The Vile Sin of Child Abuse

Matthew 18:6

6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

President Thomas S. Monson said:

“Recently, as I read the daily newspaper, my thoughts turned to this passage [Matthew 18:6] and the firm candor of the Savior’s declaration. In one column of the newspaper I read of a custody battle between the mother and father of a child. Accusations were made, threats hurled, and anger displayed as parents moved here and there on the international scene with the child spirited away from one continent to another.

“A second story told of a twelve-year-old lad who was beaten and set on fire because he refused a neighborhood bully’s order to take drugs. Hospitalized, his condition remains critical.

“Still a third report told of a father’s sexual molestation of his small child.

“These are reported cases of child abuse. There are many more never reported but equally as serious. A physician revealed to me the large number of children who are brought to the emergency rooms of local hospitals in your city and mine. In many cases guilty parents provide fanciful accounts of the child falling from his high chair or stumbling over a toy and striking his head. Altogether too frequently it is discovered that the parent was the abuser and the innocent child the victim. Shame on the perpetrators of such vile deeds. God will hold such strictly accountable for their actions.”

(“A Little Child Shall Lead Them,” Ensign, May 1990, 53.)

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