Helping Your Kids Share the Gospel
Creating a gospel-sharing home and encouraging talent can help children be better missionaries.
BY: Jordan Williams
In order to produce what Elder Ballard called “the greatest generation of missionaries in the history of the Church (Ensign, Nov. 2002),” parents, church leaders, and youth must put forth more effort than ever. Instead of watching prospective missionaries struggling with their chin-ups at that raising bar, get down on your knees and give them a boost.
What Parents Can Do
Church leaders are continually emphasizing the important role parents have in aiding their children to prepare to serve missions. You’ve been raising your son or daughter for about two decades, and suddenly, they’re looking to you for guidance and advice. What can you do to assure your child will be the best missionary he or she can be? Here are four suggestions that will give you an idea of where to start.
Remind them who they (really) are.
While on his mission, your brave son will be representing Jesus Christ and His gospel. Make sure he knows that he, too, is a son of God, and all of the people he will be meeting are also children of God.
During family home evening or a special moment alone with your teen, discuss the premortal life. Explain that Heavenly Father reserved your child for 6,000 before He sent him to earth. As President Benson remarked, “There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 1988).” As a representative of the Church, your missionary needs to know who she is and where she comes from. In order to teach others these truths, your teen must have a strong confidence in her divine nature.
Encourage your child to develop his talents during his school years. Whether he’s interested in playing chess, soccer, or the cello, support his decision and skill. He’s going to need to support himself in college or on a mission, so teach your son how to plan a budget and the difference between the fabric softener and bleach. Allow your kids to take part in family nights, by assigning lessons and scriptures. By developing skills and talents talents and observing their progress over time, your mini-missionaries will see the divine potential they have as children of God. Children and teenagers learn to discipline themselves, persevere, and reach their goals. These are all habits future missionaries should adopt at a young age.
Share Your Testimony
Children learn how to talk, walk, laugh, smile, eat, dance, and kiss by imitating their parents. They adopt your accent and your idiosyncrasies. They drive like you, they curl their hair like you do, and they drink out of the milk carton when no one’s looking (like you do). Certainly, parents could abuse their right as trend-setters, or they could enhance their purpose as nurturers by setting an example and sharing your testimony.