Yesterday, was my father's 75th birthday. Jo and I planned to surprise him, although I don't believe he was surprised at all. I asked him the same question as I asked my grandmother 20 years ago. How does it feel to be 75? His answer was similar to hers. The body is slow and weaker, but inside a 75-year-old is the same person with more experience. Grandma tells funny stories about living during horse and buggy times. She relates all the changes in life. When the subject is turned to moral attitudes of today, she seems a bit sad at the turn of events toward immorality, entitlements, and entertainment. She waxes a bit sentimental of simpler times: family, church, and community cohesiveness. She reminisces about working in the family general store and her father teaching at the one room school house. Back then Christian values were lived as the norm not scorned as the exception.
Satan is now hard at work eroding and destroying the family. Parents must be staunch warriors in this battle. How? Teaching the gospel in the home, while difficult at times, is their most sacred and important responsibility..."Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
This doesn't mean parents are alone in this war for the souls of children and the sanctity of the family. Heavenly Father waits ever patiently for parents to pray for divine help. Family prayer, scriptures study and discussion, Family Home Evening, the Children's Hour, and regular meal times are great tools for communication, teaching values, and simply sharing love of God and each other. Primary, Sacrament Meeting, Mutual, Scouts, and Achievement days all support the efforts in the home but cannot replace it. Weaving testimony and gospel principles into every day conversation demonstrates commitment to God and His commandments. There is no greater teacher than the words of God. However, we must practice what we preach; example is everything.
A quantity of quality time, traditions, work parties, and family recreation demonstrate love and caring. Involving children in family finances instead of arbitrarily saying not give children a sense of responsible power as well as learning skills for competency in adulthood.
These strengthen family culture and protect families from Satan's destructive plan. "And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." 1 Nephi 15:24 If we are anxiously engaged in many aspects of family culture, there simply isn't time for questionable entertainment, entitlement attitudes, or media culture to have much influence. A strong family culture helps parents and children live in the world without becoming worldly. "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." John 15:19
One of Satan's tools is business and distraction. All too often parents put aside precious moments to pursue other pleasures and interests. The window for building family culture with the sweet children the Lord entrusts parents with is small but the greatest earthly pursuit. "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Psalm 127:3