She is the mother of nine children living in southern Alabama and is the author of four books and a weekly newspaper column, Thoughts from the Heart.

Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are given words of wisdom from our leaders in Salt Lake City every six months. It’s usually the first weekend in April and October but this time the April meeting was schedule March 31, 2012 to April 1st, 2012.

Mormon familyAs I previewed all the different speeches of these leaders this week, I saw a reoccurring theme throughout the entire weekend: the importance of family and parenthood. One particular speech stayed with me and that is of Boyd K. Packer’s remarks on Saturday morning (March 31, 2012).

His talk is called “And A Little Child Shall Lead Them” (see Ensign Magazine, May 2012, page 6-9) and it is great reminder of keeping our families in the front of our minds. President Packer who is the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, related several heart wrenching stories of poor and orphaned children he met or heard of during his travels and the difficult conditions they experienced. The anguish we feel from reading or seeing children in such dire straights is distressing but yet in our own country of milk and honey, we find ourselves unable to cope with the children we have brought into the world.

We are parents with great responsibility from the time we conceive or bring a child into our home. Enduring to the end takes patience, love and time and President Packer has reminded us with his words why parents should be devoted to their children. Devotion meaning choosing wisely in decisions for our children and then letting them experience what has been taught as they grow older. Not to be confused with thinking that many material possessions are important for each child, we should teach correct principles and let them learn and govern themselves.

As President Packer has reminded us with his words of wisdom, we need to remember “the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ” in our homes and not just busying ourselves with too many commitments. Our time is very precious in the course of a child’s life and we can remind ourselves of what priorities.

President Packer tells us: “One of the great discoveries of parenthood is that we learn far more about what really matters from our children than we ever did from our parents. We come to recognize the truth in Isaiah’s prophesy that “a little child shall lead them”.

As parents raising the small spiritual beings, we are to humble ourselves as we are encouraged by President Packer and do all we can do within our own life to make sure our children are taught gospel principles at home. It’s not going to be perfect but we can continue to try to do the best we can.

We should always include Family Home Evening time every week and pray every day as well as read and study scriptures together as much as possible. These are golden opportunities to really instill the gospel in our children’s life.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints said it well: “You mothers are the real builders of the nation wherever you live, for you have created homes of strength and peace and security. These become the very sinew of any nation.”

As we continue on in this life, we can be comforted to know we spent well invested time and did what we could for our children. What ever the outcome of our children’s choices, we can remember and put our hope in Jesus Christ our Savior and teach them the same. Let’s hope the message stays with us for a long time.

Additional Resources:

Read, listen to or watch talks from the most recent General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths as the “Mormon Church”).

Attend a Mormon meetinghouse.

Request a free copy of the Book of Mormon.

Valerie’s website: Strengthen Your Home.

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