When someone strays from the flock, family and friends who care often pray for the lost soul. Prayer is a powerful means to ask God to intervene in behalf of loved ones. Alma prayed in faith in behalf of his rebellious son Alma the Younger.
And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith. Mosiah 27:14
The prophesies of father Alma gave his son Alma hope in his darkest moments. His father had taken the time to teach his son and could pray in faith on his behalf.
And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Alma 36:17-20
Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah learned that the word had a powerful effect upon the minds of men.
And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God. Alma 31:5
Alma labored much to declare the word of God unto the people, but his heart was exceedingly sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts. His solution was to come home and teach his family.
Now Alma, being grieved for the iniquity of his people, yea for the wars, and the bloodsheds, and the contentions which were among them; and having been to declare the word, or sent to declare the word, among all the people in every city; and seeing that the hearts of the people began to wax hard, and that they began to be offended because of the strictness of the word, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
Therefore, he caused that his sons should be gathered together, that he might give unto them every one his charge, separately, concerning the things pertaining unto righteousness. And we have an account of his commandments, which he gave unto them according to his own record. Alma 35:15-16
Mormon could not write even a hundredth part of the things of his people, yet he chose to use the room on the plates to capture the words of a righteous father teaching his sons. We can read Alma'a words in Alma chapters 36-42. [Helaman (36-37), Shiblon (38), Corianton (39-42)]
Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi; and I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people. Words of Mormon 1:5
On May 6, 1833, section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants was given. In this revelation, the First Presidency and Bishop were rebuked for failure in bringing up their children in light and truth.
But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.
But verily I say unto you, my servant Frederick G. Williams, you have continued under this condemnation; You have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your affliction. And now a commandment I give unto you—if you will be delivered you shall set in order your own house, for there are many things that are not right in your house.
Verily, I say unto my servant Sidney Rigdon, that in some things he hath not kept the commandments concerning his children; therefore, first set in order thy house.
Verily, I say unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., or in other words, I will call you friends, for you are my friends, and ye shall have an inheritance with me— I called you servants for the world’s sake, and ye are their servants for my sake— And now, verily I say unto Joseph Smith, Jun.—You have not kept the commandments, and must needs stand rebuked before the Lord; Your family must needs repent and forsake some things, and give more earnest heed unto your sayings, or be removed out of their place.
What I say unto one I say unto all; pray always lest that wicked one have power in you, and remove you out of your place.
My servant Newel K. Whitney also, a bishop of my church, hath need to be chastened, and set in order his family, and see that they are more diligent and concerned at home, and pray always, or they shall be removed out of their place. D&C 93:40-50
The sons of Helaman attributed their success to the teachings of their mothers.
And as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted. Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them. Alma 57:20-21
Enos sought for a remission of his sins because of the teachings of his father Jacob.
Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins. Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart. Enos1:1-3
While Nephi was pondering the words of his father Lehi, he was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord.
For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot. 1 Nephi 11:1
Prayer without faith is vain. Faith is the principle of action in all intelligent beings.
From this we learn, that faith is the assurance which men have of the existence of things which they have not seen; and the principle of action in all intelligent beings. Lectures on Faith 1:9
How can we exercise faith in the redemption of our families if we fail to teach them and bring them up in light and truth. To have power and influence with others, we need pure knowledge which shall greatly enlarge our souls without hypocrisy, and without guile.
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. D&C 121:41-46
If you're going to pray for me, then exercise faith and take the time to teach me. Do not pity, punish, ostracize, shame, guilt, avoid, banish, or shun me. If you love me, answer my questions, open the scriptures unto me, and teach me to commune with God.
We are under condemnation because we have treated lightly the Book of Mormon.
And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written— That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. D&C 84:54-58
We see a great need to be diligent in teaching the Book of Mormon to our children, not only to say, but to do according to that which is written. For this reason, we have created a blog to record of the things we are learning, and perhaps help other families in the process.
Let us bring up our children in light and truth and bring forth fruit meet for our Father's kingdom.