Last night Jeremy was doing some work on the computer. Without the computer I get a little lost as to what I am supposed to do so I picked up the stack and glanced through. I found some recipes, pictures and info on new Mission Presidents, and other various things happening. As Jeremy looked through the stack after me, we found this article. It is about a man in our ward who is 80 years old serving the youth. We have been hearing lately that you never retire from service and he is such a great example of this. Granted there are times when serving is difficult, but you can't tell me this is easy for him, yet he does it willingly!
What really got my attention was "A though from the scriptures" that is found on the last page. It reads
"And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. — Doctrine and Covenants 68:28
"The home and family have vital roles in cultivating and developing personal faith and testimony," Elder M. Russell Ballard said in his April 1996 general conference address. "The family is the basic unit of society; the best place for individuals to build faith and strong testimonies is in righteous homes filled with love. ... True principles of eternal life are embedded in the hearts and souls of young and old alike when scriptures are read and discussed, when prayers are offered morning and night, and where reverence for God and obedience to Him are modeled in everyday conduct. Just as the best meals are home-cooked, the most nourishing gospel instruction takes place at home. Strong, faithful families have the best opportunity to produce strong, faithful members of the Church."
As parents we expect so much of those people who touch our children's lives, their teachers, their coaches, youth leaders, celebrities, etc. This thought nails it right on the head. It is NOT their responsibility to make sure that your children get all the spiritual nourishment. They are supplements to what is happening at home. If a child does not know what their parents expect how does the short amount of time that is spent in the company of others going to give them a firm foundation when things get rough.
Here is an example: Modesty. We teach our children that they need to be modest not only in how they dress but how they behave in what they wear. Haylie and Hannah love to wear skirts, the problem is that they still love to climb, sit on the floor with their legs spread apart and such. I can not as a parent depend on the people they see once a week to teach them this is inappropriate. The other way around if we are teaching them that this is inappropriate at home, then they go to church and hear the SAME thing, they will learn that it is not OK. I know if this is my biggest concern then I have it made, but remember my kids are still young and I have no doubts it will get harder.
In today's society, the home is starting to have a comeback. People are seeing the importance of having a strong sense of family and that time as a family is important. These are the relationships that last a lifetime, these are the memories that will be shared 50 years from now at family gatherings. This is the time to feed the desire of these young appetites for learning. If they crave the spiritual teachings, maintaining a firm testimony of righteousness will be so much easier. AND if your children see you "practice what you preach" you will have more accountability when you teach them true principles.
It is hard to make time to say prayers as a family in the morning and at night, as well as have family scripture study every day, and Family Home Evening every week. It is hard to give up time and focus on these things. There is truth in their necessity and as they say the more you sacrifice the more you appreciate the outcome. Sacrificing the time I spend doing things like blogging or reading (my biggest, selfish, time-consuming activities) will be worth so much when my children are adults and "are strong, faithful members of the Church."
Lauren is trying so hard to be like her big sisters, she is getting there and I can't think of better examples. Isn't she so lucky?!