“Build boys, so you won’t have to fix men”
(I found this quote from my friend Joyce, thanks Radost!)
I found an article that recounted the story about Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley. Her son Richard… had to stay after school for some kind of grade-school disciplining. Always awaiting the children’s arrival from school each day, Sister Hinckley was immediately lonely when her son did not walk in the door with the others. The next thing anyone knew, she appeared from out of nowhere at the young penitent’s classroom, saying to a startled teacher, ‘You can do anything you want to this boy all day long, but after 3:00 p.m. he’s mine.’
Can you imagine how that boy felt? How his self-esteem would grow, knowing that he was valued and appreciated by his mother?
Another daughter (from the same article) said, She loved having us home after school and couldn’t wait for summer vacation to arrive. Other mothers were only too happy to see school start again in the fall, but not Mom—she would weep! She would grieve that we were leaving her.
Again, how would those children feel? It’s such a stark difference from what I hear from parents everyday. Things that I am guilty myself of sometimes saying.
How might a child feel if they were present when a parent said, “I can’t wait to get rid of her/him for a while,” even if that statement is in jest?
How might a child feel when they are made to feel that they are a constant source of annoyance?
In the book of Isaiah, there is a prophecy that the Women of Israel will do horrible things to their children during the siege of Jerusalem (I won’t bother to put the scripture here, just believe me when I say, it’s horrific). The prophet laments, questioning, “how can these beautiful women come to the point where they hate their husbands and do these terrible things to their children?”
Unfortunately, a few books later, the prophecy (inevitably) comes true.
Sometimes I wonder if we figuratively do these rotten things to our children when we desire to get rid of them so easily. When we joke about what a burden they are. Are we selling our children’s birthright to loving parents?
It takes time and effort to love and nurture. In order to be a truly great and effective parent, we must learn to value our children and our roles as parents.
That video was part of a talk from April Conference, 2010, by Elder Hales, as is the following excerpt;
The greatest missionary work we will ever do will be in our homes. Our homes, quorums, and classes are part of the mission field. Our children and grandchildren are our most important investigators.
The greatest family history work that we will do will be within our own homes. It is the spiritual preparation of our children in the rising generation that will, through their obedience, ensure the eternal preservation and perpetuation of our families for the coming generations.
The greatest rescue, the greatest activation will be in our homes. If someone in your family is wandering in strange paths, you are a rescuer, engaged in the greatest rescue effort the Church has ever known. I testify from personal experience: There is no failure except in giving up. It is never too early or too late to begin. Do not worry about what has happened in the past. Pick up the phone. Write a note. Make a visit. Extend the invitation to come home. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed. Your child is Heavenly Father’s child. You are about His work. He has promised to gather His children, and He is with you.
The greatest faith we have will be within our homes as we remain strong in the trials and tribulations of parenthood. To a small group of mothers, President Monson recently said, “Sometimes we are too quick to judge the effect of our successes and failures.” May I add, don’t look at today’s trials as eternal. Heavenly Father does His work in the long term. “There is much which lieth in futurity,” the Prophet Joseph Smith said. “Therefore, . . . let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed” (D&C 123:15, 17).
The greatest love and the greatest teachings should be in our homes.
May we come to understand that children are an heritage (aka inheritance) of the Lord (Psalm 127: 3).