Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Quorum of the Seventy addressed the congregation about teaching children in a way that they will understand.
Elder Foster began by describing that the world today fights not just for children’s energy and time, but also “for their identity and mind.”
Facing new challenges, Elder Foster called parents to take a greater part in their children’s lives through “intentional parenting.”
He asked, “Do we recognize that our children are the largest group of investigators of the church?”
Elder Foster used examples from the scriptures to teach the process of “lasting conversion.” Citing Jesus’s explanation of the parable of the sower, Elder Foster explained that “there is a difference between hearing and understanding.”
“If our children merely hear but do not understand the gospel, then the door is open for Satan to remove these truths from their hearts,” Elder Foster said.
Elder Foster used the story of Helen Keller as an example of helping someone gain understanding.
Helen Keller, despite being deaf and blind, went on to earn a college degree and help change the world thanks in part to the dedication of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, who discovered a way to teach Helen in a way that she would understand.
Elder Foster used the story of a young man to show how parents can help their children understand.
Elder Foster interviewed Pablo prior to him serving a mission. Elder Foster was impressed by Pablo’s answers on testimony, desire to serve and worthiness. Elder Foster discovered that it was the young man’s father who had taught him the gospel progressively as Pablo became exposed to different topics and ideas during his life.
“Pablo’s father knew children learn when they are ready to learn, not just when we are ready to teach them.”
Reflecting on his own grown children, Elder Foster offered a prayer after the interview with Pablo asking how he could help and teach his children like Pablo’s father. Elder Foster felt in response to his prayer that “it’s never too early and it’s never too late to begin this important process.”
Elder Foster concluded by sharing how he applied the lesson in his own home, and he encouraged others to do the same.
“I know I can’t turn back time, but this I now know — that it’s never too early and it’s never too late to lead, guide, and walk beside our children, because families are forever.”
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