Parents who continually look for gospel-teaching opportunities prepare their families to meet and live with God, said Martha Darger Carrington and Tyler Griffin, associate professor of ancient scripture, at Women’s Conference on May 3.
“A home-centered gospel study is an opportunity for our families and ourselves to prepare to meet and live with God, and to have experiences with God now,” Carrington said.
Carrington referenced several examples from the scriptures of mothers who gave their all to the spiritual nurturing of their children, including Mary, Lucy Mack Smith and Sariah.
These mothers played a big role in the spiritual upbringing of future Gospel leaders, she said. Carrington told the women in the audience to never underestimate what any and all teaching efforts could someday do for their children.
“We need to use small snippets of time, however disorganized and irreverent they may be, to fuel our families with gospel-centered discussions. Whether it be while tying our shoes before going out the door, shoveling the last couple bites of cereal in our mouth, coloring, crocheting, playing or handstanding, we still teach them and we do it with love,” she said.
Carrington and Griffin stressed the importance of keeping an eternal perspective while attempting to establish a Christ-centered home. Both said parents who continue to teach the Gospel in their homes with faith will find they are exactly what their families need despite sometimes feeling inadequate, alone and afraid.
Griffin provided several tips to assist parents in their continual teaching efforts, including the maintaining of equal responsibilities and partnership between husband and wife.
“The women and men of God must be equally yoked in taking responsibility for establishing a Christ-centered home through Gospel teaching,” Griffin said. “In the Church, leadership is hierarchal, with the clear presidents and counselors in the various organizations for both men and women. In the home, however, there are no vice presidents and there are no first counselors.”
Husbands and wives who work together with common goals and a shared purpose find their teaching efforts bring happiness and peace within the home, Griffin said. However, both speakers agreed looking for the good in others with love is the most important motivator when creating a Christ-centered home.
“Elder M. Russell Ballard taught we must ‘catch others doing something right.’ I would suggest we also apply this counsel to ourselves,” Griffin said. “Anyone can recognize imperfections, but it often takes effort and practice to find those things that are going well or that are improving. As you celebrate each step in the right direction along the way, you will feel an increase of love chasing away the debilitating power of guilt for you and for your loved ones.”
Sacrifice has a direct correlation to a parent’s capacity to love, Griffin said. He also compared the sacrifices mothers give for their children to the Atonement.
“Sacrifice creates capacity to love. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the potential for that love,” Griffin said. “Jesus Christ suffered infinitely on our behalf, and as a result, He loves infinitely. Given all that women sacrifice to create and nurture life, a mother’s sacrifice is one of the most Christ-like sacrifices I know.”