Guidelines in Seeking "Lost Sheep"1. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all you do.
2. Never give up. (Faith is the starting point.)
3. Teach your child correct principles in a loving way.
4. Review alternatives and their consequences with your child.
5. Help your child carry out responsible decisions.
6. Be firm in allowing your child to experience the consequences of his choices. (However, if consequences could be very destructive to either the child or others, then parents are correctly prompted to intervene.)
7. Acknowledge your imperfections.
When children break the laws of God and stray from the path he set, there is both parental and godly sorrow. To earthly parents, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley offered the following comfort:
"I recognize that there are parents who, notwithstanding an outpouring of love and a diligent and faithful effort to teach them, see their children grow in a contrary manner and weep while their wayward sons and daughters willfully pursue courses of tragic consequence. For such I have great sympathy, and to them I am wont to quote the words of Ezekiel: 'The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son' (Ezekiel 18:20).
"But such is the exception rather than the rule. Nor does the exception justify others of us from making every effort in showing forth love, example, and correct precept in the rearing of those for whom God has given us sacred responsibility." (In Conference Report, Oct. 1978, p. 27; or Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 19.)