Sunday, April 17, 2011

Help Them on Their Way Home ~

Formula For Helping Youth to Find Their Way Home...
April 17, 2011 Sunday afternoon 4:26 PM

Hi. I am sitting in front of the internet in my Sunday dress. Church was good. And now I am reading talks from apostles of the lord in order to further feed my spirit and give counsel to my soul regarding my responsibilities as a mother. I feel a heavy responsibility to help guide my children safely, and securely, back to our father in heaven. I was just praying to my father in heaven to know what I should do for my children. And then I read a talk which answered my prayer and enlightened me further in my quest of motherhood.

The title of the article is Help Them on Their Way Home, written by Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the first presidency.

In this article Elder Eyring speaks of the straightness of the way and narrowness of the gait that leads back to eternal life with our father in heaven. He encourages us to teach and strengthen our children (to follow Jesus Christ) while they are very young, before the age of 8. He gives examples of the importance of teaching children to pray when they need help. Many things he said in much of the talk were good review to me, but nothing that I felt I needed to take note of.

But then as I neared the end of the article, he spoke of how to help youth... (not young children, but youth, like I now have...). Suddenly, all that I had already heard so many times before didn't seem like review unworthy of taking notes. Now, I was hearing things that I currently needed to take to heart, and note, even if I already knew what was being said was true.

I knew that I was not doing ALL that he counseled us to do, and as I thought of this I remembered the cookies that I recently made while talking with my daughter. In my distracted mode of visiting, I accidentally left out the baking soda. The first batch tasted delicious, but were heavy and unattractive. Seeing this, I realized what I had done, and added baking soda to the remaining dough before baking it. The next batch consequently turned out MUCH DIFFERENT. They were lighter, fluffier, more attractive, and more enjoyable to the palate. The heavy cookies - missing just one ingredient - were the last to be picked up and eaten. I was amazed at what a difference it made to have just one ingredient missing from the recipe.

Considering this as a principle that applies to all recipes, and of the need for every ingredient..., I knew that I needed to take notes in relation to the recipe for helping youth to return home to their Father in heaven.

It is clear to me, that as a mother with sacred responsibilities, I need to make sure that I do EVERYTHING that I can, to help my children to have every ingredient in their lives, which will help them to return safely back to our father in heaven.

One of the ingredients I read in this article was the use of a program which our family is NOT YET participating in currently. This program is designed to help youth accomplish specific goals. I realize that it isn't the only path to achieving it's specific goals (there are many wonderful people in the world who accomplished these goals in some other way)... just as there are other ingredients, besides baking soda, which could have been used in the cookies to make it possible for them to be light and fluffy (baking powder and an acid like lemon juice)... but some opportunities/ingredient(s) must be there to make it possible for one to accomplish specific goals. 

One of these opportunities which God has provided to help young men to return to Him, is for the young men to take active part in the Duty to God program. Elder Eyring reminds us that this program was designed to: *Strengthen testimonies and relationships with God. *Help young men to WANT to fulfill their priesthood duties. *And strengthen relationships with parents, quorum members, and leaders.

For the young women, the Personal Progress program is there to help them to learn: *who they are, *why they are here on earth, *and what they should do to prepare to go to the temple to make sacred covenants. Young women develop personal habits of prayer, scripture study, service and journal writing. Having been through the program as a youth, I can now (over 20 years later) honestly say that this program did help me to establish these habits, thoroughly... not just for my youth, but for life. I am not always perfect at these things, but because of leaders who consistently encouraged me to do these things with diligence, I developed these habits in my youth; and they are so much a part of me that I have no doubt that these habits will stay with me forever.

Both of these inspired programs (Personal Progress and Duty to God) are there to help youth to: *SEE THEIR POTENTIAL. *DEVELOP SPIRITUAL STRENGTH; AND *LEARN what THEY SHOULD DO, AND what THEY SHOULD BE. I can also testify to the programs being successful in accomplishing these goals. I will forever be thankful for the faithful leaders of the church who guided me through the church programs I was blessed to participate in as a youth (also as an adult). The best parts of who I am today are largely because of the Personal Progress program.

I am thankful that my daughter completed the Personal Progress program (for young women). I realize that as a parent, one of the best things I can do for my sons, is encourage and inspire them to immerse themselves in the Duty to God program (for young men). They deserve to experience the blessings which come from sincere participation in this program.

In addition to these programs, this talk went on to give advice in relation to what we as parents and leaders can do to help these youth on their way home. I would like to simply quote for you, the last 5 paragraphs of his talk here on this blog.

"Of all the help we can give these young people, the greatest will be to let them feel our confidence that they are on the path home to God and that they can make it. And we do that best by going with them. Because the path is steep and sometimes rocky, they will at times feel discouraged and even stumble. They may at times become confused about their destination and wander after less eternally important goals. These inspired programs make that less likely because they will lead the young person to invite and receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

"The best counsel for us to give young people is that they can arrive back to Heavenly Father only as they are guided and corrected by the Spirit of God. So if we are wise, we will encourage, praise, and exemplify everything which invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost. When they share with us what they are doing and feeling, we must ourselves have qualified for the Spirit. Then they will feel in our praise and our smiles the approval of God. And should we feel the need to give corrective counsel, they will feel our love and the love of God in it, not rebuke and rejection, which can permit Satan to lead them further away.

"The example they most need from us is to do what they must do. We need to pray for the gifts of the Spirit. We need to ponder in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets. We need to make plans which are not only wishes but covenants. And then we need to keep our promises to the Lord. And we need to lift others by sharing with them the blessings of the Atonement which have come in our lives.

"And we need to exemplify in our own lives the steady and prolonged faithfulness that the Lord expects of them. As we do, we will help them feel from the Spirit an assurance that if they will persist, they will hear the words from a loving Savior and Heavenly Father: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” 4 And we who help them along the way will hear those words with joy.

"I testify that the Lord loves you and every child of God. This is His kingdom, restored with priesthood keys through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet today. I promise each of you, as you follow inspired direction in this, the true Church of Jesus Christ, that our youth and we who help and love them can be delivered safely to our home with Heavenly Father and the Savior to live in families and in joy forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

As always, the answers from the Lord are clear. The way is simple. My children, of course, have their free agency, and it is up to them to do what they must do. But of me, the Lord requires that I be mindful of making the way known to them, and that I provide for my youth (His youth) opportunities to experience these essential ingredients fully in their lives.

With this talk and guidance of the Holy Ghost, I am setting goals to make the environment in our home provide opportunities for every ingredient I can think of... back to our Father in Heaven (I may list these goals on a subsequent post in the coming week).

I feel an incredible peace with this. I know that the Lord has provided very detailed plans for His sons and daughters to return to Him. I am SO THANKFUL for His loving guidance.


  1. Corrine,
    I beleive that is the most important aspect of my job as a mother is to help Nicholas be a child of God; to love Him and to worship Him and to inlcude Him in all aspects of his life. If I do that, then I have suceeded as a mother.
    thanks for sharing such wisdome and vital information.
    take good care!

  2. Thanks so much for this awesome reference -- I remember the talk, but I realize I need to get it back out and reread it.

  3. Thanks for this fabulous post! How inspiring!


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