Parents have a joyful and sacred responsibility to teach their children, said Brother Devin G. Durrant, first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency.
“We never stop being their parents. We never stop being their teachers. We are never released from these eternal callings,” he said.
Speaking during the Saturday afternoon session of general conference on March 31, Brother Durrant directed his remarks to all who are or who desire to be parents.
Recognizing the many sacred and joyful opportunities he has experienced as a parent and grandparent to teach his descendants the gospel and prepare them for the challenges of life, Brother Durrant listed five opportunities.
Family home evening
Family home evening offers many opportunities for parents to teach their children the gospel. Quoting President Gordon B. Hinckley, he said, “Gather your children about you, teach them, bear testimony to them, read the scriptures together and have a good time together.”
Make family home evening a priority, Brother Durrant said. “And make fun a key ingredient.”
Brother Durrant shared that, as a child, he often felt his family prayed too much.
“Now, as a parent, I know we can’t ever pray too much as a family,” Brother Durrant said. “When families gather in humble prayer, powerful and lasting lessons are taught.”
Brother Durrant encouraged parents to pray for their children by name, and let them listen as they express their love for their children to their Heavenly Father.
On-call or in the moment
Recognizing that not every opportunity to teach children can come in planned circumstances, Brother Durrant said that being a parent can be similar to being an "on-call physician."
Sometimes parents need to be ready to react to circumstances and teach their children without planning.
“As a father, I am motivated to personally study and ponder the scriptures in order to be able to respond when my children or grandchildren present an on-call teaching opportunity,” Brother Durrant said.
Family scripture study
“Family scripture study is an ideal forum for teaching the doctrine in the home,” Brother Durrant said. And parents have a “divine mandate” to teach their children the doctrine, he said, quoting from President Russell M. Nelson.
Brother Durrant said that parents' example is the most impactful way for them to teach their children.
“That’s how the Savior teaches,” he said. “As parents cherish each other and offer righteous examples, children are eternally blessed.”
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