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Empower family: talk more openly

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Parents can defend their families by talking to them more about both spirituality and sexuality.

"The bottom line is this spiritual and emotional inoculation," said Fred M. Riley, commissioner of LDS Family Services. "You can pray and read the scriptures, but an aspect of doing these things that is often overlooked is the importance of listening and feeling the Spirit in the process. How many of us teach our children to recognize the Spirit? In a spiritual moment, how many of us ask our children, 'Did you feel that?' 'Do you know what that was?"'

He cited Mosiah 3:19, which states: "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

"The ability to listen to and follow the Spirit will do more to protect us and our children than computer filters and other electronic intervention."

Rod W. Jeppsen, an author, and counselor of Addiction Resource Center for Healing, commented, "I think as LDS parents and leaders, we do a great job teaching the Lord's law of chastity, but a poor job teaching sex education in the home. The Church published a wonderful guide in the early '80s called, 'A Parent's Guide.' It is one of the best resources to learn about how to teach sex education to children, teenagers and young single adults.

"In some ways we set up — particularly our young men — for failure because we stress the law of chastity so much and fail teach how the body works. The young man has never been told about sexual arousal or what to expect.

"I teach my clients we are learning how to manage our sexuality just like we learn how to manage our time, money, relationships, etc."