369–370: Helping Children Plant Lasting Seeds of Faith

Every person is different, and this is completely true with children, as well. Often we as parents will assume our children are picking up ideas, teachings, and various behavioral cues from us, our families, and our church in the way we hope they are, but this certainly isn’t always true. And certain children will be very sensitive to the times when there is a mismatch between their own experience and what they believe is going on all around them. For instance—and this is an example from one of the stories shared in this podcast—a child might feel he or she is not receiving answers to his or her prayers the way everyone else does, causing this child to wonder what’s wrong with them, if they are still worthy of love, and so forth. So how do we parent and grandparent and aunt and uncle and mentor in ways that teach values and solid ethics and faith, and at the same time communicate that these are not one-size-fits-all things? And that this is not only okay, but it is wonderful! How do we empower them with a sense of trust in themselves, and help them find their own best way to access God/Spirit?

In this two-part episode, Caleb Jones, Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, and Jordan Harmon join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon to talk about child raising within a context of faith and values. In this case, one of the contexts for this parenting is Mormonism, which is wonderful in so many ways, but how might we assist them in still finding their own unique faith connections within this sometimes overwhelming church and culture? Guided by Caleb’s story with his oldest son, and ending with a thorough discussion of his and his wife Irene’s ten one-liners that often guide their parenting and work their way into conversations with their children, the panelists and host draw from their backgrounds (two are therapists, all are parents with children at various ages) to share insights, personal stories, and ideas for conscious parenting that seeks as a primary goal to always assist children in feeling completely loved, heard, and cared for by them as well as God.

Please listen and then share your ideas and tips in the comments section below!



9 comments for “369–370: Helping Children Plant Lasting Seeds of Faith

  1. Sarah
    February 23, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I’m not done listening yet, but I wanted to ask before I forgot…
    Caleb, What is your family scripture mastery?
    Jennifer, What are the values you mentioned you teach in your “family meetings?” You mentioned loyalty, friendship and perseverance. What other values so you cover?
    Great topic! Thanks!

    • February 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Sarah, I’ve published our family scripture mastery list I mentioned here:


      • Sarah
        February 25, 2017 at 9:55 pm

        Thanks Caleb! I should have finished listening before I commented! Now that I have I can say a big thank you to everyone. That was a great discussion. I appreciate the modeling and examples of how to teach my children. I think I’ll have to re listen, but your I appreciate having your list in print form! I need to sit down with my husband, take yours as an example and create our own family list!

  2. Heidi
    March 1, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    This was a great podcast with nice insights for improved gospel discussion in the home. The dialogue was was so excellent and seemed so effortless and natural. Goals!!

    I’m with Dan that the “loophole” term is preventing me from connecting the dots on the meaning of that gem. For me, I think of not judging others as one of the greatest gifts we mortals have to give each other… the message being that we are all different, experiencing different challenges and successes, wrestling with defining our faith and our identity… not judging is a gift of compassion we can offer to others and to ourselves. So if that is the intent of the message, maybe “‘Judge not’ is key to you and others being able to discover how the gospel works in your lives.”

  3. Amy
    March 2, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    This was a great episode. Thank you to you all for sharing your experiences with your children. I love your 13th commandment, Caleb, so much as well as the others. Love hearing how you’ve handled kids not wanting to go to church and their testimony questions! Lots to contemplate. Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *