According to psychologists Twenge and Campbell, “one of the most popular current cultural messages is telling kids they are special. ‘I am special’ appears on T-shirts, stickers, and even car seats” (Twenge and Campbell, 2009, p. 16). Parents may unintentionally reinforce this message by the unconditional and sometimes unrealistic praise they give their children. Promises of “you can be anything you want to be” and “there’s nothing you can’t do if you set your mind to it” may sound like the right kind of supportive comments loving parents should give their children. But when parents give those comments in excess without also acknowledging the real limitations such pursuits will likely entail, and when they refuse to offer constructive criticism to their children, they facilitate an unrealistic view of the child’s potential and an underestimation of the challenges of the world awaiting them. Watch the following video for a great example:
Our conversion process and testimony building is not a once and for all conversion. The following quote by Joseph B. Wirthlin helps explain this:
“Imagine for a moment that you are Peter. Three years ago a holy stranger invited you to set aside your fishing boat and nets, your means of support for yourself and your family, and then asked you to follow Him. You did so without hesitation, and for three years you have continued to follow and to love and support and sustain Him. You have seen Him confound the wise, comfort the weary and the afflicted, heal the sick, and raise the dead to life. You have seen Him conquer evil spirits, calm the troubled seas, and for a few minutes, at least, you even walked on the water toward Him. You were at His side when Moses and Elias appeared to Him; you saw Him transfigured before your very eyes. You have committed your entire life to Him. And now He questions you by instructing you to strengthen your brethren “when thou art converted.” Peter was surprised. He assured the Lord, “I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.” (Luke 22:33.) But Jesus knew and understood. He was not condemning Peter for a lack of conviction; Peter demonstrated his conviction during the Lord’s arrest. Rather, the Savior was telling Peter what he needed to do when his testimony became more secure” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony” October 1992 General Conference).