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I saw your answer to this question about stewardship, “Does a parent’s stewardship change as the kids grow up and get married?” It stated, “Some parents mistakenly believe that their role ends when their child turns 18. As you know this is not the case.” I understand that this is true; however, I have yet to find where it is clearly stated that a parent’s stewardship does not entirely end once children are adults. Do you have a source that is very direct/not vague? Thanks





Dear Theresa,

I would turn the question back around: Where does God say or even imply that parenthood is a temporary calling?  Do parents suddenly stop being parents once their children reach an arbitrary age?  And if it’s God who gives the stewardship, would it not be God who defines when or if the stewardship ends?  Yet God has never stated that a parent’s stewardship ends.  The closest one could argue is the age of accountability (generally 8 years old), but I doubt anyone would argue that a parent’s stewardship ends when their child turns 8.

The article you mentioned talks about a parent’s role or responsibility changing.  I might add that we could think of this like love.  A parent will still love their adult children, but how they express that love will be different: tucking their child in at night may be replaced with a hug goodbye after a visit.  Rules and discipline may be replaced with counsel and empathy.  The love is still a parent’s love for their child, but the means of showing it change with time.  Just so with stewardship.

I might also compare it with other stewardships.  Were I a bishop or Relief Society President, I would have stewardship over a group of people.  But I would not carry out my responsibilities to each person in exactly the same way.  I would customize my interactions to their specific needs, circumstances, and personality.  So too with the parent’s stewardship – it is carried out uniquely based on the specific child and their needs as they grow.

That said, this question is difficult to search as the terms are very generic and yield many, many unrelated matches, but I did find this from President Benson in October 1987 General Conference, “To the Fathers in Israel“:

Fathers, yours is an eternal calling from which you are never released. Callings in the Church, as important as they are, by their very nature are only for a period of time, and then an appropriate release takes place. But a father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time. It is a calling for both time and eternity.

And this sparks my final thought on the subject: If the parents’ stewardship ends when the children become adults, why is it important to seal children to parents in the temple – for eternity?  The Family Proclamation says:

Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

These ordinances and covenants are not just for sealing husband and wife, but also parents and children, for eternity.  I simply cannot see how parental stewardship can end, unless parents and children are not sealed, in which case, perhaps it ends when all chances for sealing are past.

While it may not be what you were hoping for, I hope that this answer helps.







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