Hi this is the talk I gave today for Father's day in church. The saying goes that if want some advice on how to raise your children, ask someone that doesn't have any children. That put us way down the list on knowing how to raise kids. We have 9 children 32 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. Even so we will give you a few little ideas about teaching obedience and making your homes a refuge of love, obedience and belonging.


When we fence a space be it a ranch or field or what ever, we have several purposes in mind. First to encircle and protect that which is precious within and so it can develop and grow without being hindered or destroyed by the evil and destructive forces without.

Second: to keep evil and destructive forces out and we usually have a gate to permit entrance and exit. Usually the gate is operated by the owner of the property who decides what is to come in and what is to go out.

Many years ago Uncle Loren Taylor was head of the fencing crew that was fencing the ranch around the lake. I went out to visit with him and help him and especially learn about fencing.

He explained that the corners were very important the corner had to be made with big long posts chosen for the purpose and were buried deep. He used one big post in the corner with a post about 3feet away on one side and another going the other way about 3 feet on the other side. Then he would brace these two posts to the corner post very securely forming a very solid corner of the fence.

In our families we can have a good solid corner by using the Savior as the corner post and the mother and the father on each side braced solidly to the Savior and his Gospel.

Uncle Loren said that the wires were placed on the inside of the posts because we want to keep the cattle in for their protection. The cattle don't know that inside the fence they have plenty of feed and water and are watched over by the cowboy. If they should get out they may not find their way back where they have food and water and the protection of the cowboy. The cowboy as soon as he finds the tracks going out must go out and bring them back not through the fence but through the gate and repair the broken fence.

In our homes we can build fences of love and obedience to keep our families in where there is plenty of food and water and the protection of the parents. If one of the family strays out of the fence we must all go out and bring the back through the gate and repair the fence.

When we first started ranching we would go to round up the cattle and we needed about ten cowboys mounted on good horses to round up the cattle and especially when we wanted to drive them into the corral we really had a time and met with much resistance, they would break out and run away and become very difficult.

Fathers when we try to drive or force our families to do the things we want them to do we will meet with resistance and some will try to break out and run away.

Our son Kiko devised a plan to put a lane all around the lake leaving gates at intervals where the cattle trails came down to water. This would enable us to handle the cattle easily a few at time or all at once. On our round ups, after the lane was made, we would spread out at the head of the ranch away from the lake and gently start the cattle down to the lake where they wanted to go to water. We would let them take their own pace to water following behind. When all were down around the lake drinking we would close all of the gates on the upper side of the lane. When the cattle were through drinking they wanted to return to their feeding grounds so they willingly left the water and went back up toward the lane and soon they found themselves going willingly down the straight and narrow lane into the corral. We could handle the cattle easily with a couple of cowboys because we were helping them to go where they wanted to go. Within the guidelines of the straight and narrow fences of the lane they became tame and obedient.

One of the guidelines of teaching our children to obey might be to devise a way to get them, through love and desire of approval, to want to go willingly into the straight and narrow way of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must watch our opportunity to teach obedience when our children are ready and willing to obey even in the little things. This can best be done by showing our love for them and giving them a desire to obey because of love and wanting to please and receive approval.

We took two couples and their small children to the mountains and camped with them a couple of days. I was interested in noting the difference between the methods of teaching of the couples. One couple had a little girl about three and half years old. They were constantly telling her no don't do that and come back here, right now! The little girl paid no attention until the father began to count one two three. She would wait until the last count of three then obey grudgingly. I don't know what she was threatened with at the count of three but apparently she did. She had learned by constant repetition that she didn't need to heed until the threat of the count of three. I saw a constant battle of wills between the parents and the child because she was taught disobedience by receiving so much attention by making an issue of each command. She was taught a role and she played it well.

The other couple also had a little girl about the same age and when she started to do something that she shouldn't the father or the mother would usually say let me help you with that. Or Just a minute and Daddy will go with you whereupon the child would willingly obey and wait in anticipation of going with her daddy to do what she wanted to do and felt the love and approval of her parents. She obeyed willingly in many things because she felt no need to rebel because of the threat of punishment. Now that little girl can do many things knowing that she has the approval of her parents and knows what they will disapprove of and she wants their approval and the good feeling that comes with willing obedience.

Another instance was we were visiting some people and a young couple had a very active little girl who delighted in getting into everything. That poor little lady was constantly hearing no, don't do that, no, no. don't. No matter what she started to do the parents especially the mother would say no don't do that, even though they didn't even know what she intended to do. I think she heard no! hundreds of times a day. In contrast I saw the grandfather of that little girl, when that same little girl started to climb upon the table or the piano or to get into something, he would pick her up and throw her in the air and cover her with kisses when she came down. I saw this little girl smile and laugh and throw her arms around her grandpa. Then her grandpa would help her accomplish what she wanted to do in a way that was not mischief. When she was not supposed to do a certain thing the loving way of her grandpa made her forget about doing wrong things and she would settle down quietly for awhile.

I was riding along on the ranch one day and I saw a mother quail and her tiny little chicks running along behind her. The mother would stop and eat and all of the little ones would gather around to learn what was good to eat. Suddenly the mother quail sounded some warning clucks and ran under a protective bush. The little quail all immediately ran and hid under her where she protected them with her body and wings. Just as they got to safety a hungry hawk swooped down and landed just outside the protection of the bush. I rode up and scared the hawk away but the mother quail would not move as long as the hungry hawk circled above in the sky waiting for her to come out. I hate to think of what might have happened if some of those little quail had waited for the mother to count to three before obeying her warning clucks.

We could learn a lesson from the baby quail and learn to obey instantly and without question. Not waiting to consider the threat of punishment or the count of three. Let us obey because of love and approval and because we want to do that which is right. Then we can know that wonderful feeling of willing obedience.

When I was a young boy I made a collection of birds nests and eggs. I had collected many different birds nests and their eggs but I thought I needed to find the nest of an Eagle and collect it's eggs. I had seen a pair of Eagles circling around the wave mountain out southeast of the Lake. I prepared to go and see if I could find their nest I road horse back one morning early and rode up to the foot of the cliff. I could see a small cave up near the top and some Buzzards flew out of it so I dismounted and began to climb up to where the little cave was. I finally made it up to the ledge where the little cave was and started to crawl into the cave. I could see two little Turkey Buzzards and an egg in the nest at the back of the cave. I decided to get the egg and maybe a little Buzzard for a pet. As I crawled toward those little buzzards they suddenly began to hiss and vomited up a pile of awful smelling, rotten meat. Wow! what a smell! I got sick to my stomach and my eyes began to water and sting. I backed out of that cave so fast that I almost fell off the ledge. Those little Buzzards were well trained and well prepared with a very effective protection against all invaders.

We cannot prepare our children and young people with that kind of protection of strong smelling meat but we can prepare them with a knowledge of the Gospel and a strong Testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ that will protect them against all evil invaders.

May we all prepare our homes and lives with good strong fences with the corner post being the Savior Jesus Christ. May we lead our families into the straight and narrow lane that leads to the gate of the Celestial kingdom. The best way to do this is by example and leading through love and obedience to the principles of the Gospel. We must be an example of willing obedience to the Teachings of Christ or we can never teach what we do not do.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai and saw the revelry and the evil of the children of Israel worshipping the Golden Calf he was so disappointed and angry that he threw down the stone tablets dashing them to pieces on the rocks. The Children of Israel had been in bondage for 400 years and knew nothing about obedience except the lash of the whip and the force of the Egyptians. So when the Lord gave Moses a new set of laws they were the negative laws of Thou Shalt Not. With detailed instruction of exactly what to do and the punishment for disobedience. Even with all of the miracles performed in their behalf and the threat of punishment they could not learn obedience through love of the Lord and because it was the right thing to do.

When the Savior Jesus Christ came to earth in humility and fulfilled the law of Moses and gave in it's stead the law of love and obedience through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ then the positive way of obedience was instituted. The law that Jesus taught seemed almost to contradict the harsh law of Moses. The teaching of "Do unto others as you would be done by". Was very different from the law of "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth".

In teaching a Horse to obey the bit we must first help him to understand what is wanted. Then by gentle persuasion and repetition he can learn to obey the slightest touch and every desire. If we use force when he is not ready he becomes confused and will become angry and rebellious. Sometimes we expect children to know what we mean and be ready to obey when they really don't know what is expected of them. We need to make obedience become a pleasant experience. Sometimes they receive disapproval for what they think is obedience. Many times they get more attention for disobedience than they do for obedience so they learn disobedience. Disobedience can become a fun little game for a child. Many times they get so many negative demands that they cease to listen and get in the habit of not paying attention to what is being said. If children are threatened for disobedience with threats that they know will not be carried out, they soon learn that the parent doesn't mean what they say.

Our homes can become a safe refuge and place where everyone wants to come to enjoy love and companionship. Where they can be respected and belong as an important member of and eternal family.