“Fortifying children to become sin-resistant is a task and a blessing for parents,” Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president, said during the Sunday morning session of general conference.
“How to ‘bring up [our] children in light and truth’ (Doctrine and Covenants 93:40) may be a challenging question since it is individualized for each family and each child, but Heavenly Father has given universal guidelines that will help us,” Sister Jones said. “The Spirit will inspire us in the most effective ways we can spiritually inoculate our children.”
While many children strive to live pure and obedient lives, there are many “who struggle to stand ‘steadfast and immovable’ (Jacob 2:9) and whose delicate minds are being wounded,” Sister Jones said.
She shared key ways to raise a sin-resistant generation.
First, children and parents must understand their divine identity and purpose. “We must help them know without question that they are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and that He has divine expectations of them,” she said.
Second, they need to understand the doctrine of repentance. “Being sin-resistant doesn’t mean being sinless, but it does imply being continually repentant, vigilant and valiant,” Sister Jones said. “Perhaps being sin-resistant comes as a blessing from repeatedly resisting sin.”
Third is to “establish patterns of personal daily discipleship,” Sister Jones said.
“Creating consistent habits of prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and Sabbath worship leads to wholeness, internal consistency, and strong moral values — in other words, spiritual integrity,” Sister Jones said.
Fourth, help children understand, make and keep covenants. Sister Jones said, “There is unusual power in making and keeping covenants with our Heavenly Father.”
One way to teach this is for children to keep simple promises when they are young. “A succession of small, successfully kept promises leads to integrity,” she taught. “Out of the well of integrity springs an empowered, sin-resistant generation.”
“As you teach, lead and love children in the Savior’s way,” Sister Jones said, “you can receive personal revelation that will aid you in creating and arming valiant, sin-resistant children.”