Will Your Children Be Responsible Adults?

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A basic law of physics states “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” If you push on a something, it will move, or push back. A ball will roll; a wall will push back and hold you up.

The same law applies to interpersonal actions. If you do something, there will always be a response, maybe not something you expected, but there will be a reaction. No action occurs in a vacuum.

When dealing with people, our actions can sometimes be misread, with others feeling everything from humor to anger. It would be easy to suggest that we have no responsibility for the  reactions of others to our actions, but this is not so.

If you smile, you will often receive a smile back, but not always. Sometimes the person you smile at will frown at you or growl. Usually, though, you can expect a smile.

If you hit someone, you can expect two or three things to happen. The person who was hit may cry or curse or be startled. He may fall or wobble. Most likely, he will hit you back.

From the beginning of time, Adam and Eve were given the right to make choices, to act as they chose. They were also held responsible. They chose to eat the forbidden fruit and were not allowed to continue to live in Eden. Their lives were changed for themselves and all their posterity.

It has continued to be the same since then. People make choices and must be responsible for the consequences of those actions. Focus on seeking wealth at the expense of family will distance them until the love and closeness is gone. A choice to be honest in your actions and pay your bills allows one to have good credit and trust from others.

Children must be taught responsibility for their behaviors. Children who do not receive this instruction become difficult to live with. They believe the world owes them a living. Nothing is their responsibility, the fault belongs to others.

Children have a right to learn to be decent adults. Though difficult, parents are expected to ensure their children have opportunities to learn responsibility. If they are not taught, society will suffer from more adults who blame others and expect special attention. For some it is too late. Some may learn. Please teach your children.

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A War on Families

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A war on families attacks from all directions, among all peoples, and in all countries of the world.

This may seem to be a strong statement, but if you consider the attacks from all sides, you will see this is not overly strong. Families are divided from their support structures, losing basic definition, and children are being lost to the murder of abortion.

From the beginning, families consisted of father, mother, and children. Eve and Adam were the first parents who obeyed the command to multiply and replenish the earth. Life was not easy for these first parents, they continued as parents to the end of their long lives.

A mother and a father is required, can’t exist without them. Even though this is truth, and cannot be denied or changed, people are trying to change the composition and structure of families.

Families always have been a father, mother, and children. There are times when this changed, when dad is lost to a battle, or mom is lost in childbirth or other illness. In the centuries before the middle of the 20th, families most often included grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. Industrialization encouraged families in search of employment to separate from the strength and support of extended family. Children became dependent on a parent or neighbors in times of challenge or trouble. No longer were families able to depend on the love and help of nearby extended families when children needed extra attention.

The division of the nuclear family from extended support of grandparents and others leaves many without help in times of economic difficulty. If the challenge is as simple as needing a ride to work or someone to watch the children while parents work, young parents who left the extended family behind find little help, unless kind neighbors step in to help.

Divorce is not a new state in our world, the Savior mentions it in the New Testament, but this sad state of affairs is more common than strong, stable marriages. Couples who are faithful to their spouse and maintain a loyalty to family more than a few years seem to be rare. Even in religious congregations with tenets stressing strong families and stable marriages, divorce is rampant.

Divorce divides families in ugly ways. Children are torn, living for a time with mom, and then must leave to live with dad. At best, parents live close, and are thoughtful of their children, raising them with similar attitudes, in one school, visiting the other parent frequently. In a worst case scenario, parents live long distances away, fighting battles through the children, tearing all kindness and love for the other parent from the hearts of the children. Many variations on these themes litter the relationships of previous families, but in every one a child is deprived of the full love and attention of a parent, often deprived of social and economic stability.

In the past half century, families degenerated to the point that couples “try things out”, bounce from one partner to another, sleeping around, having a one night stand, or forming “relationships” rather than marriage. Children become the “results of a relationship” rather than beloved children brought into a family, wanted by both parents. Often, mothers with multiple children, borne from multiple fathers, find none take responsibility to stay to teach and love their offspring. The once unheard prospect of single mothers and fathers is apparent, sharing children—or not.

Today, men and women living “divergent” lifestyles, claiming to love another of the same sex as husband and wife, are attempting to force a change in the very nature and definition of family, demanding place in the structure. Living together as “couples” is one thing, but the insistence of the appellation of family enforces the contention of families under attack. How can same sex couples possible increase, multiply and replenish the earth, as commanded in Genesis? It is impossible! Children require a father and a mother, not two fathers, not two mothers. Yes, they use means of artificial impregnation, and they can adopt. But to produce children, a mother and a father are required. Other means are biologically impossible in any other situation. Plain and simple.

The vilest attack on families comes in the guise of “liberation” and “choice”. Women are honored by the press when they commit murder of an unborn child. Liberation and choice ended when the woman made the choice of unprotected sex. Abortion is a kind euphemism for an ugly act. Once a child is conceived, the time choice is passed a human exists, and destruction of the child at any stage is murder. Women sometimes lose the opportunity of choice for other children after abortion. Not something to cheer about, unless the hidden agenda is no family, no children.

The attack on families comes from all directions. Families lose cohesion and support brought from living near extended loved ones. Divorce and shacking up force children into single parent homes, with all the attendant challenges. Men and women of the same sex are determined to marry and maintain “families”, though physically impossible for the couple to conceive children. Murder of the unborn called abortion spreads across all peoples in an attempt to “get rid of an unwanted problem”. No people, no nation is exempt. This is worldwide.

Certainly, these are not the only projectiles hurled in an attempt to destroy the family. These are the worst, and the most visible. We cannot solve all these problems. We cannot force others to change. We can stand firm for the family, avoiding the sorrows of broken homes and single parents with all the efforts of our being. We can refuse to abort children, give them to adoption if unable to personally care for them. We can stand with our spouse, determined to continue together, regardless of the struggles. We can stay in touch with children who moved to distant places, and parents, brothers, and sisters from whom we departed. We can reunite in love with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandchildren whenever possible.

Fight back. Save the family. Stand together as families supporting families.

 

Live Honorably and Plan for the Future

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We never know which moment will be our last. It could be this one, or any one of the next hundred years. Honor comes from standing tall, living each moment strong, as though it is your last. All the while, we must plan for life to continue.

I remember the days my sweetheart had responsibility for national safety in his job with the United States Navy. He was gone from our family frequently, and at odd hours of the day and night. Life for him was not easy. Though no active battle was fought, he participated in the cold war, protecting us from very real possible attack. For many long hours, he was found at his assigned post. In his 21 years, we could count on one hand the years we had Christmas or New Year’s Day together for the whole day.

I, too, was at my post, maintaining our home and nurturing our children. There were many lonely days and nights, days when the children attempted to be quiet because “daddy’s sleeping.” Special days were spent without daddy. I took the children to the zoo and birthday parties, and church, and many other places, alone. He was working or sleeping to go back to work. I nurtured, I waited, and welcomed the time we were together.

Through it all, we had plans for the future—retire, get new jobs, learn to live a civilian life, watch our children grow, and grow old together. Of course, there were other goals, other dreams, other plans. Some, we managed to achieve. Some we decided were not worth pursuing, and new goals and dreams were set.

Life is never easy. Some moments seem to be wonderful and smooth, but those moments don’t last. On days and years when life is less than wonderful, one is tempted to bury the head in the pillow and stay in bed. But life continues, and we must claw out of bed and depression into the bright light of day and responsibilities.

Some give up, stop planning, stop dreaming, stop trying. The next years, even decades of their lives are sad, undirected. Each of us is responsible for our own lives. Often, we are responsible for much more than that. We have families, religion, neighbors, and work. These responsibilities call to us.

I like the quote by CS Lewis: “Be found at one’s post, living each day as though it were our last, but planning as though our world might last 100 years.” Regardless of our station in life, we have responsibilities, a “post to man.” Giving up is not a choice. We live our best, never knowing if Father in Heaven will call us home. We attempt to live honorably, with hope and trust.

We are created with the desire to live; we do all we can to hang onto this dear life. We may fear the change brought by our moving to the next life, or may look forward to it. Either way, we find ourselves doing all we can to continue breathing. I have seen older folks struggle to breathe, to maintain life even when that life had little “quality,” supported by intense mechanical means.

As I have been considering the life of Eve and Adam I have wondered that they could maintain a zest for life over their hundreds of years. Events that would drag a lesser person to the depths of sorrow and depression were overcome; loss became stepping stones to greater life. These noble parents did more than just survive; they lived life joyfully, embracing new situations, welcoming opportunities to learn. Eve stood at her post, her home, whether working beside Adam to subdue the earth, or wait for him as he traveled to preach the Gospel of the Savior to their children. Together they lived life with verve, to the fullest, planning to live many years, making goals, loving family.

Can we do any less? Stand firm at the post we have been assigned. Live life fully as though it may be our last. And through it all, plan to live a long and happy life. Sounds easy? Maybe, but it is possible. It can be done. Live honorably. Love your neighbor and yourself. Plan for the future. Move forward always doing your very best. In this, we can hope for a better life in the next world with our Father.