Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stand and be Counted

See this article: HERE

Recently our Bishop shared a message with us in our combined Relief Society and Priesthood meeting. He talked about how there have been very few opportunities for us, in these latter-days to truly make a mark, to stand and be counted.

Proposition 8 is one of those times. It doesn't matter if you live in the state of California, or outside of the state of California. If you are LDS - or claim to be - the Prophet we raise our hand to support has made it very clear. In fact, they made it clear back in 1995 when the Proclamation to the Family was read. They knew the storm was coming - and it has been building since that proclamation.

The challenges the pioneers faced are still too hard for me to comprehend. I have always felt weak next to their stories of triumph and defeat. The lessons we have been taught tell us that they looked upon our time and could not comprehend the challenges we face today.

I'm starting to understand a bit of the battles we face. While our battles may not be frostbite, starvation, or extermination orders... ours will be of the spiritual nature. To put it simply, our souls are at stake.

It's remarkable to me to see the children we are raising. Their personalities are so strong, determined, and precocious. I feel the weight of the work I need to do to prepare them, to equip them, to steer them in the right direction. I worry - hoping I do the things necessary to be the kind of mother they need in these rapidly changing times. I hope I can help the women around me who aren't sure about their calling. It's frightening to see the insidious siren calls that lure women away from their children and families. It's sad to see how so many resent the priceless role they have inherited.

Our Bishop talked about the importance of parents recognizing what is going on in their children's lives. He was very candid. He talked about how so many youth come to him in tears, heartbroken, feeling hopeless because they don't understand the atonement. He in effect reprimanded parents for not clearly talking to their children. Parents need to love their children unconditionally, without strings, without requirements, and to never shun them. Parents need to recognize that mistakes happen, and that they themselves are imperfect.

He talked about young boys today. The challenges they face are constant, unrelenting. Back in the day when a young man wanted to check out dirty magazines - they'd have to figure out a way to get to the store where they were sold, and by then, the urge would be gone. Today with cell phones, all of that filth is literally in the next room. I can't even imagine what it must be like to constantly be tempted as a young teen.

Someone recently told me that as our lifespans grow - the maturity level also grows. A fourteen year old today is twice as imature as a fourteen year old in the 50s. But our youth are encountering intimacy issues younger and younger. They are not physically, emotinally or mentally capable of dealing with the power from that intimacy.

Our Bishop counseled parents to teach their children the right way. Teach them the goodness about intimacy. Because it is always good. It needs to be done in the right time and right place. The fact is that kids today are bombarded by images and conversation about the wrong way. It's time they are told the right way. He brought up a good point. When you enter a Church building you immediately know which room is the Primary, the Relief Society room and the Young Women's room. Where's the Young Men's room? Men are visual. All day long they are bombarded by images - often the wrong images. When they come to Church - they ought to receive images that are good. They need to be reinforced and built-back up after they've fought so hard.

I would posit that the Priesthood teaching our Young Men should start doing this. Given that most of the Women who decorate the RS, Primary and YW rooms are also getting all the children ready... I would think the Men have a little time on his hands. What say you?

I would say we need to talk about these issues on all sides, for our girls, for our adults - who are uncomfortable talking about this. I've always thought if anyone should be talking explicity, it ought to be us. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Those of us that commit to monogamy - that commit to each other for eternity - we should be talking about this. This is nothing to be embarrassed about - because... it is wonderful.

The Bishop brought it all back around to our examples. We are all examples, in many capacities. Today we have a chance to let that example shine. Not just for Californians... for all of us.

A line has been drawn. Our Prophet has spoken. Any rationalization, any objection, any excuse will cost us. It doesn't matter what state or country you reside in. If you claim to be a member who follows the teachings of the LDS Church...make your stand. If you don't believe the Prophet is called of God - I would recommend some serious soul searching as to why you consider yourself LDS.

This is only one test. I guarantee there will be more. We have been asked to sacrifice our time, our means and our courage. We will be asked to sacrifice more as time goes on. This is our chance to prove our mettle. Will we rise up to the line? Will be worthy to be on the Lord's side now? I hope so.

It's easy to be pessimistic. It was always easier to be the con side of a debate. But it takes courage to have faith. I still believe. I believe that faith can move mountains.


Dalene said...

I've been thinking about this for awhile we need to stand up be counted, in so many ways. We need to be more vocal, more active, more assertive, and, as you so perfectly pointed out--more full of faith--in our fight for good--against evil. Evil is getting more aggressive--more invasive--every day. We can't afford to just play defense anymore.

Greek Goddess said...

I really like your idea about making the young men's room a nicer place to look at. They should also have good art. It doesn't have to be flowers and lace, but inspiring things to look at.

Queen Scarlett said...

Dalene - I so agree with you... the game has changed... it's offense time.

greek goddess - flowers and lace... but good stuff. ;-)