Sabbath Message: The Role of Parents
When I was young, my mother showed me a verse in the Book of Mormon that had always meant a lot to her, and that she considered to be her goal in life. It is a verse well known throughout the Church, and is found in Alma 56:47-48:
“47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.”
I have always loved these verses, especially because I believe my mother achieved her goal in life, which was to teach my sister and me to trust in God and believe that He would always be there.
However, as important as my mother has been and always will be, I am also very grateful to have a loving and supporting father. In the same chapter in Alma, we find another verse that I think is sometimes overlooked. In verse 27 it reads,
“And now it came to pass in the second month of this year, there was brought unto us many provisions from the fathers of those my two thousand sons.”
I love this verse because it shows that the stripling warriors were not fatherless; rather, their fathers were out doing their job, providing for their families. The pattern here is perfectly in line with the pattern set forth by the modern prophets and apostles: the primary role of the father is to provide and protect the family, and the primary role of the mother is to teach and nurture the children in love and righteousness.
Together, as equals, the mother and father carry the responsibility to raise the family in the Gospel, teaching them to love God and keep His commandments. The blessings and protection of God were clearly witnessed in the lives of the stripling warriors, as a direct result of their obedience. This obedience was produced by the righteous teachings of their parents, meaning that when families remain true to God, He remains true to them.
—Kimball Gardner, Stance