Former general Primary president, Patricia P. Pinegar, relates the following story:
One day as Ed and I were maneuvering the streets of England, he turned to me with tears in his eyes, and he said, “Look.” I turned and saw a child on the side of the road. And then he said, “Who will teach the children?” That thought will not leave my mind or my heart. Who will teach the children? Who will teach the child who asks, “Will Heavenly Father really answer my prayer?” Who will teach Kate when at five years of age she asks, “Why do we need Jesus?” Who will teach the children? Please, will you? Will you? Will you help teach the children?
Since my call I’ve knelt and asked, “Father, what do you want the children to be taught?”
Teach and show the children that Heavenly Father loves them and has confidence in them because they are his children.
Teach and show them that they do need Jesus, our Savior, our guide. Help them understand and accept his love and trust him and follow him. Teach them that our prophet, President Howard W. Hunter, has said, “We should at every opportunity ask ourselves, ’What would Jesus do?’ and then be more courageous to act upon the answer.” He also said, “We must know Christ better than we know him; we must remember him more often than we remember him; we must serve him more valiantly than we serve him” (Ensign, Sept. 1994, 5).
Teach the children that at eight years of age, when they are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, they will be responsible for their choices. Teach them that they will be tempted, but as they listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost, he will help them with their choices.
We can teach the children these gospel truths and all of the truths of the plan of happiness that Heavenly Father wants his children to understand and live. Family home evening can be one of those safe and loving places where the Spirit is felt. With eight children in our home, I also have vivid memories that family home evening wasn’t always easy. Remember other opportunities for teaching: family prayer, family scripture study (don’t give up!), in the classroom, in the hall, in the neighborhood.
And please, will each one of you be as the stalwart and dependable redwood trees, connecting and intertwining your roots of testimony, of faith, of love, of kindness and patience with every child? Their roots are not deep enough for them to stand alone in the storms of life. They need us—every one of us—parents, teachers, leaders, youth, brothers, sisters. They need you. (Ensign, Nov. 1994, 78–79)