This past weekend we had Stake Conference. I was reminded just how simple the gospel is and what is required of each of us. Knowing truth really is happiness. Satan wants to destroy our happiness and Jesus Christ eagerly offers us that happiness.
“It is His will that we gain testimonies, that we seek revelation, that we covet to prophesy, that we desire spiritual gifts, and that we seek the face of the Lord.”
Pretty simple. Seeking after the spirit puts us in that humble position to be teachable and ready to accept whatever the Lord wants from us.
The world would have us believe the opposite. And, boy, does Satan run with that! He wants us to go out there and take the world by storm, or grab it by its tail, or rule with power and money. Quite a different scenario, isn’t it?
Now, moving onto M. Russell Ballard’s talk in the same session. He teaches us the importance of using revelation to teach our children truth. The only way to have a happy family is to spiritually teach eternal roles. In other words, a parent, who teaches by the spirit, teaches the very principles of the gospel. Today, the world teaches children that they can be anything they want, male or female, or both depending on how they feel each morning.
No thinking parent, led by the spirit, will ever teach their child anything that destroys the destiny of their eternal family. The Proclamation to the Family states:
Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
Why is this so? Because families are eternal. Men and women are meant to marry and create eternal families. Satan knows he’s running out of time. Why wouldn’t he do everything in his power to destroy the key element of heaven?
The world teaches us to seek our own gratification with no thought of how it will affect anyone else. But someone else is always affected. Family was mentioned a lot during my stake conference, and as I listened, I had a thought.
Families cause the most happiness and they also cause the most grief. Because we are all imperfect, parents fail in their parenting. That failure affects the child, who in turn hurts other people. But why does that child hurt other people? Because they simply want the love of that parent. Families are at the core of this earth, the good and the bad. But families are the fundamental unit that can only lead us to eternal happiness.
This is truth: Living the gospel of Jesus Christ makes people better and less hurtful toward one another. We need revelation to help us not make so many parenting mistakes, giving our children a true chance at happiness. Elder Ballard says,
Remember, eternity is now, not a vague, distant future. We prepare each day, right now, for eternal life. If we are not preparing for eternal life, we are preparing for something else, perhaps something far less.
And what should we be teaching our children? President Spencer W. Kimball speaks also in this session. He tells us what we must teach:
- We are eternal beings.
- Life is eternal.
- [Christ] died for our sins.
- We must have a hope in Christ.
- If we are true and faithful, we shall rise, not alone in immortality but unto eternal life. … Eternal life is to gain exaltation in the highest heaven and live in the family unit.
It was Nephi who counseled, “we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ” (2 Ne. 25:23).
The First Presidency, in 1999, came out with this statement:
We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform.
And in another conference, Russell M. Nelson spoke of “righteous, intentional parenting.”
This can only be done through the spirit of the Lord which everyone, especially parents, must seek. “If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation … which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal” (D&C 42:61).
A story told during my conference put this in perspective for me. Elder Douglas L. Dance was visiting his grandparents’ house, as a little boy, where his uncle had built a very cool treehouse. He was in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother when his little brother came running in asking for a cup of water. Seconds later, he was back asking for another. Confused, his grandmother looked out the window and saw the treehouse in a roaring blaze of fire. His message: Don’t use a cup of gospel to put out the roaring blaze of a wicked world. We must immerse ourselves in the scriptures and in living the gospel daily to truly protect our families.
It is the truth of the gospel, simple yet piercing, that will bring us eternal family happiness, I so testify.
Caring is better Marilyn Nielson