Elder Uchtdorf describes parenting as the process of guiding children to make righteous decisions.
The Lord loves you.
He is with you.
He stands beside you.
He is your strength in guiding your children to make righteous choices.
…Within the framework of gospel values and principles, you are the ones to guide your child in the details of daily decisions. Help your children build faith in Jesus Christ, love His gospel and His Church, and prepare for a lifetime of righteous choices. In fact, that is God’s plan for parents.
Satan will oppose you, distract you, try to discourage you.
But every child has received the Light of Christ as a direct line to heaven. And the Savior will help you, guide you, and encourage you. Seek His help. Inquire of the Lord!
What is the hardest part about parenting/mentoring/guiding children for you?
- List these things on the board.
(Read introductory quote)
Definition of Parenting: guiding children to make righteous choices.
How does this definition change your approach to parenting?
Why do you keep trying as a parent? What is the source of your motivation to not give up?
Tools that we have as parents:
List the five points on the board:
- Jesus Christ is the Strength of Parents:
- He Magnifies Love
- He Magnifies Small and Simple Efforts
- He Gives Revelation
- A Mighty Change
- He Gives Support through His Chruch
He Magnifies Love
Our love for our children (which is unique to us)
Establish this fact up front.
Sometimes we might wonder if someone else might be better qualified to guide and teach our children. But no matter how inadequate you may feel, you have something that uniquely qualifies you: your love for your child.
A parent’s love for a child is one of the strongest forces in the universe. It’s one of the few things on this earth that can truly be eternal.
What are ways in which you have felt love for your children?
Less than Ideal
Now, perhaps you feel that your relationship with your child is less than ideal. That’s where the Savior’s power comes in. He heals the sick, and He can heal relationships. He multiplies bread and fish, and He can multiply the love and the joy in your home.
Does anyone have any personal examples or experiences that address this point?
He Magnifies Small and Simple Efforts
Your efforts may seem small compared to the loud voices your children hear in the world…
But the consistency of small and simple things, day after day, nourishes your children much better than an occasional flood.8
That is the Lord’s way…
What examples of small and simple acts have you seen produce fruits in your own family life?
He Gives Revelation
With God’s help, you can learn to know your children in a pure and heavenly way. I invite you to accept God’s offer to guide your family by personal revelation. Seek His guidance in your prayers.
Q: How has God through prayer caused you to change how you see your children differently?
(Maybe share the experience of Rachel praying to know who Emma really was.)
A Mighty Change
Have you ever prayed that a child would change the way they see something or that they would have a softened heart and repent?
As you open your heart to the Savior and His teachings, He will show you your weakness. If you trust Jesus Christ with a humble heart, He will make weak things become strong.21 He is the God of miracles.
Does that mean you and your family will be picture-perfect? No. But you will get better. Through the Savior’s grace, little by little, you’ll develop more of the attributes parents need: love for God and His children, patience, selflessness, faith in Christ, and courage to make righteous choices.
Who does Elder Uchtdorf suggest has need of a mighty change of heart? The children or the parents? Why?
SHARE: My Experience with Emma’s latest setbacks, and how we were able to wrap our arms around her, dust her off and pick her back and up and keep her running. (Testimony)
Jesus Christ Offers Support through His Church
This section is almost an after thought, and it is rightly in its place at the end of the list.
Never Give Up on the Miracle
We cannot force a flower to bloom:
What you can and must do for the rising generation is provide rich, nourishing soil with access to flowing heavenly water. Remove weeds and anything that would block heavenly sunlight. Create the best possible conditions for growth. Patiently allow the rising generation to make inspired choices, and let God work His miracle. The result will be more beautiful and more stunning and more joyful than anything you could accomplish just by yourself.
In Heavenly Father’s plan, families’ relationships are meant to be eternal. This is why, as a parent, you never give up, even if you are not proud of how things went in the past.