Saturday, November 29, 2014

Teaching and Showing

And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, an shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.

Exodus 18:20

This was a good reminder tonight that while the laws and ordinances of God must be taught, my children will really only learn how to walk in the covenant and apply the Gospel through example. Too often I don't live up to the bar I try to set for them, but I hope at least they see me trying and repenting and changing so that they will know the way.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"A Large Family of Small Children"

I am starting to understand where this sister is coming from...

Today as I headed into the doctor's office, a woman was waiting for me to get my boys out of my car so she could get into hers. The usual ensued: "Three boys! Wow! You must be busy! . . . Oh, and you're having another! Do you know what it is? . . . Another boy! Wow. . ."

That wow is too often accompanied by a look of pity, because obviously we only had more children on the off chance that we might get a girl instead of another boy, and now we had failed and were stuck with four boys. I wish I had the time and words to explain, "No, this is awesome! We are so excited and blessed to have four boys! Our life is great, even if it's crazy, and even if it's not anything like yours." I don't know exactly how many children we will have or when we will have them; The Lord doesn't tend to give me information about life decisions until they need to be made. But I feel with this one I have already crossed the threshold into what the world considers that land of "crazy" people who have too many kids. I hope I can be a really happy crazy person that teaches many children to be good, loving, Christlike people.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Effects of the Holy Ghost on Israel

For some time I have wanted to understand more about Abrahamic lineage, the twelve tribes of Israel, etc. I am currently studying Genesis, and trying to look up more of the things that I have been satisfied to skim over in the past, and came across this quote regarding traits of blood descendants of Israel. I don't know that it is particularly vital knowledge, but it is certainly interesting.

This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure intelligence. (Smith, Teachings, 149–50).

More explanations here.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Be a Man

Sometimes I come across a talk or piece of literature and think, "This needs to be on my boys' required reading list when they are older." Today another blogger posted this talk, and it is one of those.

From Carlos B. Away, in April 1992 Priesthood Session:

There is a lie—a vicious lie—circulating among the Latter-day Saints and taking its toll among the young. And it is that a “balanced man” is one who deliberately guards against becoming too righteous. This lie would have you believe that it is possible to live successfully and happily as a “double-minded man” with one foot in Babylon and one foot in Zion. (See James 1:8.)

. . .

Can a man be too righteous? Too Christlike? Impossible! Can the so-called “balanced man” walk successfully the beam between good and evil? No. Each step is shaky, and eventually he will teeter and fall and break himself against the commandments of God.

I have come across this attitude plenty in life, but it was most pronounced in college; from the guy that told my friend that going to do weekly baptisms for the dead was "a bit much" (FYI not a good way to impress a girl who goes to do weekly baptisms for the dead.), to people who called me "Molly Mormon" for not wanting to see certain movies, listen to certain music, or hang around certain places. If I am going to live the Gospel, I want to be all in! There are enough things I struggle with on a daily basis, why not discard things that are easily identifiable as being without merit for me?

I was very blessed with a strong group of friends who supported each other and never tore others down for striving to be their best selves, and that was one of the things that drew me to John as I got to know him. I hope that my children are blessed in that way, and that our family culture can be one where they support each other in righteousness. They will be up against a great deal of pressure to follow the ways of the world, and it is sometimes hardest when those who should be on our side add to that pressure.