Tom Smart, Deseret News
Establishing greater expectations for the youth of the Church and teaching with unity and power were all topics discussed by Church leaders during the annual Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Training Broadcast held Aug. 5.
The live broadcast originated from the Conference Center Little Theater in Salt Lake City and will be translated into more than 20 languages for Seminaries and Institutes of Religion personnel, stake and institute teachers and supervisors throughout the world.
Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy and Commissioner of Education for the Church spoke of two things that parents — and instructors — can do to raise children in righteousness.
1. Make decisions based on the long view.
“Decisions aren’t based on what is easiest now, but what will be most helpful to their children later in life, and even in the eternities,” he said. “They seem to have a sense about what is best to do now to help their children become all that they should become.”
Often parents are tempted to make decisions based on what will make the parent look better at the moment or what is easiest in the short term, he said.
“It seems that some parents end up doing much of their children’s schoolwork and school projects,” he said. “While we want our children to do well in school, a parent who does the work designed to help the student learn will actually cripple the child’s learning and put them at a disadvantage in the future. Sometimes that pressure to be able to brag about how well our children are doing in school or in other activities or awards they have received can blind us to what will actually help them learn and grow.”
Elder Johnson said children can sense — even if they can’t articulate it — whether a parent is motivated by selfishness or by what the parent believes is best for the child.
“We can help our children see the long view in their own lives,” he said. “Possibly, the most powerful way to do this is by being the type of people we want them to become. If they see us trying to be Christlike, they will be more likely to try to emulate Him, too.”
2. Use true principles of teaching and guidance.
Drawing from Doctrine and Covenants section 121, Elder Johnson shared scriptures about principles of priesthood leadership, adding that they can also be applied to parenting. It is upon principles of righteousness that parents are able to help guide their children.
“Fear, force, manipulation and unrighteous dominion won’t affect changes we want in our children,” he said. “These tactics may bring results, but not the results we want, because the powers of heaven are not brought into the equation.”
It is through using righteous principles that parents are able to help children see their own potential and develop a desire to try and to succeed.
“These two principles of parenting, taking the long view and using true principles of teaching and guidance, are as applicable to teachers as they are to parents,” he said.
“I hope we can all take the long view and help our children and our students become more than they imagine of themselves,” he said. “I hope we help our children and our students progress by adhering to righteous principles that are connected with the powers of heaven. We need the powers of heaven in this sacred work. It can’t be done without them.”
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, spoke of the need to have greater expectations for the youth of the Church.