“Why I Honor My Parents,” New Era, March 2017
When I was about eight years old, I learned a very valuable lesson. It was early spring in the small Utah town where I lived, and some of my eight-year-old friends and I wanted to camp outside one night. My father said, “It’s still very cold at night. You’ll be miserable, and you’ll probably get sick.”
I explained that we thought everything would be fine. My parents let me make my own choice, and my friends and I decided to go ahead with the campout. As it got late the temperature dropped and it became very cold. Instead of having a great time, we were awake and miserable most of the night and, true to my father’s prediction, a day or two later I got sick.
As I was sick at home and missing fun activities, I remembered the advice my father had given me. Every bad consequence he mentioned had happened. I remember thinking, “Wow, my dad is really smart.” I came to realize, even at that young age, that my father had more experience and wisdom than me and if I were more careful in seeking and following his counsel it would make my life happier.
My parents taught me gospel truths and helped me understand that commandments are given by a loving Heavenly Father to make us happy. I felt a greater desire to live the commandments because of my trust in and love for my parents. Because of their example of goodness and love for me, it was easy for me to trust them and, in turn, to trust in my Heavenly Father. I learned there is wisdom in following the Lord’s commandment to honor our father and our mother (see Exodus 20:12).
In For the Strength of Youth we read: “Honor your parents by showing love and respect for them. Obey them as they lead you in righteousness” (, 14).
Youth need to be able to look to the loving guidance and counsel of righteous parents. Sometimes this seems difficult when you are young. Remember, your parents have been where you are and you have not yet been where they are. While there are differences between what they experienced as a youth and what you are experiencing, if you will seek to communicate with your parents and listen to them, it will be a great help to you.
Most of you come from homes where your parents love you and want to help you. But even if you come from a situation that is less than ideal, seek to develop the best relationship you can with your parents or those responsible for your care. Strive to honor them by living in a way that will be pleasing to your Heavenly Father. In doing so, you will also bring joy and happiness to your parents and to yourself.
In the scriptures we also see the examples of many sons and daughters who lived righteous lives and honored Heavenly Father and their parents. The prophet Nephi in the Book of Mormon is a great example to me. When Nephi wanted to see the tree of life vision that his father had seen, the Spirit asked Nephi if he believed that his father had seen the tree of which he had spoken. Nephi responded, “Yea, thou knowest that I believe all the words of my father” (1 Nephi 11:5). Nephi was then allowed to not only behold the tree of life as he desired but also witness in that vision the coming of the Savior into the world. Nephi was greatly blessed throughout his life because he listened to and trusted in the teachings of his righteous father.
I, like Nephi, was blessed with good parents, and I trusted in what they taught me. Because of their faith and teachings, the small seed of faith began to grow in me. As a result, I have always believed in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and that the Church is true. At some point, through my own study of the scriptures, my own prayer, and my own experience in receiving powerful impressions of the Spirit, my testimony has become strong and independent of my parents. Today it affects every aspect of what I do and what I strive to be. For that, I honor my parents.