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Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy speaks Oct. 3 during the Saturday afternoon session of the 185th Semiannual General Conference.

Latter-day Saints are engaged in a battle with the world, said Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy.

“In the past, the world competed for our children’s energy and time,” he said. “Today it fights for their identity and mind. Many loud and prominent voices are trying to define who our children are and what they should believe. We cannot let society give our family a makeover in the image of the world. We must win this battle. Everything depends on it.”

Speaking during the Saturday afternoon session of conference, Elder Foster said the children of the Church sing a song that teaches them about their real identity: “I am a child of God.”

“These are perilous times,” he said. “But the good news is God knew this would be the case and He has provided counsel in the scriptures for us to know how to help our children and grandchildren.”

In the Book of Mormon, the Savior appeared to the Nephites and gathered their little children around Him, he said.

“As we look at our own children and grandchildren today, what does the Savior want us to see in them? Do we recognize that our children are the largest group of investigators of the Church? What must we do to bring about their lasting conversion?”

Elder Foster said there is a difference between hearing and understanding. “If our children merely hear but do not understand the gospel, then the door is left open for Satan to remove these truths from their hearts.

"However, if we can help them grow roots of deep conversion, then in the heat of the day, when this life gets tough, and it will, the gospel of Jesus Christ can give them something within that cannot be affected from without.”

Hearing words just might not be enough, he said.

“As parents in Zion, you have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, as you pray for guidance, ‘it will show unto you all things what ye should do’ (2 Nephi 32:5) in teaching your children.”

Children learn when they are ready to learn, not just when their parents are ready to teach them, he said. It is never too early or too late for parents to teach their children.

“I know I can’t turn back time, but this I now know — that it’s never too early and it’s never too late — to lead, guide, and walk beside our children because families are forever.”

sarah@deseretnews.com @SJW_ChurchNews

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