“HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)
The first commandment given to Adam and his wife, Eve was to ‘Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth…’ (Genesis 1:28) However, at this point Adam and Eve were still immortal, not having physical bodies and therefore unable to fulfill this commandment. It was only after the Fall, when they gained physical bodies were they then able to fulfill this commandment. I am sure, that Adam and Eve were counseled to provide for their children both physically and spiritually.
Today, as in times past, we are counselled to bring forth children and to provide for both their physical and spiritual needs. Spiritually, they are to –
“And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.”(Doctrine & Covenants 68:28)
- Faith in Jesus Christ
- Gift of the Holy Ghost
- Walk upright before the Lord
Or the ‘sin be upon the heads of the parents’ and are not laid upon the children. This therefore clears children under the age of accountability are free from sin and need no repentance or baptism.
” And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” (Mosiah 4:15 – Book of Mormon)
Likewise, as parents we should take care of our children’s physical needs. We should make that our children have clothes to wear and food to eat. They should be taught not to argue or to quarrel one with another.
However, although this scripture is directed to Father, in particular those that hold the Priesthood of God and yet, it also applies to Mother too – or i think it does or can –
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.” (Doctrine & Covenants 121:41-44)
No matter who we are, God sees all abuse of another person as a sin. That does not mean that we cannot train our children and part of that training should contain them being ‘reproved’ at times. However, once we have reproved them, we should show them love and forgiveness.
And…when do your children, become too big to counsel them? The answer is – never!