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Helping Family Members Live the Gospel

Sometimes we think that some five-second formula or recipe will effectively change a family member's behavior. Long-term change, however, comes only from living correct principles. The Lord told priesthood bearers how the power and influence of the priesthood should be used (see D&C 121:41-46). We can use some of the things he mentioned, such as persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned to teach and guide our children and others. In contrast, using sarcasm, intimidation, force, impatience, irritability or anger, harshness, and pride will neither teach children proper values nor help them change their behavior. In fact, we know that it is Satan, not Heavenly Father, who wants us to use force and hostility.

We can learn to be better parents by studying the scriptures to see how Heavenly Father deals with his children. We can also learn how not to act by observing Satan's methods. What can you learn from the following chart to help you be a better parent and spouse?

The Lord's Way

Satan's Way

Love unfeigned---charity, caring for others' welfare despite any wrongdoing.

Acceptance--seeing others in eternal perspective, judging with compassion.

Integrity--being honest, a personal commitment to righteousness.

Persuasion--teaching with compassion, kindly pointing out advantages and disadvantages of situations.

Gentleness--soft, not treating others harshly.

Trust--lovingly allowing others to exercise their agency to choose right or wrong and to accept the consequences.

Responsibility--acknowledging and assuming your role in any situation including repenting for past wrongdoing.

Meekness--humility, uncomplaining, and teachable

Physical force--being hostile and unfairly using physical strength.

Blame--condemning others' faults without compassion.

Accusation--provoking guilt, reminding people of their mistakes to punish them and justify oneself.

Intimidation--ruling by fear because others are afraid of one's power.

Threat--expressing an intent to physically or emotionally harm someone.

Pride--self-righteously preaching moral truths and condemning others.

Self-centeredness--refusing to accept responsibility for your actions.

Hautiness--being unteachable, proud, and pessimistic.

(See Daily Living home page; Family Home Evening home page; Building A Strong Family home page; Parenting home page)

 Copyright 1983 by THE CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints

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