Selected Teachings on
What Makes a Good Parent?

James E. Faust (First Presidency)

Who are good parents? They are those who have lovingly, prayerfully, and earnestly tried to teach their children by example and precept “to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord” (D&C 68:28). This is true even though some of their children are disobedient or worldly. Children come into this world with their own distinct spirits and personality traits. Some children “would challenge any set of parents under any set of circumstances.... Perhaps there are others who would bless the lives of, and be a joy to, almost any father or mother” (Howard W. Hunter, “Parents’ Concern for Children,” Ensign, Nov. 1983, 65).  Successful parents are those who have sacrificed and struggled to do the best they can in their own family circumstances. ("Dear Are the Sheep that have Wandered," Ensign, May 2003, p.61)

Robert D. Hales (Quorum of the Twelve)

We ... must have the faith to teach our children and bid them to keep the commandments. We should not let their choices weaken our faith. Our worthiness will not be measured according to their righteousness. Lehi did not lose the blessing of feasting at the tree of life because Laman and Lemuel refused to partake of its fruit. Sometimes as parents we feel we have failed when our children make mistakes or stray. Parents are never failures when they do their best to love, teach, pray, and care for their children. Their faith, prayers, and efforts will be consecrated to the good of their children. ("With All the Feeling of a Tender Parent," Ensign, May 2004, 88)

Howard W. Hunter (Quorum of the Twelve)

A successful parent is one who has loved, one who has sacrificed, and one who has cared for, taught, and ministered to the needs of a child. If you have done all of these and your child is still wayward or troublesome or worldly, it could well be that you are, nevertheless, a successful parent. Perhaps there are children who have come into the world that would challenge any set of parents under any set of circumstances. Likewise, perhaps there are others who would bless the lives of, and be a joy to, almost any father or mother.

My concern today is that there are parents who may be pronouncing harsh judgments upon themselves and may be allowing these feelings to destroy their lives, when in fact they have done their best and should continue in faith. (“Parents’ Concern for Children,” Ensign, Nov. 1983, 65)