Posted in Family, Teachings of Gordon B Hinckley

Teachings of Gordon B Hinckley – Chapter 11: Home—the Basis of a Righteous Life

Family relationships are the most sacred of all relationships.

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Read: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

From the manual:

The family is divine. It was instituted by our Heavenly Father. It encompasses the most sacred of all relationships. Only through its organization can the purposes of the Lord be fulfilled.

How might this truth affect our relationships with family members?

Fathers and mothers have the privilege of caring for their children and teaching them the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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President Harold B. Lee said, “The greatest of the Lord’s work you brethren will ever do as fathers will be within the walls of your own home.”

From the manual:

We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles which will keep them close to the Church. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility.

How has gospel teaching in your home blessed your family?

Through family prayer, children grow with faith in the living God.

‘Praying together, seeking to know the will of our Father in Heaven, and desiring strength to do His will draws Him near to us. This practice unifies family members in a common direction and purpose. How simple the Lord has made it for us! All we have to do is sincerely ask in faith in his name, and He will hear and answer our prayers. Yet, if the prophet bid us do some great thing for such blessings, would we do it? Holding regular family prayer is such a simple thing to do to receive these great blessings. (Rex D Pinegar, General Conference, October 1994)

From the manual:

I know of no other practice that will have so salutary an effect upon your lives as will the practice of kneeling together in prayer. The very words, Our Father in Heaven, have a tremendous effect. You cannot speak them with sincerity and with recognition without having some feeling of accountability to God. 

What blessings have you experienced by having regular family prayer?

Family home evening can draw parents and children together in learning the ways of the Lord.

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Pres Howard W Hunter: Take seriously your responsibility to teach the gospel to your family through regular family home evening, family prayer, devotional and scripture-reading time, and other teaching moments. Give special emphasis to preparation for missionary service and temple marriage. As patriarch in the home, exercise your priesthood through performing the appropriate ordinances for your family and by giving blessings to your wife and children. Next to your own salvation, brethren, there is nothing so important to you as the salvation of your wife and children.

From the manual:

I am grateful that we as a Church have as a basic part of our program the practice of a weekly family home evening. It is a significant thing that in these busy days thousands of families across the world are making an earnest effort to consecrate one evening a week to sing together, to instruct one another in the ways of the Lord, to kneel together in prayer, there to thank the Lord for his mercies and to invoke his blessings upon our lives, our homes, our labors, our land. I think we little estimate the vast good that will come of this program.

What blessings have come to your family through family home evening?

Parents should begin to teach their children when the children are very young.

“I have heard men and women say that they were going to let their sons and daughters grow to maturity before they sought to teach them the principles of the gospel, that they were not going to cram the gospel down them in their childhood, before they were able to comprehend it. When I hear men and women say this, I think they are lacking faith in the principles of the gospel and do not comprehend it as they should. The Lord has said it is our duty to teach our children in their youth, and I prefer to take His word for it rather than the words of those who are not obeying His commandments …. I may know that the gospel is true, and so may my wife; but I want to tell you that your children will not know that the gospel is true, unless they study it and gain a testimony for themselves. Parents are deceiving themselves in imagining that their children will be born with a knowledge of the gospel.” (Heber J Grant)

Video: Learn in thy youth (Alma 37:35) President Gordon B. Hinckley shares a story of the effects of neglecting a young tree. (3:02)

From the manual:

Review President Hinckley’s story of the honey locust tree (see section 5). What applications could this story have for you?

If children rebel, parents should continue to pray for them, love them, and reach out to them.

President Howard W Hunter: A successful parent is one who has loved, one who has sacrificed, and one who has cared for, taught, and ministered to the needs of a child. If you have done all these and your child is still wayward or troublesome or worldly, it could well be that you are, nevertheless, a successful parent. Perhaps there are children who have come into the world that would be a challenge to any set of parents under any circumstances. Likewise, perhaps there are others who would bless the lives of, and be a joy to, almost any father or mother. My concern today is that there are parents who may be pronouncing harsh judgements upon themselves and may be allowing these feelings to destroy their lives, when in fact they have done their best and should continue in faith.

From the manual:

Once in a while, notwithstanding all the things you try to do, there is a rebellious child. But keep at it. Do not ever give up. You have never lost as long as you try. Keep at it.

What are some ways that parents and others can reach out in love?

We strengthen our families as we seek heaven’s help and nurture a spirit of love and respect for each other.

Do we say, “Yes, most of the time I treat my family as Christ would . . . except when I get mad or when they misbehave.”  Treating our families as Christ would during the pleasant times does not count.  Being kind only counts during the unpleasant times.  If we want to get credit for being kind, we must be kind even when we are angry and even when our family members misbehave.  We must always be kind to our family members, even when we think they don’t deserve it.

From the manual:

I speak to fathers and mothers everywhere with a plea to put harshness behind us, to bridle our anger, to lower our voices, and to deal with mercy and love and respect one toward another in our homes.

Why is it important for parents to discipline their children with love rather than anger?

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