Tag Archives: james e faust

Parental Hypocrisy

In meetings when I was bishop, and with my wife, I have occasionally made comments about parents doing things that they don’t want their kids to do. I’m obviously not talking about parents driving and not letting their pre-teens drive. That is obviously against the law. I’m talking about parents who may say, look at, or participate in inappropriate things. Because they are “adults”, they say it’s ok, but they don’t want their kids to do it. Perhaps it is certain movies, or certain words they say, or things they see. There are some things that I don’t want my kids to see, not because they are inappropriate, but because they just don’t need to be exposed to certain things at their age. I hope you understand the difference in what I’m talking about. I guess it is kind of the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.

Anyway, this past Sunday the concluding speaker was speaking about the role of parents (tied into Mother’s Day) and he shared a quote from President Faust. I called what I described above as “parental hypocrisy”:

When parents try to teach their children to avoid danger, it is no answer for parents to say to their children, “We are experienced and wise in the ways of the world, and we can get closer to the edge of the cliff than you.” Parental hypocrisy can make children cynical and unbelieving of what they are taught in the home. For instance, when parents attend movies they forbid their children to see, parental credibility is diminished. If children are expected to be honest, parents must be honest. If children are expected to be virtuous, parents must be virtuous. If you expect your children to be honorable, you must be honorable.

James E. Faust, “The Greatest Challenge in the World—Good Parenting,” Ensign, Nov 1990, 32

As is often the case, someone else comes up with a better way to explain the way that I feel. We really do need to practice what we preach. Our kids know when we are genuinely concerned about their exposure to something, and when we are just making excuses. If we want our children to trust us and our decisions, we need to be honorable in all things. It isn’t always easy, but it will make a different in the long run.

“The greatest guarantor of inward peace”

For a short spring semester of Institute we are doing “The Gospel and the Productive Life” course. There are 15 lessons and we are only doing it for 8 weeks, so we need to do 2 a week. This past Wednesday we covered The Plan of Salvation for Heavenly Father’s Children and The Guidance of the Spirit. There is nothing “new” in these lessons, but it is nice to have a good discussion about some of these important principles/doctrines.

My favourite quote from this week was one from President Faust about the Holy Ghost:

“The Spirit of the Holy Ghost is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in our unstable world. It can be more mind-expanding and can make us have a better sense of well-being than any chemical or other earthly substance. It will calm nerves; it will breathe peace to our souls. This Comforter can be with us as we seek to improve. It can function as a source of revelation to warn us of impending danger and also help keep us from making mistakes. It can enhance our natural senses so that we can see more clearly, hear more keenly, and remember what we should remember. It is a way of maximizing our happiness”

James E. Faust in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 41; or Ensign, May 1989, 32–33

What a powerful statement! I haven’t wasted my life in “riotous living”, but I certainly can tell the difference between having the Spirit with me and being left alone. I can definitely testify that the Holy Ghost is indeed the greatest guarantor of inward peace. The enlightenment and pure intelligence it bestows are worth any sacrifice it takes to live worthy of His companionship.