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Questions 'not unique to our day'

When Korihor, an Anti-Christ, came among the people of Zarahemla, Jershon and Gideon, he preached against Christ, said that "whatsoever a man did was no crime" and accused Church leaders of wrongdoing. Many of Zarahemla were led astray by his teachings, but those in Jershon and Gideon would not listen. (See Alma 30.) Why not? What was the difference between the cities?

One of Korihor's attacks was directed at "the foolish traditions of your fathers." (Verse 14.) Are not Latter-day Saint children today exposed constantly to those who would mock the principles and truths taught by parents? In her October 1995 general conference address, Anne G. Wirthlin, then-first counselor in the Primary general presidency, counseled parents on preparing their children for the Korihors of today.

"How do we impress the word of the Lord upon their hearts while they are young so that as they grow into the years of their youth they will have the ability to discern between truth and error and the inner strength to resist temptation? How can we so nourish them in their spiritual growth that their obedience moves from mere outward compliance to an inward desire born out of a love for their Father in Heaven and an understanding of who they are? These questions, while perplexing to us, are not unique to our day. They have challenged parents through all generations."

Sister Wirthlin then counseled: "When first we love the Lord with all our hearts, then we can lead our children to Him in all of our interactions. They will grow in their devotion to the Lord as they see our devotion to Him. They will understand the power of prayer as they hear us pray to a loving Heavenly Father who is there listening and answering our prayers. They will understand faith as they see us live by faith. And they will learn the power of love by the kind and respectful ways that we relate to them. We cannot teach truth to our children apart from the trusting, caring relationships that we have with them.

"When our children feel our love for the Lord and our unconditional love for them, then our example becomes a meaningful guide to them as they develop their own spiritual strength."