If our wayward children are adults who received a genuine testimony by the power of the Holy Ghost, how can "being deceived" be an excuse? The scriptures repeatedly teach us how to avoid deception. We also cannot claim being offended as an excuse for falling away. No one leaves the church because they were offended. They leave because they have not built a strong testimony of Jesus Christ. The power of a strong testimony overcomes any offense. I continue to have great hopes, prayers, and tears for those who have wandered away from the path. However, the answer to that problem is most often repentance. The Doctrine & Covenants speaks of those who will inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom as those "who were blinded by the craftiness of men" (D&C 76:75). We all experience good and evil influences every day. We all have the light of Christ. We are here to learn to choose the light. Only the Lord can judge each of us, but let's not make the mistake of accepting any doctrine that replaces genuine repentance with the excuse of "being deceived."
I would just add that agency is paramount. Sometimes I think we teach that wayward children will return no matter what. How can that be? I do not doubt the Savior's ability, mission, and purpose to "save," but surely we cannot be "saved" against our will. Clearly there are things we don't yet understand, and I appreciate adding in premortal choices, but we are also told that even though we can repent in the next life, that it is easier to do so now--in the body; "that this life is the time to prepare to meet God," and that the personality traits, characteristics, desires, habits, priorities etc., that we have developed in this life, will be with us on the other side. The prophet Amulek taught, “That same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world” (Alma 34:34). As a result, when persons leave this life and go on to the next, “they who are righteous shall be righteous still” (2 Ne. 9:16), and “whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life … will rise with us in the resurrection” (D&C 130:18). I know that the Lord is the perfect judge and that we will all agree that his judgments are just. But agency must be accounted for
Some missionaies and others who go through the Temple do so once and never go back, They feel the experience is too foreign for them to feel the Spirit and believe it is not genuine. They should know that the Temple ceremonies are the same as Jesus gave to his Apostles and seven women during the 40 days after his Resurrection: TinyURL.com/EarlyChristianityVideo
I appreciate the comments very much, along with the article. I can't add more by telling my whole story, but I will share the spirit also informed me my children are in His hands.
I speak as the father of 6 children--4 sons and 2 daughters. With the exception of the youngest who has disabilities severe enough to require adult supervision, all have wandered to one degree or another. My oldest daughter wandered during junior high and was hanging out with girls we did not approve of. One night there was a "sleepover". However, during that event these girls decided it would be "fun" to break into a friend's home and surprise her. As it turned out, the police got involved and our daughter nearly spent a night in jail. Understand, we had been pleading with her to change but she had refused to hear our words. This event combined with one other caused her to reflect and to change. She later served a mission, married in the temple and she and her husband are expecting their 3rd child. Our 3 oldest sons all wandered away. One has been excommunicated twice. One had his name withdrawn from membership and shortly thereafter committed suicide. The third has embraced a lifestyle of promiscuity beyond belief. All were taught the gospel. All could answer any gospel question put to them. None internalized it. I agonized over these for several years then one evening during a stake priesthood meeting the Holy Ghost whispered to me that I was not responsible for their actions. I still mourn over them though for the choices they have made. Our 4th son is currently undergoing a crisis of faith. He served a mission but after his marriage things began to fade. As it turns out, his wife is not that solidly founded in the gospel. We fear that they were married in the temple only to satisfy both sets of parents. We have been informed we are not welcome in their home because, to quote our daughter-in-law, "White Christians are the cause of all the world's problems!" We are identified as "white Christians", so we are not welcome. It is painful. I still have some communication with my son, but must be very careful of what I say or he takes offense and breaks contact.
Thank you for this new insight to my concern for a wayward child. She had met too many people of our church who are so not living the gospel that she has become bitter. I understand because for over 30 years I felt the same way over a husband who was "two faced", but My Lord never gave up on me and now I understand why and that he will never give up on her. Since I am the only church member in this family I wondered if my child would ever be sealed to me and her brother.
I am reminded of the parable of the Prodigal Son. In the parable, the father stands afar off waiting for the return of his son who had spent his inheritance with riotous living. As I work with my own wayward children, I have had the unique insight to how I am both the father and the son in the parable. The father because I am standing, watching from afar for the day my wayward children turn away from their "riotous living" and come home. And yet I see myself as that very son who still needs to turn from my "riotous living" or the choices I make which are contrary to what my Heavenly Father has asked of me, and return to Him who stands watching from afar, waiting for my eventual return from squandering my eternal inheritance with the choices I make. It certainly helps me have more patience with my children as they work their way back home - because in reality, isn't that what we are all trying to do?
Brother Barkdull was one of my favorites! Thank you for running his articles!
Actually, the quote is: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). Often, we neglect the words "and when he is old," which remind us that the fruits of our teachings may be a long time coming. Trust that ever principle taught has value; everything you say matters. Then, trust the Lord to help them along the path, even if they don't find it until they are "old."
THERE IS AN OLD SAYING TO RAISE A CHILD UP IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO AND HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT. this is very true in most cases however, there are children who choose other ways. for these children we have to pray for and have hope in the Lord that they will come to realize the teachings of their past when they lived with their parents. sometimes though like in this story the child has to experience trials in order to get to that point of realization of what is right and what is wrong and of which path to take.
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