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September 2016 Relief Society Visiting Teaching Message:
Are children not precious gifts from God? Parenthood is the opportunity we have in helping nurture, protect and strengthen God's children. One thing that has always stuck with me is advice given to me from my own mother. She said that as she raised us, she always thought about how first we are Heavenly Father's children, that He sent here on earth on loan to her and my father. That she always thought about how Heavenly Father would want her to raise, His children.
Our children are indeed our Father's children. And He is the greatest example of how we should parent our children. I love what Sister Susan W. Tanner says,
“Our Father in Heaven exemplifies the pattern we should follow. He loves us, teaches us, is patient with us, and entrusts us with our agency. … Sometimes discipline, which means ‘to teach,’ is confused with criticism. Children—as well as people of all ages—improve behavior from love and encouragement more than from fault-finding.”
I have recently be focusing on scripture study and prayer, on of the things I have been doing is coming with a question each day for my Heavenly Father and then reading the scriptures to find the answer. The first time I did this, my question was on how to be a better Mother. It is something that means so much to me, I do truly believe that it is a sacred calling and I sincerely want to know the things I can do to be better.
In reading this month's visiting teaching message I was in awe that it was on the topic that I just asked my Father in Heaven about. As I studied the scriptures earlier this week I did indeed receive an answer to my question. The answer to the question has been reiterated in this visiting teaching message. That our Heavenly Father IS the GREATEST example of how to be a parent. He is patient and long suffering. He is loving and kind to all of His children, even when they forget Him.
Each of us has a great responsibility in nurturing our Father's children, even those who may not have the opportunity here on earth to be a biological parent. I look in my own life at the people who have influenced me as well as the children I have been able to influence. The key is to love them as our Heavenly Father loves them and serve and teach them as He would have us do.
Thanks for visiting and listening to my thoughts on this month's message. How are you going to share the message of, "Parenthood is a Sacred Duty"?
Sometimes it's fun to give our sisters something when we go and visit them! Here are some ideas: