In May 1833, God taught Joseph Smith about several interrelated concepts: light, truth, spirit, and intelligence (Doctrine and Covenants 93:1-40). After explaining that everyone on earth has received the light of Christ (v. 2), that truth is knowledge of the way things really are (v. 24), that obedience to God’s commandments invites truth and light into our lives (v. 28), and that God’s glory is intelligence, “or, in other words, light and truth” (v. 36), He clarified that these concepts are fundamental to the responsibilities of parents:
I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.Doctrine and Covenants 93:40
The Book of Mormon provides many examples of parents fulfilling this charge. For example:
- Nephi opens the book by praising his “goodly parents,” who taught him about many topics, including “the goodness and the mysteries of God” (1 Nephi 1:1).
- Enos praised his father, Jacob, for teaching “in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Enos 1:1).
- Abish, one of the servants of a Lamanite queen, was “converted unto the Lord…on account of a remarkable vision of her father” (Alma 19:16).
- The stripling warriors, who fought under the command of Helaman, attributed their faith to the inspired teachings of their mothers. (See Alma 56:47-48, 57:21.)
- During a particularly dark time, Mormon wrote a letter to inspire and uplift his son Moroni. “May Christ lift thee up,” he wrote, “and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever” (Moroni 9:25).
Joy D. Jones has provided three guidelines to help parents raise their children in light and truth:
- “Help them know without question that they are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and that He has divine expectations of them.”
- “Understanding the doctrine of repentance is essential for becoming resistant to sin.”
- “Infuse them with basic gospel doctrines and principles—from the scriptures, the Articles of Faith, the For the Strength of Youth booklet, Primary songs, hymns, and our own personal testimonies—that will [them] to the Savior.”
(“A Sin-Resistant Generation,” General Conference, April 2017, bold added)
Today, I will find opportunities to teach my children and to share my faith with them. I will help them better understand what God expects of them, help them appreciate the blessing of repentance, and teach them other principles which will help them grow closer to Jesus Christ.