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`CHURCH FAMILY’ GETS TIMELESS COUNSEL DURING THE PAST YEARS

SHARE `CHURCH FAMILY’ GETS TIMELESS COUNSEL DURING THE PAST YEARS

Children

Today I desire to teach you what our Heavenly Father wants you to know so that you can learn to do his will and enjoy true happiness.

First, may I say how thrilled I am to know how you children are learning about the Book of Mormon. This is one of the very important things Heavenly Father wants you to do . . .

Now, there are other important things Heavenly Father wants you to do.

He wants you to pray to him every day. He wants to help you because he loves you . . . My dear boys and girls, honor your fathers and mothers. They will help you make good decisions. Enjoy and respect your grandparents. Be a real friend to your brothers and sisters. Choose friends who have high ideals.

Attend sacrament meeting . . . Enjoy Primary, and attend every week. Bring your member and non-member friends to Primary. Learn the Primary songs well. They are wonderful. Memorize the Articles of Faith.

Be honest . . . Be a true Latter-day Saint. Stand up for your beliefs.

Dress modestly. Live the Word of Wisdom.

Do well in your school work and strive to be a good student . . .

Young Men and Young Women

You have been born at this time for a sacred and glorious purpose. It is not by chance that you have been reserved to come to earth in this last dispensation of the fulness of times. Your birth at this particular time was foreordained in the eternities. Your are to be the royal army of the Lord in the last days. You are "youth of the noble birthright. "

I counsel each of you to draw close to your mother. Respect her. Honor her. Receive your mother's counsel as she loves and instructs you in righteousness. And honor and obey your father as he stands as the head of the home, emulating his manly qualities.

The family unit is forever, and you should do everything in your power to strengthen that unit . . .

Your most important friendships should be with your own brothers and sisters and with your father and mother . . . Help carry their load so you can say, like the lyrics of that song, "He ain't heavy; he's my brother."

May I admonish you to participate in a program of daily reading and pondering of the scriptures.

Further, I would encourage you to receive a patriarchal blessing. Study it carefully and regard it as personal scripture to you - for that is what it is . . .

Young men, the Lord wants every young man to serve a full-time mission. Not only should a mission be regarded as a priesthood duty, but every young man should look forward to this experience with great joy and anticipation. You can do nothing more important. School can wait. Scholarships can be deferred. Occupational goals can be postponed. Yes, even temple marriage should wait until after a young man has served an honorable full-time mission for the Lord.

Young women, you can have a positive influence in motivating young men to serve full-time missions . . . Avoid steady dating with a young man prior to the time of his mission call. If your relationship with him is more casual, then he can make that decision to serve more easily and also can concentrate his full energies on his missionary work instead of the girlfriend back home. And after he returns honorably from his mission, he will be a better husband and father and priesthood holder.

Remember, young women, you may also have the opportunity to serve a full-time mission. Some of our finest missionaries are young sisters.

Now I would like to speak to you about personal purity. Young (people), guard and protect your virtue as you would your very life. We want you to live the morally clean life all of your life. . . .

(Combined General Priesthood session, April 1986 and General Women's Meeting, September 1986.)

Single women

We see you as a vital part of the mainstream body of the church. We pray that the emphasis we naturally place on families will not make you feel less needed or less valuable to the Lord or to his church. The sacred bonds of church membership go far beyond marital status, age or present circumstance.

I would like to express the hope we all have for you, which is so real, that you will be exalted in the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom and that you will enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.

Therefore, don't trifle away your happiness by involvement with someone who cannot take you worthily to the temple. Make a decision now that this is the place where you will marry . . .

And remember, you are not required to lower your standards in order to get a mate. Keep yourselves attractive, maintain high standards, maintain your self-respect. Do not engage in intimacies that bring heartache and sorrow.

But also, do not expect perfection in your choice of a mate. Do not be so concerned about his physical appearance and his bank account that you overlook his more important qualities. . . . Certainly we want our single sisters to maximize their individual potential, to be well-educated and to do well at their present employment. But we earnestly pray that our single sisters will desire honorable marriage in the temple to a worthy man and rear a righteous family, even though this may mean the sacrificing of degrees and careers. Our priorities are right when we realize there is no higher calling than to be an honorable wife and mother.

I also recognize that not all women in the church will have an opportunity for marriage and motherhood in mortality. But if those of you in this situation are worthy and endure faithfully, you can be assured of all blessings from a kind and loving Heavenly Father - and I emphasize all blessings. . . .

If you are a single parent, make friends with others in similar situations and develop friendships with married couples. Counsel with your priesthood leaders. Let them know your needs and wants. Single parenthood is understood by the Lord. He knows the special challenges that are yours. You are his daughters. He loves you and will bless and sustain you. This I know.

If you really want to receive joy and happiness, then serve others with all your heart. Lift their burden, and your own burden will be lighter . . . And always be improving yourself. Set personal achievement goals and stretch to accomplish them. (General Women's Conference, Fall 1988.)

Single men

Here are some of the priorities we pray that you single adult brethren will consider to be essential in your life . . .

In your dating and courting, fully maintain the standards of the church. Be morally clean. Understand that temple marriage is essential to your salvation and exaltation.

Improve your community by active participation and service. Remember in your civic responsi- bility that "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Do something meaningful in defense of your God-given freedom and liberty. We want you to know that the position of the church has never changed regarding the importance of celestial marriage. It is a commandment of God. To obtain a fullness of glory and exaltation in the celestial kingdom, one must enter into this holiest of ordinances.

I assure you, brethren, that if you will be industrious, faithfully pay your tithes and offerings and conscientiously keep the commandments, the Lord will sustain you. Yes, there will be sacrifices required, but you will grow from these and will be a better man for having met them. (General Priesthood Session, April 1988.)

Mothers

In the eternal family, God established that fathers are to preside in the home. Fathers are to provide, to love, to teach and to direct.

But a mother's role is also God-ordained.

Mothers are to conceive, to bear, to nourish, to love and to train.

Mothers who enjoy good health, have your children and have them early. And, husbands, always be considerate of your wives in the bearing of children.

Do not curtail the number of your children for personal or selfish reasons.

The Lord clearly defined the roles of mothers and fathers in providing for and rearing a righteous posterity. Contrary to conventional wisdom, a mother's calling is in the home, not in the marketplace.

This is the divine right of a wife and mother. She cares for and nourishes her children at home. Her husband earns the living for the family, which makes this nourishing possible.

(Fireside for Parents, February 1987)

Fathers

May I suggest two basic responsibilities of every father in Israel. First, you have a sacred responsibility to provide for the material needs of your family . . .

In a home where there is an able-bodied husband, he is expected to be the breadwinner.

Also, the need for education or material things does not justify the postponing of children in order to keep the wife working as the breadwinner of the family.

Fathers, another vital aspect of providing for the material needs of your family is the provision you should be making for your family in case of an emergency.

I ask you earnestly, have you provided for your family a year's supply of food, clothing and, where possible, fuel? The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.

Second, you have a sacred responsibility to provide spiritual leadership in your family.

We sometimes hear accounts of men, even in the church, who think that being head of the home somehow puts them in a superior role and allows them to dictate and make demands upon their family.

The Apostle Paul points out that "the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church." That is the model we are to follow in our role of presiding in the home. Nowhere do we find the Savior doing anything but that which edifies, uplifts, comforts and exalts the church.

As the patriarch in your home, you have a serious responsibility to assume leadership in working with your children. You must help create a home where the spirit of the Lord can abide. Your place is to give direction to all family life. You should take an active part in establishing family rules and discipline. (General Priesthood Session, October 1987.