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President N. Eldon Tanner shared a verse which he learned many years ago as a child.

I am the child.
You hold in your hand my destiny.
You determine, largely, whether I shall succeed or fail.
Teach me, I pray, those things that make for happiness.
Train me, I beg, that I may be a blessing to the world.

(N. Eldon Tanner, “Teaching Children of God,” Ensign, Oct. 1980, 2).

To a large degree, parents hold in their hands the destiny of their children.  The lessons they teach both by precept and example may have eternal consequences for their children.  This verse discusses two important questions.  First, what are those things that will make for happiness?  And second, what must they learn to become a blessing to the world? 

 As I have thought through this first question, I have determined that we must teach the things which bring happiness in this life and the life to come—the spiritual side.  President Hinckley commented:  “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (“The Family: a Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102)  Those are the lessons we must teach, the teachings of Jesus Christ.

As I thought about the second question, I thought about this counsel from Robert D. Hales:  ”Teach our children by example how to budget time and resources. Help them learn self-reliance and the importance of preparing for the future.” (Robert D. Hales, “Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty,” Ensign, May 1999, 32) 

Teaching children financial responsibility is the responsibility of parents.  Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin commented:

Too many of our youth get into financial difficulty because they never learned proper principles of financial common sense at home. Teach your children while they are young. Teach them that they cannot have something merely because they want it. Teach them the principles of hard work, frugality, and saving.  Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts,” Ensign, May 2004, 40)

Clearly both the spiritual and temporal are both important parts of the teaching process.  And we must begin when they are small.

Please know that I write from the position of a father, and not as one who has been trained in counseling.  When I was first married, I had seven theories about raising children.  Now, twenty three years later I have seven children and no theories. Following are a few ideas which may be helpful in teaching your children financial responsibility.  


There are three objectives from this section that you should remember.

  1. Understand the importance of teaching your children.
  2. Understand some principles of teaching children financial responsibility.
  3. Understand some thoughts on when to teach children financial responsibility.


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