Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Home: The School of Life

This talk from Elder Enrique Falabella in the Sunday afternoon session of the April 2013 general conference really touched me, The Home: The School of Life.

He starts out by telling us that the best university we have on parenting is called The Home.  I truly and honestly believe that we can make so much change for the good in this world, just by focusing more on our families.  Please, even if you are not a member of the LDS church, watch or read this talk and see what nuggets of wisdom you can find.  He teaches 6 special lessons.  First, the temple is the place. Second, to contend you need two people (and I will never be one of them).  Third, a child who sings is a happy child. Fourth, I need you to hug me.  Fifth, I love the Book of Mormon and my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Sixth, it's not enough to know the Scriptures; we have to live them.  We've made these are new family rules.  We talked about it as a family for Family Home Evening on Monday and we decided we could all work on these.  We repeat these words when conflicts arise.  I've already learned so much from this!

The temple is the place. It's a focus for our lives, for our families. It's a beautiful covenant that Andrew and I have made and that we want our children to make with their future families.  It's a promise that continues into the eternities.

To contend, you need two people. I follow some parts of the Love and Logic parenting/teaching system. One of their "rules" is "I love you too much to argue with you."  I feel this statement really falls in line with that.  It takes two to fight.  If you start a fight with me, I don't have to fight back. I love you too much to argue.  I can wait until you are calm, so we can talk out the problem.  Not fighting doesn't mean that I always give in.  It simply means that I value our relationship too much to argue and I value having the Holy Spirit as a visitor in my home.  I don't want to drive Him away with fighting.

A child who sings is a happy child.  This goes both ways.  Sometimes our children sing so much, we just can't stand to hear that same (usually incorrectly sung) line or verse one more time!  But we need to remember that they're likely singing because they are happy!  And we need to allow that.  We also need to consider that if our children aren't singing, how can we help them learn to be happy?  Are they not singing because they've always been told to be quiet?  Are they not singing because they were just fighting or disappointed or distressed by something?  We as parents can help our children to be happy and we can learn to gauge their happiness by how much they sing.

I need you to hug me.  So often this is an unspoken thing.  The children feel it or we feel it, but no one says it.  We need to say it more often.  When I read this new "rule" to our children, their eyes brightened up.  We are a hugging family, but maybe we haven't been hugging enough.  So now, whenever anyone is seeming sad or angry or tired or disappointed, one of us has started to say, "I need you to hug me" or to ask, "Do you need me to hug you?"  It has definitely brought more peace to our home.

I love the Book of Mormon and my Savior, Jesus Christ.  John 14:15 states, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."  And what are His commandments?  Where can we find them?  We can find them in the scriptures.  There are so many more than just the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament.  They are important and so many are still broken today.  But we have more commandments: to attend our church meetings, to pray, to love and care for our children, to teach our families to follow the commandments.  The Book of Mormon, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the words of modern prophets are so important.  They contain the words and doctrine of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We need to read from these words every day. We need to pray every day, personally and as a family.  We need to thank our Heavenly Father for giving us this world and for making this plan for us.  We need to thank Him for giving His Son Jesus Christ and that He followed through and did all the Father asked of Him.

It's not enough to know the Scriptures, we have to live them.  The ability to quote scripture or know where to find a particular story is good. It will help us in living the Gospel.  But if we don't LIVE the Gospel, it's worthless.  Our Savior came to this earth to overcome Sin and Death, so that we can become clean through Him.  We need to have faith in the grace from our Savior.  We need to believe in him and also believe Him when he says we can become perfected in Him (see 1 John 2:5, Moroni 10:32).

I plan to share through the next few months bits of the conference talks that really touched me.  There were just so many jewels throughout the conference that I really hope you'll take the invitation to listen, watch, or read the talks. I bear testimony that God knows you and your situation.  He has inspired these men and women to share messages that will have eternal significance in your life.  I'm certain you could select any talk at random and find an answer to a prayer.  Even talks that had nothing to do with my particular time in life were still so filled with inspiring information that I was able to clean truths for me from EVERY SINGLE talk.  I know you can, too.

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