Teach Children the Ways of the Lord
13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
“Now, this is a subject which I take very seriously. It is a matter with which I am deeply concerned. I hope you will not take it lightly. It concerns the most precious asset you have. In terms of your happiness, in terms of the matters that make you proud or sad, nothing—I repeat, nothing—will have so profound an effect on you as the way your children turn out.
“You will either rejoice and boast of their accomplishments or you will weep, head in hands, bereft and forlorn, if they become a disappointment or an embarrassment to you. . . .
“The problem of parental direction of sons and daughters is not new. It is perhaps more acute than it has ever been, but every generation has faced some aspect of it.
“In 1833 the Lord Himself rebuked Joseph Smith and his counselors and the Presiding Bishop. To the Prophet Joseph He said in language clear and unmistakable, as He had said to others:
“‘You have not kept the commandments, and must needs stand rebuked before the Lord;
“‘Your family must needs repent and forsake some things, and give more earnest heed unto your sayings, or be removed out of their place’ (D&C 93:47–48).
“Specifically what brought about these rebukes, I do not know. But I do know that the situation was serious enough and its future fraught with sufficient danger for the Lord Himself to speak with clarity and warning.
“I think He likewise speaks to us with clarity and warning. My heart reaches out to our youth, who in many cases must walk a very lonely road. They find themselves in the midst of these evils. I hope they can share their burden with you, their fathers and mothers. I hope that you will listen, that you will be patient and understanding, that you will draw them to you and comfort and sustain them in their loneliness. Pray for direction. Pray for patience. Pray for the strength to love even though the offense may have been serious. Pray for understanding and kindness and, above all, for wisdom and inspiration.
“I believe this to be the most marvelous age in all the history of the world. For some reason you and I have been permitted to come on the scene at this time when there is such a great flowering of knowledge. What a tragedy it is, what a bleak and terrible thing to witness a son or daughter on whom you counted so much walk the tortuous path that leads down to hell. On the other hand, what a glorious and beautiful thing it is to see the child of your dreams walk with head up, standing tall, unafraid, and with confidence, taking advantage of the tremendous opportunities that open around him or her. Isaiah said, ‘All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children’ (Isa. 54:13).
“So lead your sons and daughters, so guide and direct them from the time they are very small, so teach them in the ways of the Lord, that peace will be their companion throughout life.”
(“Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 50, 51–52.)