“The home is truly the cell-unit of society; and parenthood is next to Godhood. The relationship of the children to the parents should be one which would enable those children to carry out ideal citizenship as they become related to the State and to the larger forms of society. The secret of good citizenship lies in the home.” (President David O. McKay)
It is clear to many people that our nation is ill. It has mutated, from what it once was, into something that is actually harmful to the health of every individual’s liberty. When the body is sick, we must assist it at the cellular level. It is no different when it comes to our nation. Because the home is the “cell-unit of society,” we must begin there.
Many people who are just starting to get involved in the fight for liberty ask me what they can do to preserve our freedom. They are often surprised by my answer. I tell them that the place that they can be the most effective is in their own homes. It is absolutely necessary for them to be informed and involved, but it is within the walls of our own homes that we can make the greatest stand for liberty.
I have often told my children that I want them to be more righteous than I have been; that it is my role as their mother to make sure that the next generation is greater than my own. As the scriptures say, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
The future of our nation depends solely on the level of righteousness that it obtains; this is no surprise to those who have accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By keeping the commandments of God, we can protect our liberty. But keeping the commandments ourselves is not enough; we must raise children to do the same.
President N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982) of the First Presidency, referred to the role of parents with this counsel: “Children who are taught obedience, to honor and obey the law, to have faith in God and to keep his commandments, will, as they grow up, honor their parents and be a credit to them; and they will be able to meet and solve their problems, find greater success and joy in life, and contribute greatly to the solution of the problems now causing the world such great concern. It is up to the parents to see to it that their children are prepared through obedience to law for the positions of leadership they may occupy in the future, where their responsibility will be to bring peace and righteousness to the world.”
This quote reveals the desired end result that we should be trying to achieve. We are to prepare our children for positions of leadership to bring peace and righteousness to the world. It is important that every Latter-day Saint, in the United States specifically, has a very deep understanding and love for the U.S. Constitution. In order to raise a generation that will stand for truth and righteousness, children must be taught by parents who love the Gospel, live it, and love liberty.
The Book of Mormon warns us that there will be many forces that will work against liberty, and that their entire purpose is to destroy it. We learn that they will use the power of government to fulfill their designs. We discover that righteousness is the only true defense that we can have, because it qualifies us to call upon the Lord to be delivered from our enemies. In addition to this, The Book of Mormon tells us about the promise that the Lord has made involving this land. As long as we worship Jesus Christ, we will enjoy liberty. It is only through iniquity that we will lose it.
President Thomas S. Monson described our day as moving away “from that which is spiritual … [with] the winds of change [swirling] around us and the moral fiber of society [continuing] to disintegrate before our very eyes.” It is a time of growing disbelief in and disregard for Christ and His teachings.
The only way that we can strengthen the moral fiber of society, is to strengthen ourselves and our families. Satan tries so very hard to distract us from fulfilling our responsibilities as parents. While there is much that we can do to slow and reverse the wave of corruption that is beating upon us, we must not lose sight of the centers of our homes.
There are currently more people choosing to have ‘pet children’, rather than children of their own in the United States. In a very short time, those who do have children can change the face of this nation. Imagine what will happen at that time, if there is a righteous generation that rises up, that understands and loves the Constitution, and have also embraced the principles of the Gospel.
“We Believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.” (D&C 134:1)
Very few people get involved in politics anymore. It is a very small group of people that make decisions on behalf of everyone else. And as Mosiah taught, the lesser part of the people may desire that which is not right. (Mosiah 29:26) Additionally, he taught that the majority of the people do not desire anything that is not right, but if they ever do, then the judgments of God will come upon them. We learn from the Saints that passed through Missouri in the early days, that if we do not keep the covenants that we have made, that we not only lose God’s protection, but that we may suffer the loss of our property and our civil freedoms. In order to have the blessing of God, we must keep our covenants.
“Oh, that the people of every land might be free! May we as Latter-day Saints remember the lessons not only from Church history but also from events in those countries wherever we may live. The prophets have consistently taught that righteousness in our lives and in our homes, together with obedience to the laws of our country and the laws of God, will bring His blessings and will be the foundation of civil and political freedom.” Elder Shirley Christensen Feb. 2006 Ensign.
When parents raise their children with Gospel principles at the center of their homes, they are giving their children tools that can be used for righteousness. By instilling in their children a love for country, for the founding principles, and being involved themselves, parents shape the future of our nation.