Tuesday, November 5, 2013

R's Talk on Being a Goodly Parent

I saw this idea on another blog, actually several other blogs, so there is no real credit to specifically be given. I decided to start posting whenever R and I give a talk in church. For our own personal records, and then of course to share with others!

In our church there is no preacher or paid clergy. Instead, we have a Bishop that presides over our meetings, and 2-3 speakers from the congregation are asked to give a talk based on a specific topic. To read more about our church meetings click here.

R was asked a couple weeks ago to speak about "Being a Goodly Parent". He was the final speaker following two youth, so he had basically 35 minutes to talk and he handled it very well!

I know the talk is long, so I underlined some key comments and quotes for those of you skimmers out there! 

Here is his talk straight off his blue note cards (I love this man!):

When I was a missionary there was one scripture that settled on my heart and gave guidance in my life.

D&C 109:8-9 states: "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;
That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord, that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord, that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High"

And Heavenly Father we ask you to assist us... or at least me with this talk because I lack in all of these.
(the congregation laughed at that hehe)

Through trial and error I have learned one key principle, you are responsible for your relationships. It is a pretty amazing thing to think on really. Our church has helped all of us make this manageable by prioritizing them in descending order of importance. The person who showed this concept to me was a good friend, Nolan Arney, he was my Bishop. He lived this principle: God is first always, your spouse is second, and your children are third, the rest falls some where below. 

The first relationship is with God. We can be scared or lost or just beginning. I would like to share with you that you shouldn't fear or lose faith. There are things we can do to help us get started. As a missionary, I taught people both members and non members of our church how to pray. My testimony of prayer came from my mother. Early in my life, I found it very useful both in my home as I grew up, because it helped me feel safe. I would say ask a missionary to teach you how to pray if your struggling or even better your home teacher. 

Another way to strength your relationship with God is through repentance. Sadly most of my life, I had to fend for myself not having much support, but often when I made mistakes, sometimes even bad mistakes, Bishops like our own in this ward helped me see the blessings of repenting and that forgiveness is truly achievable. Being close to the spirit is key for your relationship with God. 

To help with your relationship with God is having a knowledge of the Gospel. It is not enough to just be familiar with some things. This is a life long thing that you should come to enjoy, so start out slow and continue in life reading scriptures and talks. How can you hear His voice if you're not familiar with His servant's spoken word both in past and present? 

JSH1:19 states, "19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” 

We cannot fake our relationships and we cannot fake our responsibility with God. Just as a boy being lead by his Father in heaven, He so shall lead us in our life with the responsibilities we have that He has placed on us. The last thing for our relationship is our priesthood responsibility. 

3rd Nephi 20:41 states, "41 And then shall a cry go forth: Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord."

1 Timothy 4:12-13 states, "12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine."

Before I proceed to the next relationships, I would like to read a quote from President Eyring's October 2013 General Conference address, To My Grandchildren

"Life in families will test us. That is one of God’s purposes in giving us the gift of mortality—to strengthen us by passing through tests. That will be especially true in family life, where we will find great joy and great sorrow and challenges which may at times seem beyond our power to endure them." 

President George Q. Cannon said this about how God has prepared us and our children for the tests we will face: 

"There is not one of us but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that He has not desired to save, and that He has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children of God, and that He has actually given His angels—invisible beings of power and might—charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping."

I love this quote. My talk is on how to be a goodly parent. This seems overwhelming in one way because I am not a parent yet. And I don't have much to go on. That is why I love to watch others and I am excited to be one soon. In my studies, I believe to become a goodly parent is to have correct priorities in your relationships.

The second relationship is with your spouse. If you are focusing on the first then that will put you at a head start! To the women out there, I speak to you from a man's perspective. Pray for us, there are many things that we don't talk about. Some of those things shaped us to be who we are now whether it was positive or negative reinforcement that got us to the present. Not that this is your burden, but one to see us as men who fight to just be apart of their Heavenly Father's plan. Encourage us to love and see our relationships are important. 

Now men: we have an obligation to our wives, they are to find safety in us. 

Moses 3:24 states, "24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.

Family relationships last forever. It is not good for man to be alone. Howard W. Hunter exclaimed, 

"A man who holds the priesthood has reverence for motherhood. Mothers are given a sacred privilege to “bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of [the] Father continued, that he may be glorified."

The only thing you can do to check yourself is to look into your wife's eyes and ask her if she feels important to you. This will begin a new light in your home as you treat her as an equal in God's plan for your family. 

Family experts have warned against over scheduling of children. The church has also warned us as well. Other things they ask is to turnoff electronics when it comes to one on one with anyone and to have family home evening even without children in the home. 

The number of families that eat together is on the decline. This is the most concerning because it is proven in Sociology,Psychology, and Criminology of Juveniles. Eating meals at home is the strongest predictor of children's academic achievements and psychological adjustments. Family meal times have also been shown to be strong in helping children choose not to drink, smoke, and abuse drugs. This inspired wisdom in advice to parents: what your children really want for dinner is YOU! 

I remember an early memory from when I was around 3 years old. I was at a Presbyterian preschool and was asked by one of the workers what I wanted to be when I grew up. I looked at the other children and overheard boys answers like Fisherman, Police Officer, Fireman, and one boy said Superman! My worker asked me again and since I wanted to have the best answer, bigger than those already answered. I told her I wanted to be a dad. The lady started to tear up and said what was that? So I said it again even louder than before, I want to be a dad! That one memory has been a comfort to me in times that I questioned my own relationships. I now have the chance to create a new relationship with my son with the Lord's hand guiding me. 

The way for loving parents will not be easy in a decaying world. We cannot force God's children to choose happiness. God cannot do that because of the free agency He has given us. But we can teach them by example with His loving phrase: Come Follow Me. 

I testify these things are true,
In the name of Jesus Christ,

1 comment:

Mom said...

wow, good heartfelt thoughts, it is sweet he admits his struggles as we all have them,hje's a good man and going to be a great Dad!