As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I adore our prophet, Russell M Nelson. He is a man of God and we are blessed by his leadership. On June 3 2018, I decided to watch the youth broadcast where he and his wife spoke. I am clearly not a youth and my oldest is currently 5, which means he is not even close to entering the youth program. We still have 7 years until he will participate in the Youth program. However I watched it anyways and I am so glad that I did because Nelson’s words are powerful for any age or demographic. I was nudged into a direction that I will be able to use now and during the next 7 years to prepare my oldest to join the youth battalion; to be an elect and search for the elect.
As I watched the broadcast I kept thinking about how amazing the youth truly are! They are determined, strong and filled with power. I have previously worked with the Youth program and I was blown away by their testimonies and strength.
President Nelson spoke about what he sees in the youth and the potential that they have. He challenged the Youth to do 5 things to enlist in the Lord’s Youth Battalion. You can read all about that here.
I loved the challenges and will be doing them myself as I have many areas to improve on. What really stood out to me most, was that if the Youth are being held to these standards now, what will be required of them in 7 – 13 years?
What will my kids be doing to build the kingdom of God?
I know, you can quickly get lost in a rabbit hole of what ifs. I try not to spend much time thinking about the specifics of where the world will be and what trials my kids will face.
What I do think about is, how can I prepare them for the tasks ahead of them?
Preparing kids for their future challenges
Oy. Parenting a huge job! Right now I am in the trenches with toddlers and babes. It is rough, let be real here. The days are long and hard but I already know that what we will face in the future will be nothing like the struggles I currently face.
Soon enough the nicks and bumps on knees and elbows will disappear and in their place will be heart aches and trials. Life won’t get easier for my kids it will get exponentially harder. I know that already but what I can’t even imagine is the struggles they will face. I know that there will be opposition in all things, but does it really have to be in all things?
I would do anything to ease some of the burdens that my kids will face. Unfortunately I cannot. What I can do is prepare them. I can raise independent kids and give them tools to help them on their path. Of course I will always be there for them but that’s not enough. They have to fight their own fight. Stand on their own two legs and become the people Heavenly Father needs them to be.
What you can do to raise elect children
You are not alone when it comes to raising your kids. God is a valuable member of you team. He knows them best and can help you know what they need and ways you can help them to grow.
Praying for help is simply not enough. Your kids will also need to know how to lean on and trust on God. By inviting prayer into your home you will be demonstrating the power and connection that your kids can also have in their individual lives.
I have heard numerous times that “life doesn’t come with a manual”. That might be partially true but there are books that can offer assistance in virtually every area of your life. I’m talking about the scriptures. The scriptures offer wisdom and provide you with characters that you and your kids can connect with and learn from. You don’t have to experience everything to be able to grow in understanding and wisdom. Study the scriptures and your will find the answers your searching for.
As a family participate in regular study, perhaps a regular devotional time or simple reading together. Individually spend time in your scriptures and not always when everyone is gone or asleep. Demonstrate the importance in personal study.
Instill high morals
What books do you have on your shelves? How do you talk to each other when no one is around? What music do you listen to? What are your daily habits? Who do you spend the most time with?
All of these simple things effect the your character and your kids character. Have high standards and constantly strive to do your best. Make friends to those that are in your path, LDS or not. Some of the most amazing people in my life have different beliefs but they always lift me up and help me to become the person I need to be. Find friends like those and hold onto them forever.
Do not expect perfection from either your kids or yourself. There has only been one perfect person in this world. Take the weight of perfection off but instead encourage others to always try their best.
Provide them with role models
Set a good examples yourself. Be someone that your kids can observe and want to emulate. Let them see you try, see you fail and pick yourself up again. Show your kids the good and let them watch you grow. They don’t need perfect, they need real. They need you.
Provide opportunities for your kids to foster relationships with family members, ward members and people in our community. It takes more than two people to raise a child. Don’t forget about those around you and the influence they have on your kids.
Include elect historical figures that have gone before us into your life. Learn from them and invite their strength and experiences into your home.
Make family history come alive and connect with your ancestors. Your ancestors will help your family from the other side of the veil. When you cannot assist your kids, trust that your ancestors will protect and guide them. They love and care for them and need them to do their work, as they cannot.
Raise kids that have a firm understanding and responsibility to enter the temple and do the work for themselves and deceased family members. Regularly attend the temple as a family. Even if it is just to sit on the temple grounds your family will be blessed.
Do you feel completely overwhelmed?
Now, pick yourself up. Choose one or two things to change tomorrow and work on that. You can’t accomplish everything this week. Raising elect kids takes time, a lot of time. Start wherever you are and just take one step forward.