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Gramps,

I am a father of 4 children; two of them are already married, the older has been sealed in a Temple of The Lord. I work as a leader of high priests at the ward. We are active members of the Mormon Church. I am almost giving up with the family. I tried to make them keep the Sabbath, but my wife does not. I tried to have family prayer, but I am the only one and sometimes one of my children. I tried to have family home evening and get early back home to do it but the members of the family usually make other plans. I tried to study the scriptures as a family, my family does not. Sometimes I think I should be better playing and drinking and having fun with my friends or having an affair with some one and not arriving home early and so I would not have to fight with everybody to obey the Lord’s commandments. Please tell me what should I do? My children are two girls 15 and 18 years old, we all have been sealed in the Temple. Thanks

Abraham

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Answer

 

Dear Abraham,

Looks like you are going through what many parents go through. There are a couple of things that you might consider. The first is Article of Faith 11

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

That includes members of our own family, as well as others. We have the responsibility to teach our children truth and righteousness and to act as an appropriate example. It is their decision as to how they will respond. However, with teen age children, often the greater the pressure applied to do something, the greater the resistance. If they understood that you recognize that they may make their own decisions as to what to believe and whether or not to participate in church activities, and if they understood that you would respect and honor their decisions, and that you really love them in spite of their aberrant behavior, they would be less likely to adopt an opposing stance.

You mentioned that sometimes you think that you would be better off violating the commandments yourself since you feel that you are not making headway with your family members. Such a course would undoubtedly assure their own permanent inactivity, as well as your own. If you show them by your example that your love for the Lord and your desire to obey His commandments is firm and independent of the actions of others, your example will be a powerful force for good in their lives.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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