Saturday, September 26, 2015

Goodly Parents Teach by Sasha Takis

Recently I purchased a Book of Mormon to study with the sole purpose of searching for specific guidance relating to parenting and education. I have been color coding verses according to subject and theme. 

I think it is significant that the most true book on Earth begins with telling us of good parents; Nephi's father taught him what he knew because he was a good parent, the converse being true that because Lehi taught his son, he was a good parent:

"I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father..." (1 Nephi 1:1)

As I studied the family of Lehi anew, and reread of their two return journeys to Jerusalem after fleeing to the wilderness, I paused to consider the reasons for these return trips. The acquisition of the Brass Plates served to preserve a language and provide a record of doctrine and commandments, both necessary for the support, teaching, sustaining, and building of this family and their future generations, and also to provide the genealogy of Lehi's family. 
The convincing of Ishmael and his family to join Lehi's family was for the forming of the most important companionship in this life, those of marrying and making families. 

These two necessary trips were all about the family! From the dust of 600 BC comes the Book of Mormon version of the Proclamation on the Family.

Juxtaposing this part of the Book of Mormon with the Proclamation, I'd like to suggest what it is that is imperative for parents to teach their children.

Teach them where they come from.
  • Teach your children that they are eternal beings. Teach them the Plan of Salvation and that they are children of a loving Father in Heaven.
  • Teach your children their family history. More than names and dates, search and study the true life stories that are their heritage. Come to know your ancestors as real people and internalize their trials, triumphs, and testimonies.
  • Keep in touch with living relatives. Be diligent in strengthening family relationships. Those who make up the members of your family are not a matter of chance.
  • Teach your children the history of your nation and to be patriots. Help them recognize the Hand of God in the affairs of history.
Teach them where they are going.
  • Teach them that this life is the time to prepare to meet God. Continually walk with them the path that leads back to Him.
  • Demonstrate a love of learning and an appreciation for education and improvement.
  • Teach your children to work.
  • Teach your children to make and keep covenants both in word and by example. Take your family to the temple. Prepare them for the day when they will marry and begin families of their own. 
  • Discuss family life and help your children acquire skills for homemaking and providing, as well as those for nurturing family relationships.
Teach them what you know. 
  • Follow the example of Lehi and share your knowledge, your passions, your experiences, and your testimony with your children. Be interested in and an active part of your children's educations.
  • Set an example of standing up for what is right. Do not underestimate yourself or your influence. Employ the skills and knowledge you've acquired to bless your children  and guard against any enemy.
Teach them language.
  • Don't leave to others the responsibility you have to ensure your children are learning and literate. Read to them, read with them, have them read to you. 
  • Create a home environment where record keeping is the norm. Journals, scrapbooks, letters, memoirs, even poetry and creative writing should abound.
  • Teach good manners in speech and how to effectively communicate with people, being good listeners as well as strong but tempered speakers.
  • Help them learn, recognize, and understand the language of the Spirit.
  • Teach them to pray.
Moses counseled, "And thou shalt teach (these words) diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (see Deuteronomy 6:7). This means good parents are teaching all the time. 

Children are born into families. They aren't born to governments, to schools, to clubs, or even to churches. The Plan of Happiness--the blueprint for finding and achieving real, lasting happiness--is centered on the family and not any other organization or group. Therefore, the rearing and education of children is both the responsibility and privilege of parents to whom children are born. They may employ the help of others for support, but they should never give up what is both their right and their charge in the teaching of their children.

About the author:  Sasha Takis loves hiking, watching her kids play baseball/softball, and doing a lot of laundry in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She blogs about a little of this, a little of that, and a whole lot about homeschooling, parenting, truth, and gospel analogies at
If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it on Facebook! Be sure to check out the other host blogs today for more wonderful posts and testimonies about family.

You can also share your love of family by sharing photos online this month under the hashtag #ILovetheFamilyProclamation.

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