Responsibility of parents emphasized

Provide love in the home

Teach by example- Assume responsibilities

Much needs to be done to reverse current trends that continue to place the family at risk, Elder W. Eugene Hansen of the Presidency of the Seventy said Sunday morning.

Elder Hansen emphasized that although society in desperation has turned to secular means in an attempt to change destructive trends, "I submit that if real and lasting change is to occur, it will come only as we return to our spiritual moorings."

He observed, "As we acknowledge the love the Lord has for little children, it is not surprising that those who represent the Lord on earth today have spoken out plainly and forcefully as to the responsibility parents have for their children."

He quoted from "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," emphasizing the parental responsibilities to "rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live."

"These are sobering words, particularly in light of the adversary's continuing assault on traditional values and the impact it is having on the family," he said.

Elder Hansen told of being reared on a small farm in northern Utah, where money was scare and work at an early age was required. But, he said, he was reared in a good home where parents were more concerned about the children God gave them than acquiring worldly fame or possessions.

He said today's parents need to give their children an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the family. "In such a family, children are happier and there is a spirit of love and unity in the home."

Speaking of the home in which he grew up, Elder Hansen said, "There was love in the home. Home was the place where we wanted to be. It was good for us to have had the experience of forgoing some of our wants that others in the family would be able to have their needs fulfilled." Though material possessions were scant, the family still had a piano and bookcase, significant items in developing productive talents and interests.

He said his father and mother worked as equal partners, and taught their children by example.

His father taught charity, as on many occasions he went to the aid of others; faith, as he prayed and gave priesthood blessings; love as he tenderly cared for his parents in their older years; standards of living as he used experience and current events in teaching; dependability, as he gave his son an alarm clock and the responsibility to milk cows night and morning; and integrity, as he was never seen doing a dishonest thing.

Elder Hansen's mother also taught many things, including thrift, as she practiced "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"; sacrifice as she went without so her children might have; chastity as she taught her children to be morally clean; love as she had a mother's love at home; and kindness, as "I can genuinely say I never saw her do an unkind thing."

Some moral and spiritual values are non-negotiable, he declared. Strong family relationships take time, commitment, prayer and work.

"Parents must realize their responsibility and willingly assume it. The joy and happiness that will result are indescribable."

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