“Strength from Our Parents,” For the Strength of Youth, June 2021, 18–19.
Being a youth isn’t always easy. And believe it or not, being a parent of a youth isn’t any easier. But the relationship we have with our parents is special, and if you work on it, that relationship can be a great blessing in your life.
Here are a few examples of how some Church leaders felt about the relationship they had with their parents.
“I adored my parents. They meant the world to me and taught me crucial lessons. I cannot thank them enough for the happy homelife they created for me and my siblings. And yet, even as a boy, I knew I was missing something. One day I jumped on the streetcar and went to a … bookstore to find a book about the Church. I loved learning about the gospel.
“As I came to understand the Word of Wisdom, I wanted my parents to live that law. So, one day when I was very young, I went to our basement and smashed on the concrete floor every bottle of liquor! I expected my father to punish me, but he never said a word.
“As I matured and began to understand the magnificence of Heavenly Father’s plan, I often said to myself, ‘I don’t want one more Christmas present! I just want to be sealed to my parents.’ That longed-for event did not happen until my parents were past 80, and then it did happen. I cannot fully express the joy that I felt that day (see Alma 26:16), and each day I feel that joy of their sealing and my being sealed to them.”1
“My attitude toward the law of tithing was set in place by the example and words of my mother, illustrated in a conversation I remember from my youth.
“During World War II, my widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager. When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things because we didn’t have enough money, I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing. I have never forgotten her explanation: ‘Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t. The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children. I cannot do that without the blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing. When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.’”2
“When I was younger, my family moved across the country. With the help of others, we spent a day loading everything into a large trailer that my dad was going to pull behind our car. The morning we were supposed to leave, I was surprised to wake up and learn our move was delayed by a few days. My father had awoken in the middle of the night with a strong feeling that he was not to pull the trailer. Rather than rationalize away the impression, my dad followed the prompting and delayed our move. Instead, he hired a professional mover who put all of our belongings into one of their trucks.
“When we finally left, we encountered strong winds and overturned trucks and trailers along the way. Our family was grateful for our safety. Without words, my father taught me to have the courage to follow promptings from the Sprit, even when those promptings are inconvenient, even when they might not make sense. I have never forgotten that lesson.”
“My father had three rules. First, we had to have worthwhile goals. Second, we could change our goals at any time. But third, whatever goal we chose, we had to work diligently toward it.”
He also said, “People have so much to offer us if we are willing to learn from them. That is why it is important to surround yourself with good people.”3