Parents are remembered by the example they set

Teach respect

Develop divine qualities- Show unwavering love

Drawing on incidents from his own life, Presiding Bishop Robert D. Hales affirmed Saturday morning, "Our children will remember us by our example."

He said that when he was a deacon, his father taught him respect for the priesthood when, together, the two cleaned the ward's stainless-steel sacrament trays with steel wool until they sparkled.

"On vacations, Father would take us to historical sites that were prominent in Church history to build our knowledge and testimonies."

Bishop Hales said he learned respect for womanhood by his father's tender attentiveness to his mother, especially during the last two years of her life when she required 24 hours of care.

"My father has been gone for seven years, but I remember him with love and respect," he commented. "Now I find myself asking the question, `How will my children remember me?' How will your children remember you?"

Noting that parenthood is one of life's greatest privileges and responsibilities, Bishop Hales said: "In many ways earthly parents represent their Heavenly Father in the process of nurturing, loving and teaching children. Children naturally look to their parents to learn of the characteristics of their Heavenly Father. After they come to love, respect and have confidence in their earthly parents, they often unknowingly develop the same feelings towards their Heavenly Father.

"However, a child, even one raised with great love and care and carefully taught, may choose, when an adult, not to follow those teachings for a variety of reasons. How should we react? We understand the principle of agency. We pray that life's experiences will help them regain their desire and ability to live the gospel. They are still our children, and we will love and care about them always. We do not lock the doors to our house nor the doors of our heart."

If the example of one's parents was not good, Bishop Hales said, it is one's responsibility to break the cycle by being a good example.

"Certainly parents will make mistakes in their parenting process, but through humility, faith, prayer and study, each person can learn a better way, and in so doing bless the lives of family members now and teach correct traditions for the generations that follow," Bishop Hales said.

He noted that Jesus had love for His Father, as reflected in His intercessory prayer in John 17.

"Jesus was able to complete His mission of the Atonement on earth because of the knowledge, example and love of His Father. Likewise, may each of us, as parents and especially as brethren in the priesthood, through our example, love and care, be remembered by our children to have the qualities that our Heavenly Father and our Savior have so that we may endure to the end and some day return with our families back into the celestial presence."

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