'Will you help teach the children?'

Members can be like giant redwood trees and "support and strengthen each other, especially the children," said Patricia P. Pinegar at the Sunday afternoon session.

Sister Pinegar was speaking for the first time as Primary general president, after being sustained to the position Saturday morning. She had served as second counselor in the Young Women general presidency since April 1992.In relating the analogy of the redwood trees in Northern California, Sister Pinegar explained that their root system is very shallow. "But when they are surrounded by other redwood trees, the strongest, fiercest wind cannot blow them over. The roots of the giant redwood trees intertwine and strengthen each other. When a storm comes they actually hold each other up.

"Will each of you be as the stalwart and dependable redwood trees," she admonished, "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 - everyone of us. . . ."

She related an experience when she was serving with her husband in England when he was president of the England London South Mission. One day, she recalled, they were driving through the streets of England when Pres. Pinegar turned to her with tears in his eyes and pointed out a child on the side of the road. "Who will teach the children?" he asked her.

"That thought will not leave my mind or my heart," she said. "Please, will you? Will you? Will you help teach the children?"

She admonished: "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 to 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.' "

Sister Pinegar counseled members to teach children "gospel truths and all of the truths of the plan of happiness that Heavenly Father wants His children to understand and live."

She continued: "Family home evening can be one of those safe and loving places where the Spirit is felt. Remember other opportunities for teaching: family prayer, family scripture study, in the classroom, in the hall, in the neighborhood."

In concluding remarks, Sister Pinegar added, "To the Primary children of the world, . . . I love you and would want you to feel `encircled about in the arms of his love.' " (2 Ne. 1:15.)

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