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18 November 2009

Brother Brigham's Counsel

Study order and cleanliness in your various occupations. Adorn your city and neighborhood. Make your homes lovely, and adorn your hearts with the grace of God.

The duty of the mother is to watch over her children and give them their early education, for impressions received in infancy are lasting. ... The child reposes implicit confidence in the mother, you behold in him a natural attachment, no matter what her appearance may be, that make shim think his mother is the best and handsomest mother in the world. ... You will, no doubt, recollect reading, in the Book of Mormon, of two thousand young men, who were brought up to believe that, if they put their whole trust in God, and served him, no power would overcome them. You also recollect reading of them going out to fight, and so bold were they, and so mighty their faith, that it was impossible for their enemies to slay them. This power and faith they obtained through the teachings of their mothers.

These duties and responsibilities devolve upon mothers far more than upon fathers, for you know the latter are often in the field or canyon, and are frequently away from home, sometimes for several days together, attending to labors which compel them to be absent from home. But the mother is at home with the children continually; and if they are taught lessons of usefulness it depends on her.

To gain the spiritual ascendancy over ourselves, and the influences with which we are surrounded, through a rigid course of self-discipline, is our first consideration, it is our first labor, before we can pave the way for our children to grow up without sin unto salvation.

Let us live so that the spirit of our religion will live within us, then we have peace, joy, happiness, and contentment, which makes such pleasant fathers, pleasant mothers, pleasant children, pleasant households, neighbors, communities and cities. That is worth living for, and I do think that the Latter-day Saints ought to strive for this.

Let mothers commence to teach their children while in their laps, there do you teach them to love the Lord, and keep His commandments. Teach them to keep your commandments, and you will teach them to keep the commandments of your husbands. It is not the prerogative of the child to dictate to his mother, or his father; and it is not the prerogative of the father to rise up and dictate to his God whom he serves.

If a mother wishes to control her child, in the first place let her learn to control herself, then she may be successful in bringing the child into subjection to her will.

I have often thought and said, "How necessary it is for mothers, who are the first teachers of their children and who make the first impressions on their young minds, to be strict." How careful they should be never to impress a false idea on the mind of a child! They should never teach them anything unless they know it is correct in every respect. They should never say a word, especially in the hearing of a child, that is improper. How natural it is for women to talk baby talk to their children; it seems just as natural for the men to do so. It is just as natural for me as to draw my breath to talk nonsense to a child on my lap, and yet I have been trying to break myself of it ever since I began to have a family.

Teach your children from their youth, never to set their hearts immoderately upon an object of this world.

Parents should never drive their children, but lead them along, giving them knowledge as their minds are prepared to receive it. Chastening may be necessary betimes, but parents should govern their children by faith rather than by the rod, leading them kindly by good example into all truth and holiness.

All quotes from Discourses of Brigham Young, edited by John A. Wistoe, pg 200-208.


Tianna said...

I got shivers reading this. So many wonderful quotes on motherhood and teaching.

Ritsumei said...

Yep, these are some of my favorites. This book is organized topically. These are from the "family" section. There are just as many good ones for Dads, but I'm not a Dad, so I don't focus on that.


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