Teachings of our Church Leaders on Parenting

Never Blame

Return to Main Margie's Messages Home Page (Full List of Topics)

Joseph B. Wirthlin

Teaching Children the Consequences of Sin 
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Parents can plant seeds in the hearts and minds of their children only if they know where the children are and what they are doing.  Parents should not leave the teaching of their children to chance.  They should be in charge of their homes and families, remembering that 'reproof give[s] wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.' (Prov. 29:15.)  I have heard of parents who travel  extensively for pleasure, leaving their teenage children without parental protection for extended periods. Unprotected teenagers can indulge in a 'little' sin without realizing the possible consequences in sorrow and disappointment.

"Too many of our young people have the idea that limited sin is not really wrong because it will be forgiven easily with no consequences. We see young people who are guilty of moral sins but are not overly concerned because they expect to repent quickly, thinking all is well. The idea that any sin is unimportant is false; it comes from the devil.  'The Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.' (D&C 1:31.)  We should heed the counsel of Nephi when he wrote:

" 'Many . . . shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God--he will justify in committing a little sin; . . . there is no harm in this; . . . and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. . . .  " 'And thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.' (2 Ne. 28:8, 21.)"

Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Seeds of Renewal," Ensign, May 1989, 8