Sunday, February 25, 2018

President Thomas S. Monson on the importance of family scripture study

President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1963. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency with Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley and then became Church president in 2008. He led the Church for almost a decade until his passing in January 2018.
"A study of the scriptures will help our testimonies and the testimonies of our family members. Our children today are growing up surrounded by voices urging them to abandon that which is right and to pursue, instead, the pleasures of the world. Unless they have a firm foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ, a testimony of the truth, and a determination to live righteously, they are susceptible to these influences. It is our responsibility to fortify and protect them.
"To an alarming extent, our children today are being educated by the media, including the Internet. In the United States, it is reported that the average child watches approximately four hours of television daily, much of the programming being filled with violence, alcohol and drug use, and sexual content. Watching movies and playing video games is in addition to the four hours. And the statistics are much the same for other developed countries. The messages portrayed on television, in movies, and in other media are very often in direct opposition to that which we want our children to embrace and hold dear. It is our responsibility not only to teach them to be sound in spirit and doctrine but also to help them stay that way, regardless of the outside forces they may encounter. This will require much time and effort on our part—and in order to help others, we ourselves need the spiritual and moral courage to withstand the evil we see on every side."
- Thomas S. Monson, "Three Goals to Guide You," General Conference, General Relief Society Meeting, October 2007
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

How do we best keep ourselves, and our families, strong in the midst of the challenges and confusing messages of our time? It's critical that our children, as well as ourselves, have a "firm foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ" that leads to a strong testimony and the practices of righteous living:

A primary responsibility of parents is to "fortify and protect" their family, and the primary means of doing that is faithful and diligent scripture study. We can't let our children be "educated by the media" in these times. So we must start with being fortified and strong ourselves, and then passing on that strength to those who depend upon us. "This will require much time and effort on our part"—but what else could have a better claim on our time and effort than this?

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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