Monday, March 7, 2011

Parenting Tips From Our Conference Visitor

We had our stake conference yesterday and Elder Ballard from the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder David LeSueur, an area authority from Mesa, addressed us. I loved both their talks--on both days---but particularly wanted so share a few stories/insights from Elder LeSueur. I am not printing up the notes in detail, this is just my summary of his thoughts, comments and advice.


1. It is the role of parents to introduce their children to the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost introduces them to the Savior and the Savior leads them back to the Father.

Therefore, we must create an environment in our home that invites the Spirit. Wise parents will be careful what music is played, what movies are watched and what TV is allowed, etc.

2. The role of parents is not to raise children to adulthood, but rather to raise them to righteous Parenthood.

He then added a saying he likes, “If you want to know what kind of parents you have been, don’t look at your children, look at your grandchildren.” (If your grandchildren turn out well, then you know you raised your children to righteous parenthood.)

3.We should work 10 times harder to find our kids doing something right than doing something wrong, and then celebrate it. When our kids do something good and we celebrate it, we are not only strengthening that positive behavior, but we are also building their self worth. And later in life when temptations come—as they will—their knowledge of their importance in their family and to their Heavenly Father will strengthen them against the temptation.

4. When we read the scriptures we should not do it for mileage, nor for scholarship (as in we don’t have to be smarter than anyone else). We should do it for discipleship. We need to ask ourselves, what am I supposed to learn? How am I supposed to apply it? How will it change my life?

5. Counsel he received before getting married, “You can be right, or you can be happy. He said he had no idea what that meant initially, but after being married he did. He commented that the only times he has been unhappy in his marriage is when he was insisting on being right.

He further counseled that we shouldn’t turn 50 cent issues into million dollar ones and then quoted an African saying, “When two elephants fight—the grass always loses".

6.He told a story of having breakfast with his five year old grandson. He was in a hurry to get to work on the farm, but his grandson was eating very slowly. In an effort to speed him up, Elder LeSueur said, “Did you know that it is impossible for a five year old boy to finish his breakfast before his grandfather?” The little boy then looked up at him and said, “Papa!! We are on the same team!.” And so we should be in our marriage—united, and on the same team, rather than in competition with each other.

7.His last bit of advice was that in marriage as long as you are focused on your needs, they will never be met. It is when we forget our needs and focus on the needs of our spouse that our needs will be filled in a much sweeter way than we ever imagined.