“One of the most meaningful things we can do as parents is teach our children the power of prayer, not just the routine of prayer.” -Tad R. Callister, General Conference 2014
The conference talk I chose for the sisters I teach, is titled, “Parents the Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children,” by Tad R. Callister, Sunday School General President.
Years ago, after a long bout of infertility, I was drawn to the foster care program. I longed to nurture and care for small children as my two young children were becoming more and more independent and I had exhausted all natural means of having another child. At our second foster care parent class, all the potential foster care parents were asked if we had any children and if so to pull out pictures of them and give them up to share with the class. I proudly pulled out two pictures of my small children, ages 5 and 6 and happily handed them to the teacher. What happened next I couldn’t have anticipated. She pulled two pictures, out of the pile, showed them to the rest of the class, then, looked at my husband and I and said, “You have just been in a car accident and are no longer living, what would you want in a set of foster parents.” She had pulled my two children out of the pile, my two sweet children. My heart raced, my eyes welled up with tears, my thoughts quickly went to my children 30 minutes away, who were being cared for by a friend. There I was among people of all walks of life. I had no idea if they were religious or not but the question was asked and the answer was honest. “I would want them to teach and encourage my children to pray.” I knew, then, like I know now, that I can not always be there for my babies, that I am unfortunately still human-still weak, unknowing, mortal, fallible, and yes, sometimes even stupid. But I am smart enough to know someone who isn’t any of those things. I know someone who is all powerful, who loves and cares for my babies, knows their mission, their destiny, their purpose and their tiny little hearts. There was some comfort in the lesson that day because I had taught my children to pray…..but I wasn’t going to take any chances. I spent the next 11 years teaching them to have a relationship with Heavenly Father to hear His voice, obey His commandments, and to be able to recognize His light in others. Now, as they go out into the world, as young adults, I know with a certainty that while they now longer are in my care, or by my side, or holding my hand, they have their Heavenly Father near them always. What’s even better is they know it, and they are not afraid.