How to focus on spiritual and temporal well-being of children during 1995

In Mosiah 4:14-15, we are exhorted to teach our children "to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another."

Accomplishing these things won't happen just because it is a wish. There has to be a plan and some realistic goals. Utilize family home evening and individual time with each child to teach:- Consistent personal prayer.

Family and personal scripture study.

Sabbath day observance.

The principle of repentance.

Positive mental attitude.

Parents, it is also important to:

Share your testimony and read to your children.

Be selective about the music in your homes. Hymns should be sung in the home.

Limit television viewing.

Help children learn to serve others.

Temporal well-being and security come from following rules. These are rules of safety, physical care, including hygiene and health guidelines. Children should be taught to organize and take care of their personal belongings. Children learn temporal well-being from managing time and finances. Express positive feelings and comments, and allow children to express their feelings and listen to their input.

And most important, pray for your children. - Marilyn Corbett, Shelley, Idaho

How we did it:

Listen as a child would

Being involved with children, in all of their activities whether school, Church, or extracurricular activities, such as sports or music, is important. The following ideas are of value:

Volunteer to help so you can be sure the activities in which your children are involved are in keeping with the standards of the Church.

When your children are sharing a problem with you, try to listen with a child's ear so your understanding will be from a child's point of view. - Bishop Jerry V. Mortenson - Cupertino, Calif.

Our greatest resources

Children are our greatest resources, and the development of their spiritual and temporal well-being bears eternal consequences. If we want our children to be spiritually prepared, then we must teach them to be personally pure. We must teach only principles that bless their lives.

Teaching acceptance and love will stimulate growth.

Teaching service will dispel selfishness.

Teaching prayer will instill gratitude.

Reading together from the scriptures will give guidance and direction.

A good example should be our sermon. We become by doing and we teach by being. As a family focusing on children, we should do fun things together.

Plan acts of kindness and service, pray together, read the scriptures together; counsel together and worship together. - Bishop Glenn A. Hansen, Schaumburg, Ill.

Reading scriptures blesses

I have often thought about the promises we have been given in the Book of Mormon and the promises we have received from the prophets.

We are told that if we read the Book of Mormon, our families will be blessed. And in the Book of Mormon, we learn that people were promised that so long as they kept the commandments, they would prosper in the land.

So if we keep the commandments, then we will prosper, both spiritually and temporally.

But in order to know the commandments that we are to keep, we need to study the scriptures with our children. And, of course, it is important to say our personal and family prayers, attend our meetings, and do all the other things we are asked to do. - Aloma Custer, Berwick, Pa.

All things spiritual

We are taught in D&C 29:34 "that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal."

This statement becomes a foundation principle in establishing greater spirituality in the home. We are taught in this scripture that because "all things" unto the Lord are spiritual, there will never be a challenge related to righteous living that isn't spiritual in nature. In other words, whenever we have a difficult test in school, a problem with a friend, a frustrating day, an especially trying situation at work or a family dilemma, we can always receive spiritual guidance from the Lord. Children need to know that the Lord will help them with all their challenges.

These concepts are taught by parental example. When kneeling in family prayer or assisting in personal prayers, parents should encourage their children to take specific problems to the Lord by explaining to Him what the difficulty is and asking for help. Children also need to understand how the Lord answers prayers. Our youth can feel the influence of the Spirit and know that sweet feeling of peace and understanding is the Holy Ghost. Eventually, they will develop the confidence to take all difficulties to the Lord in prayer.

When we have this faith, all obstacles of life become opportunities to grow and develop. We will take responsibility for our actions and choose to act rather than to believe we are acted upon, and that we have little or no control of our lives.

The scriptures also teach us that Heavenly Father will never give us a challenge too great for us to overcome but will provide, along with the challenge, "a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Cor. 10:13.) - Bishop Kelly Tryon, Deming, N.M.

Making memories

Perhaps a watchword for 1995 might be: "Let's make memories." As a mother of four pre-schoolers, my day passes all too quickly with the hustle and haste of chores to do, meals to prepare, and messes to clean.

If my mind and efforts are focused more on doing something special with each child each day, and creating memories along the way, I find I am much more in tune to receive inspiration that benefits both the spiritual and temporal well-being of my children. - Julie Moore Fortuna, St. Louis, Mo.

Answer is simple

What can we do to focus more on the spiritual and temporal well-being of children this year? The answer is simple. Remind yourself.

Post reminders, whether a particular picture or scripture relating to children, in a place that you will see often. Thus, you may be more attentive to the needs of children around you.

The day we start paying more attention to the children around us will be the day we start focusing on their needs and well-being. - Elders Daniel Andrews and Brian Wallace II, England London Mission

How to checklist:

1 Pray with children, read scriptures together, counsel together, worship together.

2 Teach children to manage time and finances.

3 Plan acts of kindness and service; help children learn to serve others

4 Be involved with children, understand their perspective.


Jan. 14 "How to cope as a family with crisis."

Jan. 21 "How to cooperate as parents in the discipline of your children."

Jan. 28 "How to cope and be patient while waiting to adopt children."

Feb. 4 "How to enhance relationships between brothers and sisters."

Feb. 11 "How to smoothly adjust to marriage."

Feb. 18 "How to overcome roadblocks to personal progress."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, or send fax to (801) 237-2121. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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