Honesty and Parenting

by Kiley

Have you ever read an article about current parenting trends?  As I’ve raised my three little ones and tried to figure the art of mothering out, I’ve dabbled in these how-to blurbs every now and again.  And more often than not, the prevalent theme that I read was this: be positive.  Instead of telling a child what not to do, you encourage them to be good (and even great).  In my striving to put those techniques into play, I remember that when we brought our second new baby home, our then-two-year-old got quite a lot of encouragement to ‘be soft’ with the tiny newborn (I had to hold my tongue quite a bit as I really wanted to tell him to ‘not hit’ so many times!).  Now, I’ve even learned that I, myself, thrive in positivity and shrivel up in depression with constant negativity.

Recently, I was studying about the topic of honesty.  I was struggling with the content I was finding, because most everything focused on the don’ts of honesty: don’t lie, don’t steal, and don’t cheat.  Even the scriptures dealt heavily with these warnings, as found especially in the Ten Commandments in the Exodus chapter 20: ‘Thou shalt not steal.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.’

A Touching Letter

Dear Ajay,

Tonight is a big night for you and I felt that you needed some advice as you grow up. Not advice on how to be rich, famous, and successful in todays world. Nope that comes by luck, and who you know..which you will know many who will know you.  Instead his letter of advice is how to stay strong in the gospel..because as you grow up there will be many challenges, hardships, adversity, temptations and other ways of the temporal life that will catch your eye but you must with all your might "stay to the Iron Rod."  

8 years old is an important age and you know that..you've known that for a while now.  Being raised by good parents will do that to you.  Moments ago, you completed and passed your baptismal interview with your bishop. Now just sit there in the foyer as you read this and and as they come out of the office you will hear your father tell the Bishop how proud he is of you and that you are a good kid.  He's going to be very proud of you that day on September 4th. I want you to know how much your Dad loves you. Sure you two have and will continue to have your disagreements and arguments every so often..but Ajay he sure does love you.   

You will be a valiant primary child, and the best part is having your mom in the Primary Presidency.  Warning though: You will need a box of tissues for one of her lessons.  It will be about not judging others..something you have been and will be the victim of for years to come..because you're different, and though it's okay to be different, it's something that your peers were not ready to deal with yet.  That lesson will help you know that you are created by God and that he does NOT make mistakes. You will see the love in your mothers eyes as she teaches those around you that very same principle.  I have to be honest, talking about it now almost makes me cry again. You may even start liking country music that day too..a guy named Gary Allen and a song called "Don't laugh at me" will do it to you. 

Christmas Advent Calendar

Quotes and Scriptures were Gathered by Brooke Watson

December 1st

“Little of Mary’s life is recorded in the scriptures. But what is recorded shows that Mary 
1) faithfully obeyed the word of God, 
2) expressed joy for God’s blessings 
3) received God’s witness and counsel from his servants. And 
4) had a posterity who glorified God. 

In the life of Mary, we find a pattern of righteousness for all Saints to follow.”  

December 2nd 

“And what of Joseph? What kind of a person would the Father select as the husband of Mary and the guardian and earthly model for Jesus? The scriptures are not entirely silent, although direct references are few. Because the father is to teach correct principles by precept and example and be a counselor, we must conclude that our Heavenly Father made careful selection in his choice of Joseph. That Joseph was spiritually sensitive and of a kindly disposition is reflected in the scriptural record. He was susceptible to divine guidance through the ministrations of angels and by dreams (see Matt. 1:20; Matt. 2:13, 19, 23); he wished not to bring embarrassment upon Mary nor to “make her a publick example” (Matt. 1:19). In addition, we would expect to find in Joseph certain moral, intellectual, and social qualities befitting his important assignment.”

December 3rd 

“Artistic renderings of the Nativity typically depict the Wise Men worshipping the newborn, as if their visit occurred shortly after the Savior’s birth. The scriptures, however, reveal that the Wise Men were not present at Jesus’ birth in the stable or anytime during his infancy. The Wise Men actually visited the child, Jesus with His mother, Mary. “When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11

Wandering in my Own Wilderness

by Emily Lewis

I didn't always love the Spanish Book of Mormon. 

In fact, not even after months and months of reading it did it sway me to think otherwise. To me, it was just a leather book with gold rimmed pages. 

September 29, 2013. The sun sneaked in through the wooden slats covering the window. Eyes open, back flat, sheets tossed to one side, I laid in quiet silence. I was becoming slowly aware of the inevitable back pain from the ancient dirty mattresses that we were forced to sleep on. I wondered if the floor was more comfortable.  I waited in peace before the phone alarm rang, ending my tranquility. 

'Another day in this country,' I grumbled so unwillingly in my head.

I flopped out of bed. Glancing over my shoulder to see my companion do the same. I knelt down, and prayed. I did not want to be there. But I pretended that I did. I was a robot, passing through the normal morning routine. I sit at my desk, with my mind and heart thousands of miles away, wandering in its own wilderness. 

I clenched my Spanish Book of Mormon, walked to my bed, and sat down. I read. And read some more. I had read the Book of Mormon over ten times in English, yet, now I was reading lines and words and characters that I did not understand. I did not love this book. It wasn't my book yet.

I slammed it shut. My heart's frustration began leaking through my eyes. I let my head fall back on my pillow. I looked at my watch. It was 11:23 am. But what I really saw was a time clock telling me 11 more months as a missionary.

My vision blurred and the tears streamed down my face, soaking my pillow. I looked up at the wall—hanging there perfectly by four small pieces of scotch tape, a painting of Joseph Smith’s first vision, ripped out of the latest Ensign. Time stop. In this instant I knew everything was true. My heart opened in that moment to a flood gate of peace and happiness—I was feeling pure gratitude for Christ’s gospel being restored on the earth, by a man, just as human as me. I felt an immediate love for the book that I held in my hands that I didn't understand. God taught me something through feelings. It was then I felt the reality of Him in my life—how much He had prepared me to feel this change.