Sunday, June 23, 2013


Nephi, the son of Lehi and Sariah begins his writings in the Book of Mormon in these words, “I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents.”

I’m not sure when I first became conscious of the blessing of ‘being born of goodly parents,’ but I am certain by the time I entered the grandparent phase and now as I am entering the great grandparent phase of my earthly estate, that though I still find myself lacking, I feel that I understand far more about this theme than I did when I was a lad in my ‘goodly parents’ home.

As the decades are retraced through the miracle of memory, I find myself quickly drawn into a series of comparisons:

Selfishness versus selflessness,

Completeness versus incompleteness,

Dedication versus slothfulness,

Caring versus carelessness,

Inclusiveness versus exclusiveness,

Loving versus indifference,

Gentleness versus grossness,

Agency versus unrighteous dominion.

All these contrasts and many more, flood upon the mind as one reviews experiences of children who have been raised by ‘goodly parents’ versus those who have negatively been involved or not involved with adults who biologically gave them birth.

The person who has entered into parenting with casualness and proceeds carelessly in this stewardship might consider pondering the Savior’s words as they were recorded by Matthew, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better that a mill stone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

Benjamin, a prophet/king, who ministered to both family and nation as a ‘goodly parent,’ included the following responsibilities as part of the stewardship of parenting: (Mosiah 4:14, 15)

Not suffer your children to go hungry or naked

Not suffer your children to transgress the law,

Not suffer your children to quarrel one with another,

Teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness,

Teach them to love one another,

Teach them to serve one another.

Pondering on joyous or sad experiences of our past and searching the scriptures, although they may be beneficial exercises, usually result in limited resolution of problems. Concrete solutions to bad parenting traits come as we pay the prices necessary to purge negative behavior from our parent/child relationships and re-enforce patterns of ‘goodly parenting.’

Making being a ‘goodly parent’ a priority in our heaven declared stewardship will surely insure positive reports from future generations; but more importantly, the lessons taught through example and proffered wisdom, will do far more to contribute towards preparing posterity to live in the prophesied Zion society.

One of the commonalities we witness in ‘goodly parents’ is a continuous commitment to the stewardship they have chosen. Once one is committed to the awesomeness of the path they have chosen and the commissioned responsibility which has ascended upon them as a consequence, all subsequent steps seem to be a series of learning and applying the endless attributes which attend their stewardship to their children as they practice being ‘goodly parents.’

Therefore, as we continue reading Nephi’s record we find that even as Lehi prepares to go the way of all the earth, having had the grandparent and great grandparent added to his stewardship of being a ‘goodly parent,’ after having spent his life striving to bring his children to an understanding of God and His Plan of Salvation, Lehi calls his posterity to his side that he might impart one last blessing and further words of guidance to his posterity. (2 Nephi 1-4)

Justifiably, Lehi declares at the end of his day words which we all might desire to be worthy of echoing as we end our mortal stewardships, having striven to walk after the pattern of ‘goodly parents. “I have had no other object save it be the everlasting welfare of (my children’s) souls.” (2 Nephi 2:30)

It takes but a small moment reflecting upon Lehi and Sariah’s example and our own observations, as we gingerly step through mortality, to realize that:

Indeed, being a ‘goodly parent involves caring for the present and future physical needs of those precious
beings that have been gifted to us and placed in our charge.

But the ‘goodly parent’ must also look beyond the temporal needs of their children and toward the Everlasting welfare of their Eternal souls.

“Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watch man waketh but in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:”
(Psalm 127)


  1. Hermosas reflexiones.Muchas gracias.Que hermoso poder decir :He naqcido de Buenos padres y que nuestros hijos puedan sin duda decir lo mismo.


    Armando & Chela



    Omar Conde

  3. Thank you very very good message

    Miguel Angel Garcia Lòpez

  4. gracias por sus mensajes muy edificantes hno. necesita mucho recordar esta parte del rey benjamin

    Jeny Anzora

  5. Thanks so much for these thoughts....since Craig and I just lost the last of our four goodly parents this really hit home. Forever thankful for them all!,,,

    Debbie Lark

  6. Bill,

    You might be interested in this response I received from a friend who taught at Reno High for some 20 years. Chris Wiseman is not LDS, but I occasionally send her copies of your "Thoughts." She and her husband live about 6 months per year at Lake Chapala in Mexico.

    This is her response to your thoughts on Parenting. Your thoughts have apparently struck a chord as she is using this to suggest a change in lifestyle for her son who works in Hollywood. As a result of forwarding this and other LDS articles, Chris has taken some interest in the Church, even sending me a list of questions that she has about our doctrine.

    Hope all is well with you and family,

    Ron Upton

  7. hermoso e inspirad
    o mensaje

    como siempre ,gracias hermano.

    Marta Cristina Mujica

  8. Thank you, Bill, for sharing your "THOUGHTS" with me! As usual, you have written thoughts that I find interesting and meaningful. I love the Book of Mormon and every time I read it, I'm amazed at the knowledge that can be gained from studying it. I appreciate your insight and wisdom ~~ Lehi was a great prophet but he was first and foremost a parent who loved his children! We can learn much from the scriptures!

    Carla Johnson