“Train Up a Child,” Ensign, Jan. 1975, 63
It is important that we realize and always keep in mind that we are teaching spirit children of God who will be tomorrow’s officers and teachers, missionaries, stake and mission presidents, Regional Representatives, General Authorities, and who will hold the responsible positions in our communities and nations. What a tremendous responsibility! And while we are training the children for their heavy duties and responsibilities, we want to teach them those things that will give them the happiness for which they search. …
In order for a child to mature into a happy, well-adjusted adult, it is necessary to help him set goals to achieve. One cannot wander aimlessly through life, accomplishing nothing, contributing nothing, and be truly happy. Children need guidance in the selection of goals, and it takes understanding and patience to find out the different aptitudes and skills which can be developed to help a child make his greatest contribution to himself and to society. We must listen patiently and learn their innermost thoughts and what their greatest needs are.
Let us practice some simple rules when listening to a child, such as putting an arm about him, stopping what we are doing to listen intently, questioning but not interrupting to show our understanding, and otherwise showing true interest in the child and his problem. As we do this, we come to really know the child and how we can help him in the solution of his problems, in selecting goals and finding his niche in life. …
Discipline is a most important ingredient in a search for happiness. But it is most difficult to discipline if we ourselves are not living examples of what we are trying to teach. … There is no greater responsibility than that of showing and teaching love and, training a child to be an honest, honorable, and righteous citizen. And there is no stronger or more effective way of doing it than for the parent and teacher to be what he would like the child to be. Our children will grow up to be like us.
President N. Eldon Tanner
(Sunday School General Conference, October 5, 1973)