Speaking of how to protect children and youth from the evil and temptations of this world, Harold C. Brown, director of LDS Social Services, addressed hundreds gathered in the Marriott Center for the Women's Conference at BYU.
Keynote speaker for the conference's May 4 fireside, Brother Brown offered remarks based on the topic, "Strengthening Homes and Families.""What makes youth able to withstand temptation? What is it that makes the difference?" he asked. "Experience tells us that it's what's inside an individual. It isn't what we believe as adults. It isn't just what the Church teaches. It's what youth believe is true. It's what they have integrated into their hearts."
Recalling receiving the polio vaccine shot when he was a boy, Brother Brown explained: "That shot didn't eliminate the virus poliomyelitis. It prepared and protected my body from it. We must do the same thing with our children. We must arm them from within."
Brother Brown offered three ideas for strengthening youth and families:
- Teach correct principles. He spoke of the blessings of seminary and Church classes, but added: "It isn't enough. We've been warned and counseled by our Church leaders that it has to also happen in the home if we want to be assured that our children are prepared."
Setting a good example, holding family home evening, and praying and studying the scriptures together are important ways to instill good values in children and youth, Brother Brown admonished.
- Build positive relationships. He counseled those listening to "view our homes as a place for our children to learn, even a place to make mistakes, then in kindness and love teach them what we want them to do and how we want them to behave."
Brother Brown encouraged parents to "seek God's help and even expect miracles."
- Have faith in the Lord and in the covenants made. "It is the covenants we make and keep that will arm us and our children with righteousness to withstand the great forces of Satan that are rallying now to try to destroy the children of our Heavenly Father.
"If we live our covenants, God will bless our children and help safeguard them in this life."