Parents’ testimony must be unquestionable

Their faith will be the guide children follow into the future

No child in this Church should be left with uncertainty about his or her parents' devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Restoration of His Church, and the reality of living prophets and apostles who, now as in earlier days, lead the Church, said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

Emphasizing concern for children, he recounted the Savior's praying for the children as cited in the Book of Mormon, and noted that He " 'groaned within himself' over the destructive influences always swirling around the innocent."

Speaking in the Saturday afternoon session of conference, Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve called for unity and conformity among parents in such basic matters of the faith.

"Parents simply cannot flirt with skepticism or cynicism, then be surprised when their children expand that flirtation into full-blown romance," he said.

Rather, he added, parents must be more certain than ever to "hold to anchored, unmistakable moorings clearly recognizable to those of our own household."

If parents hide their faith, their children may not detect it. "We can be reasonably active, meeting-going Latter-day Saints but if we do not live lives of gospel integrity and convey to our children heartfelt, powerful conviction regarding the truthfulness of the Restoration and the divine guidance of the Church from the First Vision to this very hour, then those children may, to our regret but not our surprise, turn out not to be visibly active, meeting-going Latter-day Saints or sometimes anything close to it." In religion, he noted, being skeptical is not more virtuous than having a believing heart.

He counseled parents to live the gospel "as conspicuously as you can. Keep the covenants your children know you have made. Give priesthood blessings. And bear your testimony!"

"Do our children know that we love the scriptures? . . . Have they heard us not only pray with them but also pray for them out of nothing more than sheer parental love? Do our children. . . know that we have fasted for them and for their future on days about which they knew nothing? Do they know we love being in the temple, not the least because it provides a bond to them that neither death nor the legions of hell can break? Do they know we love and sustain local and general leaders, imperfect as they are, for their willingness to accept callings they did not seek in order to preserve a standard of righteousness they did not create?

"Do these children know that we love God with all our heart and that we long to see the face — and fall at the feet — of His Only Begotten Son?"

Children make their flight into the future on the thrust and aim of their parents, he said. And as parents are aware of the many evils that can deflect, they can take courage knowing that which is most important in directing the arrow is the "stability, strength and unwavering certainty of the holder of the bow."

"Be strong," he counseled. "Be believing. Keep loving and testifying. Keep praying. Those prayers will be heard and answered in the most unexpected hour" even as the Savior's prayers for the children were answered by angels descending "and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them." (3 Nephi 17:23-24.)