“My Father Taught Me in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord”

K. Douglas Bassett

1 Ne. 1:1; 2:16; 11:1-5; Mosiah 1:2; Alma 36:16-19; Hel. 5:5; Eph. 6:4; Conference Report, Apr. 1965, p. 60-61; Conference Report, Apr. 1929, p. 110; Doctrines of Salvation, Smith, 2:90-91; Ensign, July 1973, p. 98; Eternal Families, ed. by Brinley & Judd, pp. 90-101; refer in this text to 2 Ne. 4:5-6; Mosiah 25:12; Alma 56:47-48

“Sometimes as I go throughout the Church, I think I am seeing a man who is using his church work as a kind of escape from family responsibility. And sometimes when we’ve talked about whether or not he’s giving attention to his family, his children and his wife, he says something like this: ‘Well I’m so busy taking care of the Lord’s work that I really don’t have time.’ And I say to him, ‘My dear brother, the greatest of the Lord’s work that you and I will ever do is the work that we do within the walls of our own home.’ Now don’t you get any misconception about where the Lord’s work starts. That’s the most important of all the Lord’s work. And you wives may have to remind your husbands of that occasionally. That here in the home—family home night—you must see to it that all the principles are involved so that father takes his place and doesn’t neglect the children.” (Harold B. Lee, Address to Seminary and Institute Personnel, BYU, July 8, 1966)
“In the divine scheme every soul has been given a father whose responsibility is not only to sire and provide the necessities of life, but also to train for mortality and life eternal. Undoubtedly Sariah cooperated with Lehi, but it was the father who called his family together to teach them righteousness. The teaching of the children by the fathers is basic from the beginning. The Lord ordained it so. Though Enos had strayed for a time, the teachings of his father prevailed, and he returned to worthiness.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, Apr. 1965, pp. 61-62)
“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” (David O. McKay, Improvement Era, June 1964, p. 445)
“We emphasize that the greatest work you will do will be within the walls of your home… . It is not uncommon for responsible parents to lose one of their children, for a time, to influences over which they have no control. They agonize over rebellious sons or daughters. They are puzzled over why they are so helpless when they have tried so hard to do what they should. It is my conviction that those wicked influences one day will be overruled. ‘The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught a more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God.’ (Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1929, p. 110) …When parents keep the covenants they have made at the altar of the temple, their children will be forever bound to them. President Brigham Young said [Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 208]: ‘Let the father and mother, who are members of this Church and Kingdom, take a righteous course, and strive with all their might never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives; if they have one child or one hundred children go, they are bound up to their parents by an everlasting tie, and no power of earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain from whence they sprang.’” (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1992, p. 68)
“An ancient grandmother lived with her daughter and grandson. As she grew frail and feeble, instead of being a help around the house, she became a constant trial. She broke plates and cups, lost knives, spilled water. One day, exasperated because the old woman had broken another precious plate, the daughter sent the grandson to buy his grandmother a wooden plate. The boy hesitated because he knew a wooden plate would humiliate his grandmother. But his mother insisted, so off he went. He returned bringing not one, but two wooden plates. ‘I only asked you to buy one,’ his mother said. ‘Didn’t you hear me?’ ‘Yes,’ said the boy. ‘But I bought the second one so there would be one for you when you get old.’” (Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 1993, p. 62)
“God has placed within us a will, and we should be satisfied to have it controlled by the will of the Almighty… . It has been the custom of parents to break the will until it is weakened, and the noble, God-like powers of the child are reduced to a comparative state of imbecility and cowardice. Let that heaven-born property of human agents be properly tempered and wisely directed, instead of pursuing the opposite course, and it will conquer in the cause of right. Break not the spirit of any person, … until God shall reign within us to will and do his good pleasure.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 264)

Latter-Day Commentary on the Book of Mormon