Families, Traditions, and Choices

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Parents have always wanted the best for their children. We want them to be beautiful, healthy, and prosperous. We’d like them to be more successful than us. Children want to be more prosperous than their parents. They desire greater success than their parents found. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t.

Throughout history parents have also been saddened when children have left the values held dear. Children become enthralled by foreign ideas, becoming lost to family ways of life and culture. A glance at the past century will illustrate the point.

Cities enticed young people away from the farms and mores of families from the country. A desire for easy living seduced them from the solid values parents believed in from their childhood. Later, things like cars, alcohol, and women beguiled children from standards parents felt were important.

Of course, parents do not begrudge a child’s success. Long ago, children were tied to the land, or required to continue the occupation of their fathers, regardless of the desires or talents of the young. These parents were cheered by any growth and improvement beyond their own. Great stories rarely come from a son continuing in his father’s livelihood. It is when the son or daughter break away and try new things that wonderful tales are shared.

Sometimes, the breaking away from childhood ethics and teachings cause parents great sorrow. The beliefs of a parent are deeply held, not given up because the world changes around them. Through time, a child leaving the religion of their parents has been a time of grief.

Eve felt heartache when her children chose to leave the faith she and Adam learned from their God in the Garden of Eden. Many children chose the darkness of the destroyer rather than the light of the gospel. Since then, this has been a source of sorrow for believing parents of all sects.

When I wrote Eve Remembers, I imagined the following conversation between Eve and her beloved Adam:

  “How did we lose them? We taught them.” I stood and began to pace.

“We taught them,” Adam said, his voice soothing. “Remember, they must have agency to choose, or we will be giving in to Lucifer’s plan. He wants us to force them to obey. We cannot. We must trust that they will return to the light.”

“I know.” I stopped pacing and stood in front of him, looking into his brilliant blue eyes. “I thought the sorrow of children would be in giving birth. Now I find that it comes as they make choices we would rather they would not. It is so much harder now, just watching, not able do anything.”

Today, parents continue to struggle with the sorrow of a child’s rejection of long held beliefs and traditions. Some manage to stay close, glad the child has found joy in the new found religion. Others become estranged, refusing to speak to each other.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find common ground, building trust and love amongst loved ones?

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