For parents who are finding their calling as a parent difficult, Gary and Joy Lundberg have a solution. They have written a wonderful and informative article for the Meridian Magazine spotlighting The Family: A Proclamation to the World as a great parenting tool.
We all know that there are many challenges in raising children in these trying times, so what can parents do to teach their children of a lifestyle that will take them to a safe and happy environment? The Lundbergs explain their idea of using the proper tool for raising children under the Lord’s guidelines.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have access to a well written and powerful instrument written in 1995 by Church leaders to teach the world that “marriage is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” But can parents use this tool to teach their children? The Lundbergs think so.
The Lundbergs know through the study of this document that we can find hidden treasures of knowledge to help our children down the road to a greater understanding of “how to find the greatest happiness possible in this life and through out eternity.”
They suggest parents buy or download a copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World and break it down into nine paragraphs, asking their children questions about what we would hear from outside sources in today’s world about the family. For example, parents would ask their children: What does the world teach about marriage? Let the children think about what they have heard on TV, from movies and other media places and come up with an answer. Then parents would ask: What would the Lord teach about marriage?
Parents would then let their children read the first paragraph of the proclamation and discover for themselves what the Lord wants His children to do. The Lundbergs suggest for parents to enhance their discussion (of marriage) by bringing “in social studies that show the wisdom of the Lord’s teachings. For example, a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family shows that premarital sex weakens marriage.”
This suggestion will lead into discussions of the importance of being married, which reconfirms parents’ opinions and instills the Lord’s ideals for children to follow.
Then, in another lesson, take the second paragraph and find a question which would fit that information. This would sound like: “What would the world teach about gender identity?” Let children answer and then let them read the next paragraph to answer in the Lord’s way how we are to understand gender identity.
This activity is a real eye-opener for children of an appropriate age. You can teach gender identity, life after death issues, sexual activity among unmarried people, the sanctity of life and more—topics all children need to hear about from their parents. Teenaged children would appreciate the extra studies with the importance of marriage, gender identity, chastity and other issues, as they probably communicate with their peers at school and in neighborhoods about these topics.
Each paragraph can be used as a teaching tool, as the Lundberg’s have presented in the Meridian Magazine article without being too pushy or preachy. This would teach children the greater understanding of what the Lord wants for us to be happy. This activity also acknowledges how parents feel about all of the topics discussed in the proclamation, and they can lay a foundation of what is appropriate behavior for children who want to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So take a good look at what Gary and Joy Lundberg have written for parents to teach. It is a great parenting tool.
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Article was written by Valerie Steimle
Valerie Steimle is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (ʺMormonʺ 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.