Thursday, November 20, 2014

Instilling Testimonies in Children

our family in 2011

I am the mother of eight children who all happen to be daughters.  A unique situation I am most proud of more than any other thing I have accomplished or achieved in my life. I most proud of being a mother. 

Instilling testimonies in our children at a very young age is what our divine role of mothers is all about.  Whether our children take the seeds that we plant in them, is their choice. It doesn't, however, take away from  our divine role to teach our children about the Savior and their purpose here on earth.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, one of our beloved prophets from the past, said in November 2000,
"You have nothing in this world more important than your children.  W hen you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out." 

The world looks to us to uphold the sanctity of marriage and family.

Long ago, Heber G. Grant, another prophet made a profound statement. Ever since I read it, it has pierced my mind as something this is true and that I need to remember.

"The mother in the family, far more than the father, is the one who instills into the hearts of the children a love for the gospel...and wherever you find a woman who is devoted to the work, almost without exception, almost without exception you will find that her children are devoted to it."
Our second daughter mission bound to Argentina
in August of 2014
This really emphasizes our role to spiritually nurture our children and instill within them a testimony, by first knowing and having a testimony ourselves-paying the price to know for ourselves.  They can't know, if we don't. 

We also can't pretend. Testimony doesn't pass through to our children if we are only pretending or going through the motions. We have to know and pay the price required to know.

  • Most of their testimony will begin from watching YOU live the gospel and seeing you in action! When they see how you pray, how you go to church, how you read your scriptures, and how you represent the Savior everyday of your lives, it will sink deep into them. 
  • Another way is having high expectations for them. You do not need to sugar-coat the gospel for them to want it. Nor do you need to water it down. Expect high things and great things, and they will live up to it.  Expect them to be reverent, expect them to fulfill family responsibilities, expect them to partake of the gospel to its fullest.
  • Teach them.  Teach them from their earliest age and don't stop. It just gets more and more fun with their age. Make Family Home Evening matter. Take advantage of spontaneous teaching moments throughout the day.
  • Don't back bite about the church leaders. 
  • Seek to have the Spirit in your home.
  • Have family scripture study everyday that you can and family prayers.  This will be a spiritual shield that will guide and protect your family. 
Teaching and instilling testimonies in our children is what will matter most in our lives. No ifs, ands, or buts around it!

*Although this post was directed to strengthening mothers in their divine role in the home, husbands and fathers have a key role as well.  I would add that husbands and fathers have a key role in helping their children come to know for themselves that Jesus Christ is their Savior as well as a testimony of all the aspects of the gospel. He has a key role teaching in Family home evening, and teaching moments throughout the day, and at the dinner table. It should be a team-work operation in our homes. 

Family Proclamation to the World: By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.