Occasionally I find myself in moments of fear and panic about the world my children are growing up in. It's hard to imagine how any child can wade through the garbage that surrounds them and eventually turn into faithful, respectful, responsible, honest adults.
Equal to these moments of fear and panic are little moments where I glimpse how important my role as their mother is. I recognize that I have the opportunity every single day, in small ways, to teach them to work hard, to be honest, and to respect others and themselves.
The book I'm reading right now, Faith Precedes the Miracle, written by Spencer W. Kimball (one of the past prophets of our church) offers an interesting perspective on how we can be truly effective in this daily teaching. He suggests that within our homes we focus on building "reservoirs of righteousness & truth" that will carry our children through the dark days of temptation and desire, of drought and skepticism. He offers some great insight on how to do this:
Some years ago we visited a country where strange ideologies were taught and"pernicious doctrines" were promulgated every day in the schools and in the captive press. Every day the children listened to the doctrines, philosophies, and ideals their teachers related.
Someone said that "constant dripping will wear away the hardest stone." This I knew, so I asked about the children. "Do they retain their faith? Are they not overcome by the constant pressure of their teachers? How can you be sure they will not leave the simple faith in God?"
The answer amounted to saying, "We mend the damaged reservoir each night. We teach our children positive righteousness so that the false philosophies do not take hold. Our children are growing up in faith and righteousness in spite of the almost overwhelming pressures from outside.
Even cracked dams can be mended and saved, and sandbags can hold back the flood. And reiterated truth, renewed prayer, gospel teachings, expression of love, and parental interest, can save the child and keep him on the right path.