Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when parents teaching the rising generation the importance of staying strong in turbulent times. We live in a world that becomes increasingly wicked as time passes. Actions that were seldom seen or even discussed in my youth are now openly supported. We must teach our children and youth how to survive these times.
The Apostle Paul described our day in a letter to his friend Timothy: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
“Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke about our world today and said that all the conditions listed by the Apostle Paul are currently present. He also said that Moroni, an ancient American prophet, spoke of the wickedness of our day and left us a warning: “When ye shall see these things come among you … ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation….
“Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved” (Book of Mormon – Another Witness of Jesus Christ, Ether 8:24, 26).
President Packer gave counsel about how we can be safe in these “perilous times” (Paul) or “very precarious times” (President Packer). “Parents today wonder if there is a safe place to raise children. There is a safe place. It is in a gospel-centered home. We focus on the family in the Church, and we counsel parents everywhere to raise their children in righteousness….
“The scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection. They contain the doctrine and laws and ordinances that will bring each child of God to a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer….
“Make scripture reading a part of your regular routine, and the blessings will follow. There is in the scriptures a voice of warning, but there is also great nourishment.
“If the language of the scriptures at first seems strange to you, keep reading. Soon you will come to recognize the beauty and power found on those pages.
“Paul said, `All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness’ (2 Timothy 3:16).
“You can test this promise for yourself.
“We live in perilous times; nevertheless, we can find hope and peace for ourselves and for our families…. Righteousness is more powerful than wickedness.
“Children taught an understanding of the scriptures early in life will come to know the path they should walk and will be more inclined to remain on that path. Those who stray will have the ability to return and, with help, can find their way back….
“Paul and others warned about the trials of our time and the days yet to come. But peace can be settled in the heart of each who turns to the scriptures and unlocks the promises of protection and redemption that are taught therein. We invite all to turn to the Savior Jesus Christ, to His teachings as found in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
“I bear certain witness of the scriptures as a key to our spiritual protection….” (“The Key to Spiritual Protection,” Ensign, November 2013, pp. 26-28).
I have quoted the words of several prophets and apostles on how we can survive well in these “perilous times.” I encourage parents everywhere to pay attention to their counsel and provide safety for themselves and their children in these “precarious times.” Our nations, communities, and families will be strengthened as we strengthen the rising generation.