One of the greatest influences a person can have in this world is to influence a child. Children’s beliefs and self-worth are shaped early in their lives. Everyone within the sound of my voice has the power to increase a child’s confidence in himself or herself and to increase a child’s faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the words they speak.
I’m studying from the talk today titled “The Words We Speak” by Rosemary M. Wixom. I feel it’s a fitting talk, especially since I can always be better at my tone and how I treat the kids.
“… It was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul.”3
We can learn from that voice from heaven. It was not loud, scolding, or demeaning; it was a still voice of perfect mildness, giving firm direction while giving hope.
How we speak to our children and the words we use can encourage and uplift them and strengthen their faith to stay on the path back to Heavenly Father. They come to this earth ready to listen.
One of the best things I got from Church yesterday was from our neighbors talk. They talked about the importance of saying morning prayers as a couple. The couple mentioned how it wasn’t easy to develop the habit but it has seriously changed their lives for the better as they’ve prayed together. B and I really want to get in that habit again.
To speak to a child’s heart, we must know a child’s needs. If we pray to know those needs, the very words we say may have the power to reach into their hearts. Our efforts are magnified when we seek the direction of the Holy Ghost. The Lord said:
“Speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, …
“For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.”4
I know my life hasn’t been as good as it could be lately, especially in terms of spiritual growth and progress. I know it’s because I’ve stopped doing the basic things of personal prayer & scripture study.
I don’t know why I’ve stopped doing them.
Well, I feel it’s because I’ve allowed Satan to wrap me in his flaxen cords and tell me I’m fine without doing those things. I just Googled “satan doesn’t want us to read the scriptures” and found this interesting answer about how Satan wants to destroy our happiness:
I realized that I had allowed myself to be vulnerable to Satan’s attacks that day because I had not studied my scriptures, and my morning prayer had been a last minute thought while driving in the car somewhere. I had neglected to put upon me the Armor of God.
Not only did this experience strengthen my resolve to put more effort and sincerity into my daily scripture study and prayers, but it increased my faith and testimony of the power of these basic commandments.
I’ve felt this too. Sometimes, after having a great morning of scripture study, I’ve seemed to be bombarded with things online – articles, images, or something that distracts from the Spirit I’ve attempted to invite into my life. I feel that this is Satan attacking me where I’m weak so I don’t allow those good feelings to grow.
Recognizing this pattern is a good step.
I also found as a cross reference an article titled “10 Ways to Study the Word of God”
- Dedicated time to the word of God
- Pray to understand the word of God
- Put forth real effort
- Have a purpose
- Use a spiritual journal
- Invite the Spirit with good music
- Humble yourself before the Lord
- Line upon line, precept upon precept
- Personally apply the word of God
- Be diligent and don’t give up
This is a good idea from the talk as well about connecting with my kids:
The answer to our prayer of how to meet our children’s needs may be to more often technologically disconnect. Precious moments of opportunity to interact and converse with our children dissolve when we are occupied with distractions. Why not choose a time each day to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other? Simply turn everything off. When you do this, your home may seem quiet at first; you may even feel at a loss as to what to do or say. Then, as you give full attention to your children, a conversation will begin, and you can enjoy listening to each other.
I’m grateful to have read this talk.
I want to be a better husband and father.
I want to connect more with my kids and be less quick to yell or scold or put down.
I want them to want to be with me, to want to do things with me, to want to play with me, because sooner than later those times will be over – I DON’T WANT TO HAVE REGRETS
I’m grateful for Becky and that she’s willing to put up with me.
I’m grateful to have made the time to read this talk this morning and write down my thoughts.
I plan to share this talk with the kids tonight for FHE. This is what I’ll share:
First this story:
…the experience of Jay Hess, an airman who was shot down over North Vietnam in the 1960s: “For two years his family had no idea whether he was dead or alive. His captors in Hanoi eventually allowed him to write home but limited his message to less than 25 words.” President Monson asks: “What would you and I say to our families if we were in the same situation—not having seen them for over two years and not knowing if we would ever see them again? Wanting to provide something his family could recognize as having come from him and also wanting to give them valuable counsel, Brother Hess wrote [the following words]: ‘These things are important: temple marriage, mission, college. Press on, set goals, write history, take pictures twice a year.’”7
Then these questions:
What words would you write to your children if you had 25 words or less?
How can we best have the Spirit in our home?
What can we do on our upcoming trip to make it the BEST vacation yet?
The Gospel gives direction to my life as I let it. I’m grateful to have studied today and hope to make this a great week.