“What we give our children,” Ensign, Sept. 1971, 43
What we give our children
“The Spoken Word“ from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System June 27, 1971. © 1971 by Richard L. Evans.
There is a sentence from an unnamed source which says, “We have been so anxious to give our children what we didn’t have that we have neglected to give them what we did have.”1 This brings many questions to mind: What is it that children, young people, really need? What do they really want? Among them are love, confidence, encouragement—someone to talk to, someone to listen; standards, guidelines, laws to live by. They don’t want to be left foot-loose in life. They need upright examples, leaders, the faith and assurance of responsible people. They need to know that God lives, that there is a future forever, with rules of happiness, causes and consequences; that the commandments are still in force, and that these things they can count on. They need to know that the body, the mind are sacred gifts of God—the most marvelous instruments on earth—and that it is utter, stupid foolishness to do anything or use anything that would impair the clear, clean functioning of the body and mind and spirit of man. Young people need to be accountable to responsible parents, to responsible people, who expect much of them, and let them know that for every infraction, they (as all of us) will be called to account—that there is no way to bypass the laws of life. They need leaders they can safely follow, leaders with moral standards and conviction, who don’t fumble along with a looseness and permissiveness that can only lead to the tragedies of life. Parents who wisely love their children will help them early to learn these lessons of life. Oh, let us give our children what we do have; let us give them ourselves, a righteous example, work to do, a sense of responsibility, a reason for facing facts, a witness of the everlasting things of life—so that it cannot be said, “We have been so anxious to give our children what we didn’t have that we have neglected to give them what we did have.”