Teach children through love, example and correct precepts

At the October 1978 general conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley gave what he called "four imperatives" with reference to children: Love them, teach them, respect them, pray with them and for them.

He condemned all forms of child abuse and called for the disciplining of children with love and mildness. He urged parents to teach through love, example, and correct precepts."Let us [never] forget the need to respect these, our little ones," President Hinckley said. "Under the revealed word of the Lord, we know they are children of God as we are children of God, deserving of that respect which comes of knowledge of that eternal principle. In fact, the Lord made it clear that unless we develop in our own lives that purity, that lack of guile, that innocence of evil, we cannot enter into His presence. Declared He, `Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' " (Matt. 18:3.)

President Hinckley said that the world into which children are born is a complex and difficult world. "They will run into heavy seas of adversity," he said. "They will need all the strength and all the faith you can give them while they are yet near you. And they also will need a greater strength which comes of a higher power. They must do more than go along with what they find. They must lift the world, and the only levers they will have are the example of their own lives and the powers of persuasion that will come of their testimonies and their knowledge of the things of God. They will need the help of the Lord. While they are young, pray with them that they may come to know that source of strength which shall then always be available in every hour of need.

"How much more beautiful would be the world and the society in which we live if every father looked upon his children as the most precious of his assets, if he led them by the power of his example in kindness and love, and if in times of stress he blessed them by the authority of the holy priesthood; and if every mother regarded her children as the jewels of her life, as gifts from the God of heaven who is their Eternal Father, and brought them up with true affection in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord.

"Said Isaiah of old, All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.' (Isa. 54:13.) To which I add,Great also shall be the peace and the gladness of their fathers and mothers.' "

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