There Is Sound Advice In Honoring Our Parents


Over the years I have spoken many times to youth groups. I told them, on many occasions, that never while raising my children did my wife and I gleefully rub our hands together behind closed doors and think of what we could do to make our children’s lives miserable. Or what council could we give them that would lead to their unhappiness. As I rub my hands together and tell this to the youth, they inevitably snicker and laugh at the prospect of such a sight. For some reason many youth seem to think such a thing of their parents.

Of course, it is the opposite. My wife and I, like all loving parents, diligently seek divine guidance so that we can lead our children to find joy and happiness. I have often wondered about the promise given in the Ten Commandments regarding honoring parents. It reads:

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

“…that thy days may be long upon the land!” That’s an interesting consequence of obeying your parents! My thought is that if you honor your parents and follow the council of those that love you, you will make fewer mistakes and sin less. Mistakes and sin lead to unhappiness and sorrow and in some cases early death from the consequences of these actions. Sometimes it takes time to understand this. Almost twenty years ago one of my children had this to say in an email to my wife.

“Mom, I love you so much. I am truly grateful to Heavenly Father for sending me to you. When I say my prayers at night and thank the Lord for all my blessings, it always hits me just how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family. I realize just how many blessings I have that others don’t. No matter what may be going wrong or whatever my problems may be, I can always feel good about having a great and special family. You are the key to all this… I admire you and you are an inspiration to me. You’re the absolute best Mom and I wouldn’t trade you for anyone.”

I have also been blessed by having wonderful parents who love me and who I know want the best for my life. “Honor our parents!” If it was given as one of the ‘top ten’ by a loving Heavenly Father it is because, he knows first hand how much love a parent has for their children.

This commandment should also remind us that the Father of us all gave many others. Perhaps we should ponder each and every commandment our Heavenly Father has given, and remember that a loving parent only gives direction for our good and that we should give heed to ‘heavenly’ advice!

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