Which Is the Most Important


Many years ago at stake conferences, we would show a film clip to illustrate the theme of the message we were presenting. During the course of a year, as we traveled around the Church on our assigned stake conference visits, we became very familiar with the content of the film. We could almost quote it by heart. The message has remained in my mind over all these years. The film was narrated by President Harold B. Lee and gave an account of an occurrence in the home of his daughter. It goes something like this:

One evening the mother of the home was frantically trying to finish bottling some fruit. Finally the children were ready for bed and were settled down. It was now time to get to the fruit. As she began to peel and pit the fruit, two little boys appeared in the kitchen and announced that they were ready for their bedtime prayers.

Not wanting to be interrupted, the mother said very quickly to the boys, “Why don’t you just say your prayers alone tonight, and Mother will just keep working on the fruit?”

The older of the two sons firmly planted his feet and asked, “Which is the most important, prayers or fruit?” (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee [2000], 143–44.)

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations when we have the opportunity to teach children a lesson which will have a lasting effect on their young lives. Of course, prayers are more important than fruit. A successful parent should never be too busy to capture a moment in a child’s life when an important lesson can be taught.

It is my firm conviction that there has never been a period in my many years of life when our Father in Heaven’s children have needed the guiding hand of faithful, devoted parents more. We have a great and noble heritage of parents giving up almost everything they possess to find a place where they could rear their families with faith and courage so the next generation would have greater opportunities than had been theirs. We must find within ourselves that same determined spirit and overcome the challenges we face with the same spirit of sacrifice. We must instill in future generations an ever stronger reliance on the teachings of our Lord and Savior.

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).

It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that provides this foundation upon which we can find lasting peace and build eternal family units. Of this I testify in the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ.

Source: L. Tom Perry. Excerpt from his October 2014 General Conference Address, Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families, delivered at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. L. Tom Perry is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. © 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Photo Credit: Stock Photo © 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Called Unto Liberty is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary and explanatory notes) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Self-Educated American. Copyright © 2009-2015 Steve Farrell.