Rearing children in world of moral pollution

Set clear moral standards

Teach children to work- Follow prophets' counsel

Parents anxious about rearing their children in a world plagued with moral and spiritual pollution must return to the fundamentals of the gospel, said Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy.

Speaking Saturday morning, Elder Christensen said, "We all hear and read a great deal these days about our polluted physical environment - acid rain, smog, toxic wastes." But, parents concerned about helping their children find their way in a world that seems to be unraveling "recognize that there is another kind of pollution that is much more dangerous - the moral and spiritual.

"Sadly," he continued, "the effects of this great pollution are perhaps most evident in the mass media, films, television, and popular music. Although there are some uplifting exceptions, in most areas of the mass media there seems to be a declaration of war against almost everything the majority treasures most: the family, religion and patriotism."

Elder Christensen then gave four specific suggestions on how parents can make a positive difference in the lives of their children.

"First, do not be afraid to set clear moral standards and guidelines. Be sure to say `no' when it is needed.

"Second, teach your children to work and to take responsibility. Especially in urban settings, too many children are growing up in an environment where they do not have enough to do. Help your children learn self-discipline by such activities as learning to play a musical instrument or other demanding skill.

"Third, create an environment in your family in which spiritual experiences can occur. For example:

"Remember family prayer every day. Sending children out of your home without the spiritual protection of prayer is like sending them out into a blizzard without sufficient clothing.

"Hold family home evenings every week without fail. This is a wonderful time to share your testimony with your children. Give them an opportunity to share their feelings about the gospel.

"Read the scriptures together daily as a family.

"Fourth, follow the counsel of the prophets. Listen to their messages at this conference and re-read their counsel to us from prior occasions. If your personal and family practices do not conform to the counsel received, then for your own family's sake, make some changes."

By applying these suggestions and others, "we can help our children and grandchildren to survive spiritually and morally in a world where the pollution index continues to spiral upward. The intent is not to take our children out of the world but, as the Lord prayed, to keep them from evil."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed