We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
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I would like to speak today to the parents of teenagers. Your bright and energetic youth are the future, and for that reason they are a prime target of the adversary. Many of you faithful mothers and fathers are praying for answers to help you guide your children through these important years. There are no perfect parents and no easy answers, but there are principles of truth that we can rely on.
From the book of Joshua. It begins, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid” (Joshua 1:9). This phrase from the scriptures would be a good theme for parents as well. In these last days, what the world really needs is courageous parenting from mothers and fathers who are not afraid to speak up and take a stand.
Imagine for a moment that your daughter was sitting on the railroad tracks and you heard the train whistle blowing. Would you warn her to get off the tracks? Or would you hesitate, worried that she might think you were being overprotective? If she ignored your warning, would you quickly move her to a safe place? Of course you would! Your love for your daughter would override all other considerations. You would value her life more than her temporary goodwill.
Challenges and temptations are coming at our teenagers with the speed and power of a freight train. As we are reminded in the family proclamation, parents are responsible for the protection of their children. That means spiritually as well as physically.
There was a father named Alma who was counseling his wayward son Corianton. Alma loved him enough to speak very directly to the problem. He expressed his deep disappointment that his son had been immoral and explained to him the serious consequences of sin. Alma said to his son, “And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: Command thy children to do good … ; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities” (Alma 39:12). This early intervention by his father became a turning point for Corianton. He repented and served faithfully thereafter (see Alma 42:31; 43:1–2).
Another father from the scriptures, Eli in the Old Testament. Eli served as the high priest in Israel during the childhood of Samuel the prophet. The scriptures explain that the Lord rebuked him severely “because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not” (1 Samuel 3:13). Eli’s sons never did repent, and all of Israel suffered because of their folly. The story of Eli teaches us that parents who love their children cannot afford to be intimidated by them.
Parenting is not a popularity contest. Sometimes we are afraid of our children—afraid to counsel with them for fear of offending them.
Years ago our 17-year-old son wanted to go on a weekend trip with his friends, who were all good boys. He asked for permission to go. I wanted to say yes, but for some reason I felt uncomfortable about the trip. I shared my feelings with my wife, who was very supportive. “We need to listen to that warning voice,” she said.
Of course, our son was disappointed and asked why we didn’t want him to go. I answered honestly that I didn’t know why. “I just don’t feel good about it,” I explained, “and I love you too much to ignore these feelings inside.” I was quite surprised when he said, “That’s OK, Dad. I understand.”
Young people understand more than we realize because they too have the gift of the Holy Ghost and can discern. They are trying to recognize the Spirit when He speaks, and they are watching our example. From us they learn to pay attention to their promptings—that if they “don’t feel good about something,” it’s best not to pursue it.
It’s so important for husbands and wives to be united when making parenting decisions. If either parent doesn’t feel good about something, then permission should not be granted. If either feels uncomfortable about a movie, a television show, a video game, a party, a dress, a swimsuit, or an Internet activity, have the courage to support each other and say no.
I would like to share with you a letter from a heartbroken mother about her teenage son. She explained: “All throughout my son’s teenage years, I worried and tried to stop him from playing violent video games. I talked to my husband and showed him articles in the newspaper that cautioned about these games. But my husband felt it was OK. He said that our son wasn’t out using drugs and that I should stop worrying. There were times that I would hide the controllers, and my husband would give them back. It began to be easier for me to give in … than to fight it. I really feel that gaming is just as addictive as drugs. I would do anything to prevent other parents from going through this experience.”
If your spouse doesn’t feel good about something, show respect for those feelings. When you take the easy way out by saying and doing nothing, you may be enabling destructive behavior.
Parents can prevent a lot of heartache by teaching their children to postpone romantic relationships until the time comes when they are ready for marriage. Prematurely pairing off with a boyfriend or girlfriend is dangerous. Becoming a “couple” creates emotional intimacy, which too often leads to physical intimacy. Satan knows this sequence and uses it to his advantage. He will do whatever he can to keep our youth from being worthy of having a pure and virtuous lives and worthy of sacred marriages.
It is vital that parents have the courage to speak upand intervene before Satan succeeds. President Boyd K. Packer has taught that “when morality is involved, we have both the right and the obligation to raise a warning voice.”
I have always believed that nothing really good happens late at night and that young people need to know what time they are expected to come home.
There is a great deal of wisdom displayed when parents stay up and wait for their children to return home. Young men and women make far better choices when they know their parents are waiting up to hear about their evening and to kiss them good night.
May I express my personal warning about a practice that is common in many cultures. I am referring to sleepovers, or spending the night at the home of a friend. I discovered that too many youth violated the the law of chastity for the first time as part of a sleepover. Too often their first exposure to pornography and even their first encounter with the police occurred when they were spending the night away from home.
Peer pressure becomes more powerful when our children are away from our influence and when their defenses are weakened late at night. If you have ever felt uneasy about an overnight activity, don’t be afraid to respond to that warning voice inside. Always be prayerful when it comes to protecting your precious children.
Courageous parenting does not always involve saying no. Parents also need courage to say yes to the counsel of modern-day prophets. Our Church leaders have counseled us to establish righteous patterns in our homes. Consider five fundamental practices that have the power to fortify our youth: family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, family dinner together, and regular one-on-one interviews with each child.
It takes courage to gather children from whatever they’re doing and kneel together as a family. It takes courage to turn off the television and the computer and to guide your family through the pages of the scriptures every day. It takes courage to turn down other invitations so that you can reserve that evening for your family. It takes courage and willpower to avoid overscheduling so that your family can be home for dinner.
One of the most effective ways we can influence our sons and daughters is to counsel with them in private interviews. By listening closely, we can discover the desires of their hearts, help them set righteous goals, and also share with them the spiritual impressions that we have received about them. Counseling requires courage.
Try to imagine what the rising generation could become if these five righteous patterns were practiced consistently in every home. Our young people could be like Helaman’s army: invincible (see Alma 57:25–26).
Parenting teenagers in these latter days is a very humbling assignment. Satan and his followers are striving to bring this generation down; the Lord is counting on valiant parents to bring them up. Parents, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid” (Joshua 1:9). I know that God hears and will answer your prayers. I testify that the Lord supports and blesses courageous parents.
Several scriptures back up the role of being good parents and proclaim that worthy husbands and wives who have been properly sealed in marriage in a temple of God may fulfill their role as parents throughout eternity.
The cursing may be upon the heads of your parents:2 Ne. 4:6;
Teach parents that they must repent and be baptized:Moro. 8:10;
Parents are commanded to teach the gospel to their children:D&C 68:25;
All children have claim upon their parents:D&C 83:4;
The sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children:Moses 6:54;
Olive Davis Osmond
A mother’s influence extends from generation to generation.
We honor our mothers and their ever important responsibility to love and nurture our children. Perhaps the reason we respond so universally to our mothers’ love is because it typifies the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Lord has placed upon parents the primary responsibility for the spiritual nurturing of their children. Sometimes this responsibility falls to a single parent. My own mother was relatively young when my father died, leaving her alone with four children. But she faced her adversity with faith and courage, promising us that if we stayed on the road of truth, the end would be better than the beginning.
As a rule the mothers are the very best women that live in the world, the best that can be found anywhere. … The good influence that a good mother exercises over her children is like leaven cast into the measure of meal, that will leaven the whole lump; and as far as her influence extends, not only to her own children, but to the associates of her children, it is felt, and good is the result accomplished by it.
You do not know how far your influence extends. A mother that is successful in raising a good boy, or girl, to imitate her example and to follow her precepts through life, sows the seeds of virtue, honor and integrity and of righteousness in their hearts that will be felt through all their career in life; and wherever that boy or girl goes, as man or woman, in whatever society they mingle, the good effects of the example of that mother upon them will be felt; and it will never die, because it will extend from them to their children from generation to generation. And especially do we hope for this in the Gospel of Jesus Christ he, who is the Son of God was indeed no other than the Only Begotten of God in the flesh, and that, therefore, no other than God the eternal Father is his Father and the author of his existence in the world.
Great responsibility rests upon the mothers.
Motherhood lies at the foundation of happiness in the home, and of prosperity in the nation. God has laid upon men and women very sacred obligations with respect to motherhood.
Women that have the same conception of wifehood and motherhood are not exclusively intended for just this life. … We live for time and for eternity. Our affections and our desires are found fitted and prepared to endure not only throughout the temporal or mortal life, but through all eternity.
We shall prosper and upon the earth; for this is our mission, and the work of your mothers and daughters. Great responsibility rests upon you. Upon you depend the training and the direction of the thoughts and the inspiration of the hearts of your children, for they drink into the spirit of their mothers, and the influence of the mother over the children is the most enduring impression that can be made. There is nothing so imperishable as the influence of the mother; that is when she is good and has the spirit of Christ in her heart, and she has brought up her children in the way they should go.
Our mothers, and the mothers of our children, whose hearts are filled with solicitude for the welfare of their children, having had conferred upon them the gift of the Holy Spirit, can go to their secret chambers and bow down before God and commune with Him as no other mothers on earth can do, if they will only observe the principles they have embraced and will live up to their privileges. By the influence that they will thus gain over the hearts of their children they will lead them in the path of righteousness and truth, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, in the love of truth, in obedience to His commands, in such a way as others cannot do who are destitute of these privileges, blessings and endowments, so freely conferred upon our mothers.
There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home, and every effort made to sanctify and preserve its influence is uplifting to those who toil and sacrifice for its establishment. Men and women often seek to substitute some other life for that of the home; they would make themselves believe that the home means restraint; that the highest liberty is the fullest opportunity to move about at will. There is no happiness without service, and there is no service greater than that which converts the home into a divine institution, and which promotes and preserves family life.
… The strongest attachments of childhood are those that cluster about the home, and the dearest memories of old age are those that call up the associations of youth and its happy surroundings.
In the home the mother is the principal disciplinarian in early child life, and her influence and discipline determine in a great measure the ability of her children to assume in manhood and womanhood the larger governments in church and state.
I most sincerely hope that our mothers today will guard very zealously and very carefully the lives of their daughters and of their sons. I would if I had it in my power make it possible for all mothers to have the joy and the unspeakable satisfaction of rearing their sons and their daughters above the reproach of men and above the power of sin.
The love of a true mother comes near to being like the love of God.
No love in all the world can equal the love of a true mother. … I have felt sometimes, how could even the Father love his children more than my mother loved her children? It was life to me; it was strength; it was encouragement; it was love that begat love or liking in myself. I knew she loved me with all her heart. She loved her children with all her soul. She would toil and labor and sacrifice herself day and night, for the temporal comforts and blessings that she could meagerly give, through the results of her own labors, to her children. There was no sacrifice of self—of her own time, of her leisure or pleasure, or opportunities for rest—that was considered for a moment, when it was compared with her duty and her love to her children.
When I was fifteen years of age, and called to go to a foreign country to preach the gospel—or to learn how, and to learn it for myself—the strongest anchor that was fixed in my life, and that helped to hold my ambition and my desire steady, to bring me upon a level and keep me straight, was that love which I knew she had for me who bore me into the world.
Only a little boy, not matured at all in judgment, without the advantage of education, thrown in the midst of the greatest allurements and temptations that it was possible for any boy or any man to be subjected to—and yet, whenever these temptations became most alluring and most tempting to me, the first thought that arose in my soul was this: Remember the love of your mother. Remember how she strove for your welfare. Remember how willing she was to sacrifice her life for your good. Remember what she taught you in your childhood. … This feeling toward my mother became a defense, a barrier between me and temptation, so that I could turn aside from temptation and sin by the help of the Lord and the love begotten in my soul, toward her whom I knew loved me more than anybody else in all the world, and more than any other living being could love me.
… The true mother, the mother who has the fear of God and the love of truth in her soul, would never hide from danger or evil and leave her child exposed to it. But as natural as it is for the sparks to fly upward, as natural as it is to breathe the breath of life, if there were danger coming to her child, she would step between the child and that danger; she would defend her child to the uttermost. Her life would be nothing in the balance, in comparison with the life of her child. That is the love of true motherhood for children. …
I have learned to place a high estimate upon the love of mother. I have often said, and will repeat it, that the love of a true mother comes nearer being like the love of God than any other kind of love.
Perhaps the most perfect ideal in the art of healing is the mother whose tender and gracious love asserts itself in taking away the sting of a deserved or an undeserved punishment. How her love heals every wound! How quick her caresses bind up and soothe! The example of her life is the wisdom which love teaches.
There is nothing between me and the heavens that would compensate for doing something that would grieve or hurt my mother. Why? Because she loved me, she would have died for me over and over again, if such were possible, only to have saved me. Why should I grieve, why should I disappoint her? Why should I take a course contrary to her own life and her life’s teachings to me, for she taught me honor, and virtue, and truth, and integrity to the kingdom of God, and she taught me not only by precept but by example.
I cannot express the joy I feel at the thought of meeting my father, and my precious mother, who gave me birth in the midst of persecution and poverty, who bore me in her arms and was patient, forbearing, tender and true during all my helpless moments in the world. The thought of meeting her, who can express the joy?
God bless the mothers.
God bless the mothers and the sons and daughters; and keep our children from the ways of the world, from transgression and from temptation that will lead them astray. May the power of God be over all the household of faith.
I believe that with the Holy Spirit, every mother has the right to know what to do in her family and in her sphere, over her children, in their guidance and direction; and that mother and every mother possessing that spirit has the gift of revelation, the gift of inspiration and the gift of knowledge, which is the spirit of prophecy, the spirit of discernment, a gift of God to them, to govern their households and lead their children in the path of righteousness and truth.
I feel in my heart to bless you, mothers and sisters, with all my heart and with all the power and right that I possess in the priesthood which is after the order of the Son of God. … I have the right and the authority in the priesthood to bless Israel, and to bless those who are faithful, especially; and I feel in my heart to say I bless you.
“A Time To Laugh” – Here”s Ventriloquist, Nina Conti
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Prov. 17:22).
Humor allows us to view our lives in a more positive light, deal with personal conflicts and intolerance, and cope with trials and frustrations that might otherwise seem overwhelming. As we are told in Ecclesiastes, there is “a time to laugh” (Eccl. 3:4).
When we are not doing what we know we ought to be doing and when we are not living the way we know we ought to live, we have a tendency to be unhappy. And make no mistake about it, we know when we are not doing what we ought to do because every one of us has a conscience. We are born with the Spirit of Christ, and we know instinctively what is right and what is wrong when it comes to our personal behavior. It offends that spirit when we allow ourselves and our values and standards to be manipulated by aesthetic propaganda in behalf of Satan’s lies.
Not all film or television or publishing or music is evil, because you and I both know that that is simply not true. There is much that is good in the media, and it can be a wondrous and marvelous thing and a blessing in our lives. But some of it is evil; there can be no other word to describe it.
In the media today, I think we would have to say that evil influence has a far more dominant influence than has the good.
We are in a war!
Our Heavenly Father and his beloved Son Jesus Christ have given a plan for us and our children, and we have the responsibility as parents and leaders to teach and protect all children throughout the world. Success will come as we become more expert and more able to harness the wonderful technology that the media has given to us and our families.
When we watch media we engrave certain thoughts on your minds and we carry it with us as we walk through life. Lets give the Lord equal time and share our thoughts, our time, our talent, and our attention. I know that we are all very busy with school and work and social responsibilities. This is a critical time in our lives when we are establishing a foundation for our families and our careers. There are many demands for our attention, and our time is limited by a wide variety of constraints. But as we learn to manage our time, be sure that we give the Lord His portion.
Establish a time and place to study the scriptures on a daily basis, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time. Pray regularly. Serve others faithfully. Those of you who are beginning your families, start now–even when your children are infants–to spend meaningful time with your family at home where good lessons are taught and pleasant family activities are shared. In the great scheme of things, these things take so little time. But the long-term benefits to you and to your families are infinite and eternal, and they will do much to prepare you and your children for the steadily increasing challenges of the future.
These are the last days. As has been foretold by God’s holy prophets since the world began, they are challenging times, and they are going to become even more challenging. So wherein is our safety? Where is our peace? Where is our joy? Where is our inner security?
Safety, peace, joy, and security are found only in the life and mission of Jesus Christ, the Son of Almighty God. We must embrace His teachings, give up all of our sins, repent and do all that is in our power to do to come unto Him in a true spirit of discipleship, knowing perfectly well that it is through His grace that we are saved, even after all that we can do. And as we give ourselves to Christ, fully and completely, we find safety, peace, joy, and security in Him.
Does that mean we will not have turmoil or personal problems or sickness or family challenges or employment difficulties? Not at all. But it does mean that if our faith is anchored securely in our testimonies of Christ, we will be able to cope with whatever adversity comes our way, and we will be able to do so in a positive, faith-promoting manner. If we keep the eye of faith focused on Christ, we gain a broader view and an eternal perspective, and with that we can understand adversity from within the context of God’s eternal plan for all of His children. And we can find comfort in this life in the eternal safety, peace, joy, and security that He promises.
“Train up a child in the way he should go;
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
The resurrection is the reuniting of the spirit body with the physical body of flesh and bones after death. After resurrection, the spirit and body will never again be separated, and the person will become immortal. Every person born on earth will be resurrected because Jesus Christ overcame death. 1 Cor. 15:20–22
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2
“There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.” (or intelligence) 1 Corinthians 15:41
. . . So Also Is The Resurrection.
“That bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified.
And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.
For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.
And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.
And he who cannot abide the law of a telestialkingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.
And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—” D&C 88:20–32
May we all continue to learn more truth and light until we have received the fulness of truth and live what we have learned so that we may be able to live in the Celestial Glory where God dwells for time and for all eternity. God is not the author of confusion. Nor can God dwell in a place where there is anything unholy or wicked. Just like levels of light, they are all truth, but the fulness of truth AND LIGHT, you will attain the highest kingdom of Glory just as the glory of the sun which is the fullness of light. ”Seek and ye shall find.” ”Knock, andit shall be opened unto you.“
“Strengthening The Family – Spiritually”
For The Family
Alan and Suzanne Osmond Share How ACN Has Impacted Their Lives
When Suzanne and I went to Charolette, North Carolina for the ACN International Convention, we had no idea that we would be invited to speak in front of the 25,000+ people at the convention! The video above briefly explains our story.
We are living during a time when jobs are hard to find, our 401 K’s are down, the stock market and currency is down, retirement funds are unsure, families are drawn away from home because of work while the cost of living keeps going up sky high!
In Suzanne’s and my efforts to provide for our eight sons and 22 grandkids, and with me having M.S. which keeps me from doing very much physical work, we prayerfully had been searching and seeking for answers to our challenges and for others with a way to help “Strengthen The Family – Financially!“
As I said in the video, “If you want to know if prayer works, pray! If you want to know if ACN works, do ACN!”
We are doing it and IT WORKS! Yes, it takes work but, anything worth having usually does. So far, my brothers and sister and I have worked hard for 53 years in the entertainment business and it wasn’t easy but with hard work and determination, we were blessed with major success. The same can happen with ACN! By following the system and learning and doing as they say, Suzanne and I with out TEAM are having it!
I remember when we were young and wanted to sing and perform. Our father who had been an army sergeant and who lived a hard and tough childhood said, “You can do it!” And we did!
After having traveled around the world and making friends everywhere, I say to you who may be looking for a job, an opportunity to climb to the top of the organization without worrying about getting fired, or who are waiting for others to get out of the way of promotions and in receiving top dollars, and for those who want to spend more time at home being a good Father and Mother, making extra income instead of trading your time for money at a “regular job” that takes so much of your time away from home, I ALSO SAY . . . “YOU CAN DO IT!”
There are two ways that you can become involved:
1. As a Customer, . . . and
2. As an Independent Business Owner.
- As a customer, I extend an invitation to let us see if we can save you some money on services that you actually are already using. It costs you nothing to save money. These are services like phones, cell phones, internet, TV, security systems, computer support, etc. and in places, natural gas and electricity! Just CLICK HERE and fill out the survey form and then at the end, CLICK to submit it to me. We will review it and get back to you if we can save you some money.
- As an independent business owner, go to http://osmond.net or to someone else’s website that is doing it and click on the “GET STARTED” link and fill out the form! Under the image at the right CLICK on where it says, “Start Your Business Now”. The cost to join is minimal when you consider what it costs to start a new business! Follow the instructions and you will become a part of The Osmond Network Team! Remember, if it is “ON” (Osmond Network) . . . YOU GET PAID!
Once you are an IBO (Independent Business Owner), you must get trained and get your first 3 preferred services to start earning money. I will be watching my back office to welcome you to our TEAM! No matter where in the world you are, we will get in touch with you and let you know were to go to get trained and answer any of your questions. If you wish, you can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org !
ACN wants you to become successful and has great incentive bonuses that they pay out for those who move quickly up the success ladder. They have the tools to train you as well as to improve you as a person and to raise your standards in life. They also allow you to grow as fast as you wish in the business and to get as many customers as you can.
We love this company because they have a high reputation, make good people better, are debt free, have been around for 20+ years and are highly endorsed, and they give families the opportunity to work from home and to spend more time together as a family while they fulfill their “WHY” and personal ambitions. ACN is currently in 23 countries and growing! The opportunity is wide open with 99% of the market place still available. If ACN is for you, you can fulfill your dreams quickly and reach the financial level you wish where you are in control of your time and your dreams!
MONEY is NOT the motive but, MONEY allows you the freedom to fulfill your dreams and personal ambitions, missions, and to choose how and where you spend your time!
“Sacrifice is the very essence of religion; it is the keystone of happy home life, the basis of true friendship, the foundation of peaceful community living, of sound relations among people and nations. . .
“Without sacrifice there is no true
worship of God.”
I become increasingly convinced of that every day. ‘The Father gave his Son, and the Son gave his life,’ and we do not worship unless we give—give of our substance, give of our time, give of our strength, give of our talent, give of our faith, give of our testimonies.” Gordon B. Hinckley
“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of oneheart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” Moses 7:18