Meridian Magazine posted an article by Lary Barkdull, one that provides hope and counsel to parents of wayward children. The following is a compilation of the comforting words from prophets and apostles about when a loved one strays:
"When a seal is put upon the father and mother, it secures their posterity, so that they cannot be lost, but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father and mother" (Alma P. Burton, ed., Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 151).
► Related Reading: When a Child Leaves the Church
"I have a declaration to make as to the provisions which God hath made to suit the conditions of man—made from before the foundation of the world. What has Jesus said? All sin, and all blasphemies, and every transgression, except one, that man can be guilty of, may be forgiven; and there is a salvation for all men, either in this world or the world to come, who have not committed the unpardonable sin, there being a provision either in this world or the world of spirits… Every man who has a friend in the eternal world can save him …. And so you can see how far you can be a savior" (Joseph Fielding Smith, ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 356-57).
"Our Heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in his mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive" (Joseph Fielding Smith, ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 257).
Gordon B. Hinckley
"I leave my blessing upon you. May there be … a sense of security and peace and love among your children, precious children every one of them, even those who may have strayed. I hope you don’t lose patience with them; I hope you go on praying for them, and I don’t hesitate to promise that if you do, the Lord will touch their hearts and bring them back to you with love and respect and appreciation" (Gordon B. Hinckley, Church News, 2 September 1995, 4).
"Let the father and mother, who are members of this Church and Kingdom, take a righteous course, and strive with all their might never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives; if they have one child or one hundred children, if they conduct themselves towards them as they should, binding them to the Lord by their faith and prayers, I care not where those children go, they are bound up to their parents by an everlasting tie, and no power of earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain from whence they sprang" (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 208).