Mosiah 18:18-20 Doctrine and Covenants 43:15-16 Doctrine and Covenants 52:9 Alma 17:2-3; 10-12 Doctrine and Covenants 84:85
When I was a missionary, I was so impressed with the missionary lessons that I vowed to teach them to my future children. After I had kids, I discovered that they responded better to simpler lessons. Nonetheless, I taught my children all the principles contained in there. In fact, I taught them over and over again, reinforcing the plain and precious truths of the gospel. Oh, I was so confident that I had done enough for their nascent testimonies, that I had created little stalwarts who would never waver in the gospel. I had done all I could, right? Truly, I was like the mothers of Helaman's stripling warriors. I felt safe, and perhaps a tad bit smug.
And then my children became teenagers. And they were thrown into a nasty dervish of a world. I hear about the things they face, and I cringe. My children's testimonies haven't been the safe harbor I had hoped it would be. They struggle. They falter sometimes. They push away, and sometimes they openly rebel. They kick against the pricks and find out for themselves, by their own experience, that it hurts.
And so I'm a missionary again. I'm back to teaching the plain and precious truths of the gospel: faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ; repentance; renewing our baptismal covenants through the sacrament; following the gift of the Holy Ghost. It's a lot harder than when they were just little. These are bright kids with deep thinking minds. This time, it's not enough just to know the gospel. I have to find a way to challenge them to live the gospel, to help them take one step, to take one bite of this precious fruit, to try the experiment, and then to take the next step.
I like the comparison to the sons of Mosiah. My kids can be every bit as daunting as the Lamanites. I take comfort in the Lord's words to them in Alma 17:10-12:
"And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.
"And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls."