Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gospel Study - Becoming Goodly Parents

Today I read Elder L. tom Perry's talk, Becoming Goodly Parents.

This is a bitter-sweet talk for me.  I love all the things that he taught and reminded me concerning the family.  Yet... with child making so many choices against my own, I wonder if I did or if I can do enough to be a goodly parent.

The "sanctity of marriage and the central importance of families... provide an anchor and the safe harbor... where each child of a loving Heavenly Father can be influenced for good and acquire eternal values."

It was nice to be reminded that the "little things" do and will count.  I hope so.  If not I've been slaving away for nothing.  LOL.  I hold great hope that the "little things" will be what draws my children back.

After all, "lessons taught in the home by goodly parents are becoming increasingly important in today's world."

I've always know that "teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility."  For this reason, I began a journey of home schooling my children 17 years ago.  I got so much flack for this decisions   I know that most people don't understand.  It was just something I had to do because I am ultimately responsible... school is not.

I miss my kids once they hit HS and I offer them a choice to stay home or take class in the school.  This year my number three kid decided to go to full time school... the first kid... everyone else choose to stay at home for half the day.  (I miss that kid.)  I can also tell without any doubts, that home school is and has been the right choice for my family.

Keeping my kids at home has helped me be better at rearing my "children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual need, and to teach them to love and serve each one another..."  It hasn't been perfect, but I know that all that "together time" is the only reason my kids became friends.  If they were all gone at school, they wouldn't have been able to develop those friendships.

At the very end of the talk, Elder Perry focused on that it is by "divine design that the role of motherhood emphasizes the nurturing and teaching of the next generation."  For my friends that struggle enjoying motherhood... THIS is what you fought to come here to do.  THIS is how you are like God.  I recently shared a great essay by Valerie Hudson Cassler, I'm a Mormon Because I'm a Feminist.

I love how she worded it:

"The Great Plan of Happiness devised for the children of God mandated that they leave their heavenly home, receive a mortal body as a blessing, enter into full agency by being separated from God, and then return once more to their heavenly home to be judged for how they used their agency. That is, the Plan was to be a “round,” if you will: it would take us from our heavenly home and, if we walked that path well, the plan would bring us back to our heavenly home, now much more like our Heavenly Parents, with much more knowledge, a fuller agency, a desire to choose the right, with so much more than we ever could have acquired if we had stayed in heaven with a pale or dilute version of agency.
Only the children could choose to leave, and to bring to pass a separation from their divine parents. And so in the Garden were placed a son and a daughter of God, and two trees. Two persons, two trees.
Both Trees represented doorways along the journey of the Great Plan. The First Tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, symbolized the doorway leading from heaven, and the ordinances of entering mortality with a mortal body, gaining full agency, and having the light of Christ awakened within. The Second Tree, the tree of eternal life, symbolized the ordinances of salvation and exaltation, and the doorway back to our heavenly home.
Eve was created second, then, not because she was derivative of Adam: she was created second to highlight that the giving of the gift of the First Tree was the gift to be given by women in the Great Plan.2 It is through women that souls journey to mortality and gain their agency, and in general it is through the nurturing of women, their nurturing love of their children, that the light of Christ is awakened within each soul. And we should include in that list of souls Jesus the Christ. Even Christ our Lord was escorted to mortality and veiled in flesh through the gift of a woman, fed at his mother’s breast, and awakened to all that is good and sweet in the world. Women escort every soul through the veil to mortal life and full agency. It is interesting to think that even Adam, who was created before Eve, entered into full mortality and full agency by accepting the gift of the First Tree from the hand of a woman. In a sense, Adam himself was born of Eve.
If Eve was foreordained to give this good gift as her stewardship in the Great Plan... 
Eve, then, was not the worst among women; Eve was the best among women! She was the most courageous, the most full of faith. It was also right, then, that the first mortal being that the resurrected Jesus showed himself to was not a man; it was a woman. Jesus’ performance of the Atonement repaid Mother Eve’s faith in the Plan, her courageous opening of the door represented by the First Tree.
Did God curse Eve? We know that the ground was cursed for the sake of Adam and Eve—is this a cursing of Adam and Eve? In the teachings of the LDS Church, we do not believe that that was a curse meant to punish them—it was a curse meant to start that law of opposites that undergirds agency: virtue and vice, pleasure and pain, light and darkness, truth and lies (2 Ne 2:11-13). Eve was told she would labor in childbirth—was this a cursing of Eve? Again, from the LDS perspective, absolutely not. To have children, to be able to fully give the gift of Eve, is one of the most soul-satisfying parts of a woman’s life that she will either experience here or in the hereafter if circumstances have prohibited it here.
And then in the King James version of the BIble, we are told that Eve, as part of her punishment, was told that Adam would rule over her. Is that what the LDS believe? Actually not. Elder Bruce C. Hafen, a seventy in the LDS Church, says: “Genesis 3:16 states that Adam is to ‘rule over’ Eve, but… over in ‘rule over’ uses the Hebrew bet, which means ruling with, not ruling over…. The concept of interdependent equal partners is well-grounded in the doctrine of the restored gospel.”4"

I am a part of this!  I came away from this talk reminded that I needed to work harder at strengthening a "real partnership where we blend" to teach and strengthen out kids.

What did you learn?

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