Sunday, May 8, 2016

Conference Theme: Fathers

I'm slightly embarrassed to say that after listening/watching this last General Conference that I didn't notice any themes in it. I'm pretty sure that's because with four kids and an infant, I only sort of paid attention.  Over the last week, though, I've had some time to re-listen to Conference.

I recently learned that a dear, nearly life-long friend is getting divorced with the most recent reason being abuse. With that on my mind, as I listened to President Uchtdorf's and President Eyring's Priesthood Session talks, I noticed their reminders to men to step it up.
Our priesthood obligation is to put our families and the families of those around us at the center of our concern.  Every major decision should be based on the effect it will have on a family to qualify for life with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. (Eyring)
[Families] require constant, intentional work. The doctrine of eternal families must inspire us to dedicate our best efforts to saving and enriching our marriages.  (Uchtdorf)
. . . No matter how flat your relationship may be at the present, if you keep adding pebbles of kindness, compassion, listening, sacrifice, understanding, and selflessness, eventually a mighty pyramid will begin to grow. If it appears to take forever, remember: happy marriages are meant to last forever! (Uchtdorf)
The way you treat your wife or children or parents or siblings may influence generations to come. What legacy do you want to leave your posterity? One of harshness, vengeance, anger, fear, or isolation? Or one of love, humility, forgiveness, compassion, spiritual growth, and unity? . . . For the sake of your family relationships, for the sake of your soul, please be merciful, for "mercy triumphs over judgment." . . . Sincerely apologizing to your children, your wife, your family, or your friends is not a sign of weakness but of strength. Is being right more important than fostering an environment of nurturing, healing, and love? (Uchtdorf)
Then, a friend in a nearby city shared that Elder Rasband spoke to their stake recently. He basically said that Melchezidek Priesthood holders need  better protect their families and teach their children consistently so that their children will be stronger.

I also noticed when listening to Elder Christofferson's talk, "Fathers," from Conference that he also spoke on men and their duties:
In 1833, the Lord reprimanded members of the First Presidency for inadequate attention to the duty of teaching their children. To one He said specifically, "You have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your affliction. Fathers are to teach God's law and works anew to each generation.
Discipline and correction are part of teaching. As Paul said, "for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth." But in discipline a father must exercise particular care, lest there be anything even approaching abuse, which is never justified. When a father provides correction, his motivation must be love and his guide the Holy Spirit. . . .
We call on media and entertainment outlets to portray devoted and capable father who truly love their wives and intelligently guide their children, instead of the bumblers and buffoons or the "guys who cause problems," as fathers are all to frequently depicted.
Live your life so that as a man you will bring purity to your marriage and to your children.
I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that the Brethren have been discussing father's a lot lately.

I have a wonderful twelve-year old son who wants to do what's right. He wants guidance; he wants to please his parents. He likes to read and doesn't always want to be sitting around playing video games, as is the stereotype. We've noticed that most of his friends also want to do things other than video games, they just need the guidance and an adult to get them doing something that's not video games. Gaming is just so easy when there's no one there to get you to do anything else. These boys need to become good men; they need to be trained to someday protect their own families. They are up against so much; they just need guidance.

Interestingly, my husband was recently called as the Scoutmaster, and today, I was called as the Scout Committee Chair. I have in mind that we need to fill these boys with testimonies and skills that will help them on their missions and as they have families of their own. They need to become close to God through the outdoors. We've never been overly excited about Scouts, but our bishop pointed out that Scouting is the plan the Church chose to stay with even when it had the chance to leave. So, we are learning to go with it and make it what the boys need.  The Church is concerned about our boys and men and I'm willing to fight for them.