Faith: Bringing children to the path
Today’s world can be difficult to traverse. I recall the challenges I faced when I was younger and have seen similar obstacles for the youth of today. However, that is compounded by additional threats, behaviors, and temptations that are stronger and more influential than the older generations faced. At times it seems that even those who would be considered leaders in society are leading our youth in directions that are not wholesome for them in a Spiritual context.
My thoughts are centered on the youth while writing, but we as adults can also use help and guidance from a Spiritual perspective. Proverbs 3:5-6 states “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” How do we trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him? I firmly believe that trusting in the Lord means following His counsel, example, and commandments. In doing so, we are exercising faith and allowing Him to direct our paths.
What are we doing to teach our children to Trust in the Lord? Is our example one that we hope impressionable minds would follow? Do we live a life of love, patience, and charity? I think back to my parents, parents of friends, teachers at both school and church, and I see a legacy of people who have taught me and lived examples that I admired and desired to follow. Without those wonderful examples in my life, I would certainly be in different circumstances today.
I recently took my son and a couple of his friends to the local bowling alley for his birthday. He’s certainly a youth who concerns me as I try to raise him to trust in the Lord in this challenging world. We are new to Craig, having moved here about a year ago, so we are still meeting new folks all the time. The friends he invited were from school, and I was not familiar with them. Being a concerned parent (or maybe just nosy), I took the time to get to know his friends. Each one endured my questions, and I very much enjoyed visiting with them. Although each friend had a different family background, they were very kind and respectful to me and each other. I took away from my conversations that my son had sought out friends with similar standards for living their lives. It confirms to me that the right things are still being taught at home.
Correct teachings start at home. No matter your political ideology, religious affiliation, or other personal preferences, we have the responsibility to teach our children to walk uprightly before the Lord. There are influences everywhere that are distracting our youth. We need to be in front of those influences and teach our children to decide now how to react given certain situations, ensuring they are prepared. It is nice to have pastors, bishops, Sunday School teachers, and youth advisors in religious positions. These individuals help and support us on our path, but it’s the parents that have the primary responsibility to help children and youth develop spiritually.
I would challenge all to take an inventory of how you are trusting the Lord both personally and as a parent. Find some specific examples and build on them. I would compare that inventory to how one might count blessings. Find your strengths and consider how they became a strength for you. In that finding of strengths, you will certainly discover weaknesses. Life is a long marathon and we are expected to grow spiritually on a daily basis. Use those weaknesses to sharpen your ability to exercise faith and trust in the Lord. As you do this, you will feel Him directing you on your paths.
Ronnie Crumpton, Craig Stake High Councilor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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