For the Parents
Both Mother's Day and Father's Day are coming up. I was thinking about how much I love my own parents and how wonderful I think they are. As I've become a parent myself, I've come to a better understanding of the difficult situations parents face to raise children in a chaotic world. I have already, within the first 2 years of my child's life, found myself doubting, questioning, regretting, and thinking on my own parental decisions. I know it won't get easier, and I'm sure it's even more difficult with adult children, but Elder James Rasband's talk from this last general conference gave me a ton of hope. While I listened, I related much of what he said to past situations with people other than my own children and felt it could easily apply to many people's lives; however, as I've studied his talk I more deeply understand the blessing it was for parents specifically to hear. He talked a lot about the blessings of the atonement of Jesus Christ for not only us, but those we've hurt or misguided. He talked about the conversion of Alma and how he couldn't have truly felt joy unless he knew those that he'd misled could have the opportunity to know the same joy he did. One of my favorite quotes from the talk is that "The glorious promise of the Savior's atoning sacrifice is that as far as our mistakes as parents are concerned, He holds our children blameless and promises healing for them. And even when they have sinned against the light-as we all do- His arm of mercy is outstretched, and He will redeem them if they will but look to Him and live." While this doesn't excuse intentional poor decision making or abusive treatment of family, we can be comforted in knowing that the Lord will heal our children and guide them to joy even when we aren't perfect parents. If we can keep Christ the center of our lives, trying to live as His disciples and teach truth, we can feel the reassuring hand of the Lord in our lives. I realize that the power of the Savior's atonement reaches much further and is more in depth than I can comprehend. As we look to that infinite power, I hope we can be more forgiving of ourselves and others, looking to the future with hope and compassion.