Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Children Have the Potential to Build Up Our Homes... Or Tear Them Down

Have you ever seen the movie "Yours, Mine, and Ours"?  I haven't seen the old 1968 Lucille Ball version, just the one with Dennis Quaid from 2005, but it was wonderful and fun.  I really recommend it, if you haven't seen it.  But maybe I should go watch the original, too.  They're usually so fun.  Anyway, we were watching it and I realized an important point that may not have been intended.  Near the end of the movie, the kids decided that they actually didn't want to break up the family after all.  That they actually liked each other and WERE a family.  So they find the parents and tell them the break up was all their fault, that they started the fight, but that they changed their minds and wanted them together again.  I think the important point here is that if they had the power to cause the family to break up, they also have the power to help a family stay together.  Now let's be fair.  Some parents truly have irreconcilable differences, including infidelity, abuse, and no desire to work on a marriage.  My comments here shouldn't be misunderstood to say that kids are responsible for holding families together or that some families don't have big problems.  My point is that children can make it impossibly difficult or so beautifully easier by their attitudes and actions.
Mary N Cook
Mary N. Cook, speaking to the young women in the church, shared this talk entitled "When you save a girl, you save generations." Sister Cook tells us how children can build up the home. She encouraged young women to search for and "stand in holy places."  She compared each daily act of obedience to God's commandments to putting oil in our spiritual lamps, as the wise and foolish virgins awaiting the call of the Bridegroom in Matthew 25:1-13.
"Living the gospel in your home will also add oil to your lamp and weave spiritual strength into your home now and bless your future family in countless ways. And furthermore, as Elder Robert D. Hales has said, 'If the example we have received from our parents was not good, it is our responsibility to break the cycle … and teach correct traditions for the generations that follow.'
Decide now to do all you can to fill your lamps, that your strong testimony and example may be woven into the lives of many generations—past, present, and future. I testify that your virtuous life will not only save generations, but it will also save your eternal life, for it is the only way to return to our Father in Heaven and find true joy now and throughout eternity."
I know I want my children to have strong testimonies of Jesus Christ and God's plan for us.  I want them to follow correct traditions and life lives of virtue.  I want them to be strengthened by these things and stand above the world.  I want them to "stand in holy places and be not moved." I want them to raise future generations of children who also know these things.  One way they can do this is to help make their homes "holy places."  We can read scriptures, say fervent prayers, and work to keep out the evils of the world.  We can work on being peacemakers in our homes.  We can be selective about what shows we watch, what music we listen to, and what content we allow on our computers.  We can be selective about what comes out of our mouths.  We can work to make our homes clean and orderly and keep our appearances tidy and attractive.

Parents have a responsibility to teach children what is right and to bring them up in a good environment.  And children can contribute to the peace in the home.  We can literally reverse and heal centuries of abuse, misuse, and neglect by caring for our daughters properly and allowing them to blossom.

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