By Cordell and Janice Vail

24 Aug 2003

Copyright 2003 by Cordell Vail, all rights reserved

A weekly email gospel message for the descendents of Ammon and Winona Vail

Promised Blessing For Families

Who Study The Scriptures

Where could you find a parent anywhere who has not had heartache and troubles raising children. The rewards are great but the trials are also sometimes what seem to be unsurmountable. There are a few parents who have not reached this bridge yet. Some of them look at other parents who are having problems with their children and feel it must surely be the inadequacy of the parents that has caused the child to rebel. Then later, many of those parents come to that very bridge themselves and realize that they have done all that they could do and even yet children do not do what the parents wish and hope they would do. Giving children free agency was the first principle of our coming here to this earth. God gave it to us and we must extend that freedom to our children. But we must do all that we can to help them find the right path. Then after all we can do, if they still go a different way, we have to rely on the promises of the Lord that someday they will return.

There was a wonderful talk in conference by President Faust on that very subject. I will not quote all of it here but let you go to the church web page and read it if you find it of interest.

He defined for us what the definition of a good parent is: Who are good parents? They are those who have lovingly, prayerfully, and earnestly tried to teach their children by example and precept to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. This is true even though some of their children are disobedient or worldly. Children come into this world with their own distinct spirits and personality traits. Some children would challenge any set of parents under any set of circumstances. Perhaps there are others who would bless the lives of, and be a joy to, almost any father or mother. Successful parents are those who have sacrificed and struggled to do the best they can in their own family circumstances.

President James E. Faust,
Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered
April 2003 Sunday Morning Conference session,5232,23-1-353-22,00.html

In that talk he also promised us that the sealing powers from the temple would extend beyond the veil and give us power in the end to bring our children back to salvation if they have strayed. He said that few have sinned away their opportunity for repentance. But that still gives us little comfort in this life if we are struggling now. So here are some scriptures and quotes from talks that have given us what we felt were tools to help us in helping our children find the right path. Of course each one has found the "RIGHT" path in their own way. However these prophetic promises have brought great peace to us in raising our children over the years.

A Prophetic promise that will come to you from Reading The Book Of Mormon as a family:

You will have the spirit of peace in your home I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase, mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to that counsel. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity -- the pure love of Christ -- will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.

Marion G. Romney,
Conference Report, April 1960, p.112 - p.113

We can give you our witness that when we found this quote and be began to seek that promise by reading the Book Of Mormon in our home every day that spirit of peace came and the contention between our children greatly decreased. It was not easy to get everyone together and read every day. But the more we did it the more the spirit of peace entered our home. We were shocked when friends who visited us started to mention that they felt a different spirit in our home. It was that noticeable.

As with any promise from the living prophets or from the scriptures, there is a condition:

D&C 82:10
I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

To claim this promise, YOU HAVE TO DO IT. You have to read the Book Of Mormon on a very regular basis.

I can tell you that I have never met one person who was inactive in the church who read the Book Of Mormon on a daily basis. Not one.

We have also taken great comfort from this promise from the Book Of Mormon (and we feel it applies to raising children as much as any other part of our life)

Will always know what to do:
2 Nephi 32:3
Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.

Many times it is hard to know what to do when we have difficult decisions to make concerning our children. All we can do is the best we can do. The rest we have to leave up to the Lord. But if we will be faithful and prayerful we will know what to do. And when we do it, if it is not enough, if they still go their own way then we have done our best. We can not take away their free agency.

A part of the challenge to us is that we should never stop praying for them. (see President Faust's talk above and this one given by Sister Susan Tanner in that same conference. She said in part: is the foundational virtue in building a strong home? 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. President Hinckley said: Love can make the difference love generously given in childhood and reaching through the awkward years of youth . . . and encouragement that is quick to compliment and slow to criticize(Bring Up a Child in the Way He Should Go,Ensign, Nov. 1993, 60). 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....

Many families struggle with wayward children. We can take comfort in the eternal sealings of faithful parents which will draw children back to the fold (Orson F. Whitney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1929, 110). We must never give up loving them, praying for them, and trusting in our Heavenly Fathers care.

Susan W. Tanner
Young Women General President
General Conference Talk, Sunday Afternoon Session April 2003,5232,23-1-353-25,00.html

That is the marvelous prophetic promise given here by Elder Orson F. Whitney that was repeated again by President Faust above.

Here is a promise in the Book Of Mormon that is more for the parents than for the children. But again it is a promise to those who are faithful in reading the Book Of Mormon every day. If we do that, we will not fall away. When a child falls away, that is one of the things that is always present. They stop reading the scriptures and normally stop praying, but we do not need to stop ourselves even if they do

Will never fall away from the church:
1 Nephi 15:23-24
23 And they said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?
24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.

I realize that each member of our family has different challenges in raising their children. I pray that as a family we will be united in our support of each other and where there is weakness give strength, where there is need offer prayers, where there is despair, offer hope, where there is happiness be found sharing.

Moroni 7:46
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--

We send to each of you our prayers and our blessing.

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NOTE: Nothing in any of these Sunday Sermons is intended to represent the official doctrines of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are strictly instructions and teachings from Cordell and Janice Vail to their family.