Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Parents' Magic Spell

I believe that parents who love and sacrifice for their children cast a spell on them, so to speak.  Though those children may disobey and rebel, once they leave home their parents' words will haunt them.  When faced with challenges and responsibilities, their first - almost reflexive response - will be almost exactly as their parents' (whether good or bad).  Those children may spend years and years sorting through what they have received through their parents' "spell," versus what they choose for themselves.

I'm sure this is not the case with all families, but it's been true for my relationship with my parents.  I'm thankful for what my parents taught me, as much by their example as by the words they spoke.  They weren't perfect, but they truly loved me and sacrificed much for me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Decisions Determine Destiny

Today we did our Family Home Evening on the third item in the LDS Church's "My Gospel Standards" for children.  It reads: "I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake."

We read in Joshua 24:15:

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

I asked the children what choices they made each day, and how many choices they made each day.  We talked about which ones were important and which ones were of little consequence.

We talked about repentance, and how if Jesus has not atoned for our sins, once we made a mistake, we would never be able to fix it or make it better.

I then set out this maze.  I told them that what paths they chose to take in the maze would determine what ending they arrived at: star, moon, or sun (or get lost in a dead end).  I told them that once they had chosen a path in the maze, they couldn't go backwards, or cross over their path if they came to it again.  We put a plastic page protector down over the maze and let the kids use dry erase markers to find their way through the maze.


It's really a tough little maze.  At one point, my son went just an inch too far past where he needed to turn to get to the "Sun" ending.  When he realized he'd gone too far, he was disappointed, because he knew he couldn't go back.  But that is the perfect time to tell him, that because of our Savior, we can repent and change our course.  We can all make it back to His Presence.  He made it possible for every one of us, if we just choose to follow His gospel.

The title of this post comes from our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, in his talk "The Three Rs of Choice."