Applying the scriptures: Children are strengthened by their spiritual memories

A parent knows no greater pain, perhaps, than to see a child lose faith. Such was true of the righteous Lamanites in the years between the preaching of Samuel the Lamanite and the signs given of the birth of Christ. "And there was also a cause of much sorrow among the Lamanites; for behold, they had many children who did grow up and began to wax strong in years, that they became for themselves, and were led away by some who were Zoramites, by their lyings and their flattering words, to join those Gadianton robbers.

"And thus were the Lamanites afflicted also, and began to decrease as to their faith and righteousness, because of the wickedness of the rising generation." (3 Nephi 1:29-30.)

Parents today, as did the ancient Lamanites, often fear for the spiritual welfare of their children. Wise counsel and comfort was offered to parents during the April 1996 general conference by Susan L. Warner, then-second counselor in the Primary general presidency. "One widely recognized expert in helping troubled youth said that the young people who most readily and completely come back after losing their way are those who have a foundation of standards and spirituality to which they can return. They are strengthened by their spiritual memories, and for them, repentance feels like coming home.

"Parents and teachers, our efforts to help our children establish a heritage of rich spiritual memories are never wasted. Sometimes, the seeds we plant may not bear fruit for years, but we may take comfort in the hope that someday the children we teach will remember how they have 'received and heard' the things of the Spirit. They will remember what they know and what they have felt. They will remember their identity as children of Heavenly Father, who sent them here with a divine purpose."

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