By now most congregations have had their annual Children’s Sacrament Program when little ones sing and speak for the entire meeting. It’s a favorite we all anticipate, thrilled to see wee tykes belting out songs with all their might, and even the quiet ones shyly mouthing the words they all know.

There’s a special Spirit in this meeting. Children step on a stool to reach the mike and deliver their heartfelt love for the Savior. They share wonderful truths they’ve been learning. Even the older ones, who can’t wait to graduate into Young Men’s and Young Women’s, add their beautiful voices to the program.

I cry through the whole thing. I just love those darling kids, and I close my eyes and pray that they will all stay in the boat. “Let’s not lose a single one,” I pray. So precious, so innocent, so filled with the Lord’s light.

From the Yale Infant Cognition Center to psychologists at UC Berkeley, experts are telling us that babies can be altruistic and show caring and compassion long before age two. They prefer kind characters to ones who hinder others, and can perform selfless acts and gestures of generosity as well. This should come as no surprise to members of a faith who know we brought our premortal spirits with us to earth. There is limitless potential in the children of God.

Writer Neil Postman once said, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” This moment when they’re young is more valuable than all the gold, oil, and other commodities on earth. By shaping these tender stems, we ensure a bright future.

President Russell M. Nelson has told the youth, “You are a chosen generation, fore-determined by God to do a remarkable work—to help prepare the people of this world for the Second Coming of the Lord.”

I see such a contrast between the kids in my seminary class today and the peers I had in high school, that it’s embarrassing. But each new generation is more spiritual, more receptive to promptings, more ready to do missionary work, more devoted to staying true to the gospel. I have immense faith in these young people to lead the way, be valiant messengers of God, and hold the banner high.

Needless to say, Satan is using every tool he can think of to undermine God’s purposes. No wonder apostles and prophets have counseled us to get involved in local politics, the school board, and other organizations where we can have an influence. Some may want to run for office, others can donate time and means to help elect wise leaders.

Often, by getting involved in the community, we meet like-minded people who become lifelong friends. We add our voice to the public square. We feel inspiration about what our individual role can be. We can exert our influence to protect the young and create an optimum environment for them to achieve their potential. Yes, one person really can make a difference.

We can set reasonable family standards for electronic screen time and access to the internet. We can fill their lives with service, visits to the temple, meaningful prayers, Family History, Patriarchal Blessings, and a determination to listen to the voice of the Holy Ghost.

Staying informed may be painful, but it’s vital in these tumultuous times. We can’t make proper choices without proper information. Today’s parents need an arsenal of weapons to fight against evil, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers exactly what can make the difference. With the abundance of resources we now have, families are better prepared to study and understand Christ’s teachings than ever before.

We can make sure we’re available, even to older teens who simply may need our company at times when they aren’t sure whose voice to heed. Being there for spontaneous, yet sometimes life-changing chats, is a key function of parenting.

And we need to remember who wins this war. Let’s not get depressed or discouraged; let’s get energetic and faithful, calling upon God for His divine help. We are entitled to ministering angels, to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. Let’s enlist all the help we can.

Look at the faces of our prophets and apostles in the last General Conference. They beam with optimism and hope. They aren’t wringing their hands in misery; just the opposite. They want us to play on the correct team and add our talents to the effort.

Most of all, look at the faces of today’s children. There is something different than we’ve seen in past generations. These kids are strong. God reserved these valiant souls for today’s battle against Satan. If you have a headstrong child, this is why! Be grateful; it means they won’t just follow the crowd, but will stand boldly for right, and bring others with them.

So, let’s not sink into despair. Let’s frequently review scriptures that buoy us up and remind us to be optimistic.  I like to post these in prominent view. No doubt you have your own favorites, but here are just a few of the dozens and dozens of scriptures that can keep you afloat:

“And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.” – Moroni 10:23

“Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.” – Alma 44:4

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” – 1 John 5:4

“O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” – Psalm 31:23

“Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.” – Mosiah 8:18

Remember that discouragement is a tool of the adversary. When we spot it, we need to allow God to replace it with hope and faith. When we want the same thing as God wants, we can always rely on his help. And we all want faithful children who become covenant-keepers, building the kingdom of Zion.

Hilton’s book, A Little Christmas Prayer, is the perfect Christmas gift. Sometimes it takes a child to raise a village, and this tale teaches anyone, of any faith, the magic of gratitude. All her books and YouTube Mom videos can be found at