Honoring Our Fathers and Our Mothers

Every Sunday, my family studies a talk from the most recent General Conference. In the days following, I will read it again on my own, to gain deeper understanding and really focus on the things that are being taught. A few weeks ago, we read the talk, “To My Grandchildren”, by President Henry B. Eyring (First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). I think it really drew me in, because the focus of his talk seems to be on learning how we can truly have happiness in our families. This is something I am thinking about often and I tend to hang on every bit of instruction given on this topic.

President Eyring pointed out that all people are unique, with different experiences, but there is only one path if happiness is what we desire. He said, “Whatever our personal characteristics or whatever will be our experiences, there is but one plan of happiness. That plan is to follow all the commandments of God.” I’ve been recording the things the general authorities teach us to do in order to receive specific blessings. This one was so simply stated and straight forward. Do: Follow all the commandments of God. Receive: Happiness. In total confidence, I thought, “I can do that.” President Eyring continues by reviewing what the scriptures teach us of the commandments. He quoted the Lord, from Matthew 22 with the following account:

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Immediately my mind went to something that I learned a few years ago about the commandments. That is, that the statement that all commandments hang on these greater commandments, is true. Every commandment from God can be categorized as a way to love God, or a way to love others as we would ourselves. If we take the basic ten commandments, the first show our love to God: to have no other gods before Him, to have no graven images (of any type), to not take the name of the Lord in vain, to keep the Sabbath holy, and to honor our father and our mother. The remainder fit under the category to love our neighbors as ourselves, the first falling under both: to honor our father and our mother, to not kill, to not commit adultery, to not steal, to not bear false witness, and to not covet. My focus was drawn to the commandment to honor our parents, because it carries weight in both of these greater commandments.

“Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). This commandment remains binding throughout our lives and can be understood in several ways: We should honor our fathers and our mothers who are our ancestors; we should be grateful to the father and mother who provided our earthly bodies; we should honor those who raised us in the knowledge of the truth. Above all, we should honor our Heavenly Parents. The way we honor all these fathers and mothers is by keeping the commandments.

I found the above statement when searching the gospel topics on lds.org, under the topic Ten Commandments. It seemed so fitting. Typically, when I think of this commandment, I think in terms of what I feel would honor my earthly parents, based on my own understanding and experiences. I was thinking I was doing a pretty good job at this. In pondering this more, I began to feel the need to go to the source. My parents, as President Eyring had stated, are unique and have had their own experiences and learning. What they feel honors them, may not be exactly the same as what I have been feeling. This proved to be accurate, as I called them to ask and learned some of their thoughts and testimony of this.

All of the things they shared made complete sense to me, but perhaps were not a focus I have had at this time in my life. Some of the things that my parents said would honor them, were being a good citizen and teaching my children to be a good citizen, being a good parent, being self-reliant, teaching my children the gospel, and being involved in family history. They felt that being a good decision maker, by searching (with the help of good and reliable sources), pondering and praying, would also honor them. One they felt strongly about, was being in contact with them more frequently, even by simply touching base with a quick update or picture on social media. The one that meant the most, was to honor them by taking care of one when the other passes away and they are left alone. I’ve learned through this study, seeking answers from them, and pondering the things that were shared, that even with the commandments which I have felt I am doing pretty well at, I can do so much more. If I can learn to truly honor my earthly parents, I know that I will be able to do more to honor my heavenly parents. I plan on putting the promise of President Eyring to the test, and I am pretty confident that if I strive to honor my parents more, in the ways that they shared with me, there will be greater happiness in my relationship with them, as well as with others in my immediate and extended family.

Challenge: If you are seeking greater happiness at home, study the commandments and try to live one better today.


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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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