Saturday, January 9, 2010

Parental Influence

M. Russell Ballard:

"Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it. [Alma 56:47–48; emphasis added]

Our youth need steadfast, courageous mothers--and they need fathers like Enos had. As you will recall, Enos was Lehi's grandson, the son of Jacob. Enos recorded that his father was "a just man" who "taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord--and blessed be the name of my God for it" (Enos 1:1).

The scriptural record seems to suggest that Enos had a spiritual change of heart one day while hunting. He wrote that during this quiet time alone, "the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart" (Enos 1:3).

Notice that this moment of spiritual enlightenment did not come at the height of a lecture from a concerned father to a troubled son. As important as those occasional lectures are, they rarely result in immediate long-term change. Nor did it come in the midst of one of Jacob's great gospel sermons. It may be that Jacob wasn't even alive to enjoy his son's spiritual rebirth. None of that matters. The important thing is Jacob made sure that he taught his son "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Enos heard, and eventually he understood. And, as Enos said, "blessed be the name of my God for it."

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