Sunday, June 30, 2013

Talk in Church

Today I gave a talk in church. My topic was on Raising Children in Truth and Righteousness. Thought I would share the gist of what I said for anyone else interested. I didn't read this. But I stuck pretty closely to it as I spoke from the heart. There is so much more I would have liked to have said, but I wanted to stick to the 10 minutes allotted me. This is what I could say in 10 minutes on that topic:

Personal Intro –
·      Jonathan and I moved here 3 weeks ago.
·      6 kids (5 living) Name and ages (Camille would have been 6 now but drown 5 years ago.)
·      More about us on my blog – google my name called a daily scoop

On to my topic – I want to start with an experience I had 10 years ago.
Before I had kids I was a busy criminal defense attorney in L.A. I quit after I had my first child because I really just wanted to be with my baby more than accused criminals. After a couple of years changing diapers and feeding little mouths and cleaning up messes, I felt like I had more to give. I knew what I was doing was important, that is why I gave up my career to devote myself fully to motherhood. But I still felt like I had more to give. So one night I was praying about this and saying to the Lord, “where is the mountain you want me to climb, Lord. I will do it! What more can I do for you? Name it. I am there.” The answer I got came powerfully to my soul. And it was this: LOVE THOSE GIRLS! – Love them like I do so they will know My love through your love. Stand in my place.

Parenthood is the MOST important calling, job, or mountain we have. It is often the most difficult.

Topic today is on raising our children in Truth and Righteousness based on the LDS World Wide 2013 Leadership Training. I am going to be talking today about some lofty ideals for which we ought to strive. But I want to preface by noting that it is by aiming high for these ideals that we succeed if we even have moments of reaching them.

So how do we rear our children in righteousness?  The thing that stood out the most to me from listening to the training video was how we as parents stand in the place of our heavenly parents as we raise their children on this Earth. We need to love them as our Father loves them, parent as He would parent, and create a home like His home or the Temple.

My mom had up on our fridge growing up DC 109:8 8 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; … I didn’t really understand why she had this quote up on the fridge when I was growing up in our busy, often crazy house. But, I see now that this scripture was her mission statement.  The home is supposed to be the most sacred place outside the temple. Great things can happen when our home is like a temple. But creating this is a group effort. Enlist the help of children. This is critical. Youth and children need to understand the role they have in helping bring the spirit into the home. That is the main rule at our house: you must behave in such a way that the Spirit can dwell in our home. My kids are very familiar with me saying that.

Parents can also use music and artwork, can speak kindly and quietly and use all your faculties to create a temple tone in your home.

Most importantly :
So it should in our home and we ought to listen as it inspires us in our parenting. PARENT BY THE SPIRIT
Follow promptings. We as mothers and fathers have a right to revelation to guide us in parenting our children. We can be helped to know what things are most important, when to speak and when not to, and given promptings to help us teach eternal truths to our children at times when their hearts are most open to receive them.

I have had experiences where the Spirit has inspired me to teach even my young children a principle of the gospel in an age appropriate way at a time when that child was open to receive that teaching. I likewise have had times as a teen and an adult where my parents have been able to counsel me according the Spirit and greatly influence my life.

One such experience happened for me recently when Sabrina turned 12. We were moving the next day and Jon was scheduled to be in town. I felt overwhelmed at the thought of doing a birthday party. Instead I felt inspired to tell Sabrina that for her birthday party we were taking her to the temple to do baptism. It was the best birthday for a kid I have ever experienced.

Jon’s parents were able to be there with us. It was heavenly. I got specific instruction from the Spirit about what to tell Sabrina about the temple and it was a choice experience. One thing I was prompted to talk to her about was helping her recognize how wonderful the feeling in the temple was and how all the temple workers talked so nicely to each other. I told her how her dad and I were trying to create that same feeling in our home and I invited her to help us.

It is wonderful that the youth get to go to the temple together a couple of times a year. I think it is important as parents that we take our children with us to the temple as well. This will allow us wonderful teaching moments and establish a pattern of regular temple attendance for your kids.

The Temple is a house of Learning.

President Benson said the most important teachings in the home are spiritual. We as parents have so many things that we need to and want to teach our children from learning to walk and talk to sports and school subjects and other extra curricular activities. We must always remember that our duties to instruct our children in things of a Spiritual nature is of the highest priority. Our prayers, scripture study and other ways to give them spiritual instruction both formal and informal must receive the same dedication if not more that we give to the lessons we pay others to teach them.

Paramount among these teachings is teaching our Children about the Rock of the Redeemer.

We live in troubling times. It is the nature of this world we live in that each of us will pass through trials and troubles as we make our journey back home. As parents we wish we could save our children from all the sorrows the world would throw at them. But this is not the way of the Lord. His way is not to take away all the bitter cups of life but to stand with us as we drink from them.

As parents the greatest gift we can give our children is a knowledge through diligent teaching both by our example and through the spoken word about the Savior Jesus Christ as the Rock upon which we each must build our foundations and our testimonies.

Grateful for good and wise parents who taught me well in all matters spiritual and who most importantly taught me to build upon that sure foundation, the Rock the Savior. 5 years ago I was in a very dark place. It was one my parents would have loved nothing more than to have taken from me. But it was a bitter cup they could not even begin to understand. But despite their inability to touch my grief, they had already given me the tools to overcome through diligent spiritual teaching in both example and the spoken word. They taught me to trust in the Lord and obey Him faithfully, even when He asks you to do things you do not want to do. And even when He asks you to do things you do not think you CAN do. They taught me that when you walk forward with Faith even in the most trying of circumstances and turn to the Savior for strength, strength will come. Comfort will eventually come.

I stand as a witness of power of the atonement to heal a broken soul. I testify that He lives and that He is the Rock where on if we build we cannot fall. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.