Hooray for summer! “Some old fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.” (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
In Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk during General Conference “Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me” he talked about the diverse family circumstances of children and youth in the church today. He quoted from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”. He said, “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity…Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children…Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs and to teach them to love and
serve one another and observe the commandments of God.” He said that even though this is the ideal pattern of the Lord, there are many children who do not belong to “picture perfect” families and that we need to be “thoughtful and sensitive” to individual circumstances. He quoted President Monson who said: “Help God’s children understand what is genuine and important in this life. Help them develop the strength to choose paths that will keep them safely on the way to eternal life.” He then challenged us to “open our arms and our hearts a little wider….these youth need our time and our testimonies.”
As I recently listened to this talk it made me think about how grateful I am for the many women in our stake who faithfully accept callings to serve in Primary and Young Women. Those of you who have a weekly opportunity to “lead, guide and walk beside” the precious children of our Heavenly Father may never know the impact of your love, concern and prayers for them. Your testimony and righteous example as you teach gospel principles will influence the decisions they have to make in a world that is in chaos. We recognize and appreciate your service.
It is my prayer that each sister in our stake can be that teacher, friend, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother that will reach out to the children and youth in your ward and in your families. In closing Elder Andersen said, “Let us think about them, welcome them, embrace them and do everything we can to strengthen their love for the Savior.” Jesus said, “Whoso shall receive one such child in my name receiveth me.”
We love you and hope you have a wonderful summer!
Nancy Nilsson, Heidi Fitzgerald, Jennifer Erickson and Katy Mansfield