President Ezra Taft Benson taught:
"In an eternal sense, salvation is a family affair. ...
"Above all else, children need to know and feel they are loved, wanted, and appreciated. They need to be assured of that often. Obviously, this is a role parents should fill, and most often the mother can do it best."10
But another crucial source for that feeling of being loved is love from other children in the family. Consistent care of brothers and sisters for each other will come only with persistent effort by parents and the help of God. You know that is true from experience in your own families. And it is confirmed each time you read of the family conflicts faced by righteous Lehi and his wife, Sariah, in the Book of Mormon record.
The successes they won provide a guide for us. They taught the gospel of Jesus Christ so well and so persistently that children and even some descendants over generations had hearts softened toward God and toward each other. For instance, Nephi and others wrote and reached out to family members who had been their enemies. The Spirit at times softened the hearts of thousands and replaced hatred with love.
One way for you to reproduce the successes of Father Lehi is by the way you lead family prayers and family time, such as family home evenings. Give children opportunities to pray, when they can pray, for each other in the circle who need blessings. Discern quickly the beginnings of discord and recognize acts of unselfish service, especially to each other. When they pray for each other and serve each other, hearts will be softened and turned to each other and to their parents.
- Henry B. Eyring, “Families Under Covenant“, April 2012 General Conference.
This past week my 10 year old son found a very exciting game on the iPad and excitedly asked me if I could buy this game. It looked fairly harmless and it was free, so I thought I’d let him play. What started out as a fun activity soon turned into a mini obsession. He wanted to play the game all day long.
Almost as if the Lord had been watching and preparing a friend on Sunday suggested I watch the video by Elder Bednar that was just put up on LDS.org. Here is is below:
How perfect was this for our current situation. Our sweet son was just experiencing the addictive power of technology in our lives and the devestating effects of it. Luckily it was a simple child’s game, but still the lessons were easy to see.
The Lord in his great mercy had somehow arranged it so that it was also his week to teach the FHE lesson. So yesterday afternoon I was able to sit down with him and suggested this video might be a good topic for our family home evening. It was amazing to see him grasp the concepts of the video and how they applied directly to the past week. He prepared some great questions about good vs. bad technology, becoming addicted to games and the effects they can have on our lives.
I am grateful for a Father in Heaven that calls modern day prophets to guide us today and warn of the dangers of our day!
For the application today I just quote Elder Bednar’s two questions to ask about technology
- Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?
- Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?
- "The Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls" (Jacob 4:13; see also D&C 93:24).
- "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
- I cannot tell you all the ways whereby you may misuse your bodies, "for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them" (Mosiah 4:29).
- You know what is right and what is wrong, and you have the individual responsibility to learn for yourself "by study and also by faith" (D&C 88:118) the things you should and should not do and the doctrinal reasons why you should and should not do those things.