Friday, January 13, 2012

Preparing Sons for Missionary Service

At our last Relief Society Meeting, I was asked to take five minutes and explain how we prepared our sons to serve full-time missions.  That assignment could easily take a whole hour-long class!  However, I did my best to keep it short.  (Another mom was given the same assignment; you probably wouldn't be surprised to know that our thoughts were pretty much the same.)  I decided a list would be the best way to go, and I thought my daughters-in-law might like this list all in one spot, so here you go.  I can already tell you, though, lovely daughters-in-law, that you don't need this list; you're doing a fantastic job on your own already!

1 - Start early.  
2 - Have high expectations.
3 - Do all the little things - family prayer and scripture study and family home evening - consistently.
4 - Attend all church meetings, and do it together.
5 - Build strong family relationships.
1993
6 - Have regular PPI's (monthly interview with Dad to review For the Strength of Youth and set goals).
7 - Encourage completion of the Duty to God program.
8 - Use the Scouting program - help them become an Eagle.
9 - Expect them to attend seminary.
10 - Teach them that serving a mission is a priesthood duty, not an optional commandment.
2002
11 - Teach them how to work.
12 - Teach them other skills - laundry/ironing/mending, cooking/eating new foods, playing the piano, learning another language.
13 - Give them opportunities to serve others.
14 - Provide an environment where they can gain their own testimony.
15 - Be a good example.

2011
After making this list, I've thought of a few things that I'd like to expand upon, so you can look forward to some new posts in the future. However, I want to add one more item right now, and that is to express appreciation as your sons make correct choices.  This morning I read the counsel Alma gave to his son Shiblon.  You don't hear too much about him - he wasn't the next prophet like Helaman, and he didn't cause problems like Corianton.  But I really admire Shiblon, and so did Alma.  And his words apply to my sons as well:

"And now, my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments; for blessed is he that endureth to the end. I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering"  (Alma 38:2-3).

3 comments:

  1. I love this list all in one place. It is a formula for success and you are an example of that. I wish I could have been there to hear you.

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  2. I love your list :) As the mother of a young son, I often agonize over how I am going to raise him to be a righteous priesthood holder, husband, and father.

    I found an excellent book by a woman of another faith called "Preparing him for the Other Woman" which she wrote after her young son said he wanted to marry her :)

    Also, I have been reading "Raising Up a Family to the Lord" by Gene R. Cook (excellent book - highly recommended) and he talks about a study the Church did which looked at four "gospel outcomes" - 1.) ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood 2.) serving a full-time mission 3.) receiving the temple endowment 4.) marrying the temple.

    He said they found out that men who accomplished these four things share only two things across the board - 1.) personal prayer 2.) personal scripture study.

    Then they found that of the boys who had personal prayer/scripture study had these traits in their families - 1.) family prayer 2.) family scripture study/family home evening 3.) agreement on values (that is, the family's values were accepted by the children as their values).

    I thought it was very interesting that those four gospel outcomes were obtained by such seemingly simple measures.

    Anyway, I loved your list :) I am excited to read your "elaboration" posts ;)

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  3. This is not related at all to your post (well, kind of, since she's a teen). I found this young woman who started a blog for Personal Progress and has become (I'm pretty sure) the first Mormon teen blogger. http://mormon-teen.blogspot.com/ Thought you might like her blog, and might know some teens who might like her blog :)

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