President Faust's Comforting Words to Parents Whose Children Have Left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The following was taken from the book Growing Up Unto the Lord by former General Authority Seventy Craig Cardon, currently on sale at


What do you do when you have a child who doesn't want to follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints anymore?


According to our Father’s plan, no individual or family is spared the vicissitudes of life uniquely extant to elicit the refinements of perfection in each heart. When they choose otherwise and stray from the covenant path, our duty is to lovingly, and with faith in Jesus Christ, do all possible to help them return. 


President Boyd K. Packer provided the following words of comfort:


The measure of our success as parents . . . will not rest solely on how our children turn out. That judgment would be just only if we could raise our families in a perfectly moral environment, and that now is not possible.

It is not uncommon for responsible parents to lose one of their children, for a time, to influences over which they have no control. They agonize over rebellious sons or daughters. They are puzzled over why they are so helpless when they have tried so hard to do what they should. It is my conviction that those wicked influences one day will be overruled . . . . We cannot overemphasize the value of temple marriage, the binding ties of the sealing ordinance, and the standards of worthiness required of them. When parents keep the covenants they have made at the altar of the temple, their children will be forever bound to them.



President James E. Faust stated, “I believe and accept [this] comforting statement of Elder Orson F. Whitney.” He then shared these additional thoughts:


A principle in this statement that is often overlooked is that they must fully repent and “suffer for their sins” and “pay their debt to justice.” I recognize that now is the time “to prepare to meet God” (Alma 34:32).

If the repentance of the wayward children does not happen in this life, is it still possible for the cords of the sealing to be strong enough for them yet to work out their repentance? In the Doctrine and Covenants we are told, “The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God, and after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation” (D&C 138:58–59).

Mercy will not rob justice, and the sealing power of faithful parents will only claim wayward children upon condition of their repentance and Christ’s Atonement. Repentant wayward children will enjoy salvation and all the blessings that go with it, but exaltation is much more. It must be fully earned. The question as to who will be exalted must be left to the Lord in His mercy.


As we look to teach our children and each other how to be richly blessed by the precious gift of the Holy Ghost and to deepen our conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ, we know that there is no substitute for daily individual and family scripture study and prayer, weekly family home evening, and faithful participation in church meetings and gospel  ordinances. And in this process, we are learning the importance and significance of the announcement and teachings of the Brethren at the October 2018 general conference concerning the divine responsibility and accountability of parents to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to their children in their homes.


In following the Lord’s counsel as taught by His prophets and as confirmed by His Spirit, we lay claim to His promised blessings.


What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!


The following was taken from the book Growing Up Unto the Lord by former General Authority Seventy Craig Cardon, currently on sale at