04/17/2005: "Sabbath Study"music: kzion internet radio
We talked about Teaching Children in Sunday School today, lesson 12 of the Marriage & Family Relations class. Now that my primary calling has been scaled back, I have the privilege of attending the majority of Sunday School and Relief Society. We discussed how example is the number one way to teach anything to anyone, and how important it is to teach eternal principles from the very beginning. The anecdote of President Hinckley's small tree that grew without bracing only to become crooked, twisted too long in the wind, and how he related that to families and children he had known is all too true. Our children are more likely to be blown this way or that if they never see or feel our love and our guidance. We talked about how important it is to rely on the Spirit when parenting, because, as I commented, there is no "one size fits all" approach to parenting. Each child is an individual spirit that our Heavenly Father knows so much better than we do, and if we are seeking His will and insight for our children, we will all be blessed. From a simple prompting to go a little deeper in a concept, to knowing which gifts and talents need to be nurtured, to effective teaching and discipline. I firmly believe that if I am praying for my children and my mothering to them to be guided, that I will receive such guidance as I need, as they need. It has happened more times than I can count. When I find myself frustrated because I don't know what to do about a situation, it's usually because I've been trying to solve it all on my own. It was a nice discussion in class, albeit a warm one due to the malfunctioning air conditioner!
In my study this morning of Doctrine & Covenants 46, verses 7-9 stood out to me in the context of teaching my children:
7 But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.
8 Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;
9 For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.
There are many schools of thought regarding parenting, and it seems that like churches, each has a varying degree of truth to them. I think that the best parenting, like the true church, rests on continuing revelation, which God gives liberally. It's easy to get swept up in the philosophies of the world about this or that, but to not be deceived, we need to ask of God and to remember why such gifts are given.
The section goes on to talk about some of the different gifts of the Spirit and I wondered about which of these I could presently lay claim to...perhaps a better subject for a more private forum. I will say that I know I have been given the gift referred to in verse 13:
To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.
(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 46:13)
The Holy Ghost's testimony is etched into my soul. I could no more deny that Jesus Christ is who He said He was than I could deny the existence of the earth, sun, moon and stars.