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September 2016 Visiting Teaching Message: "Parenthood Is a Sacred Duty"

Our Heavenly Father established families to help us teach correct principles in a loving atmosphere. President Thomas S. Monson said: "Give your child a compliment and a hug; say, 'I love you' more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."

Susan W. Tanner, former Young Women general president, taught: "Our Father in Heaven exemplifies the pattern we should follow. He loves us, teaches us, is patient with us, and entrusts us with our agency. . . . Sometimes discipline, which means 'to teach,' is confused with criticism. Children—as well as people of all ages—improve behavior from love and encouragement more than from fault-finding."

Read the full message at lds.org.

Supplemental Reading: In his October 2010 general conference address "Courageous Parenting," Elder Larry B. Lawrence of the Seventy spoke about the important role parents play in the righteous upbringing of their children:

"Courageous parenting does not always involve saying no. Parents also need courage to say yes to the counsel of modern-day prophets. Our Church leaders have counseled us to establish righteous patterns in our homes. Consider five fundamental practices that have the power to fortify our youth: family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, family dinner together, and regular one-on-one interviews with each child.

"It takes courage to gather children from whatever they’re doing and kneel together as a family. It takes courage to turn off the television and the computer and to guide your family through the pages of the scriptures every day. It takes courage to turn down other invitations on Monday night so that you can reserve that evening for your family. It takes courage and willpower to avoid overscheduling so that your family can be home for dinner.

"One of the most effective ways we can influence our sons and daughters is to counsel with them in private interviews. By listening closely, we can discover the desires of their hearts, help them set righteous goals, and also share with them the spiritual impressions that we have received about them. Counseling requires courage."

Read the full talk at lds.org.

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