Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Change is Constant

This week as a primary teacher I have learned that with all the changes that my life has been through (yea I am a teacher of a bunch of cute rambunctious and fun four year olds) I have come to the conclusion that I am not getting out of change. I even went to the temple to see if God would slow down the changes. Yeah? Um... no.

I then thought about it. Change is good. I mean it means fresh underwear (you like that don't you?) fresh vegetables, fresh oil in the car, new technology and subjects to talk about. While change might be hard we must learn from it. The changes that we go through can be hard at times but cleaving to our core keeps us from going crazy from the changes that are moving faster and faster (or so it seems). We just need to hang in there. When Thomas S. Monson talked about the drastic change in his life from a future in the Navy to serving the Lord and relying on Him to change his path, it made me think. My path was pretty good with great friends and experiences. I was sure that it wasn’t going to change. I knew that it was hard on my marriage but I need to provide and I could not (or would not) see other possibilities. It took change to make my vision clear (well more cloudy than clear but...).

In the movie the Lion King, Rafiki told Simba that the past is hard. I don't think that it always is the past that is hard but the change from it. When some one dies they are gone and the past is now different from your present. When your car is wrecked, your past is different then your present. Its what we do with the experience that shows that we need the experience again. If we do not learn then the lesson is taught again.

What we do next with our lives is important when we encounter that create a desire for fear. Reaching out in faith is tough and at times I have spent a while on my knees wondering what is next because I don't have the usual routine any more and digging deep and seeing what you are really made of is important.

I know that this post is mostly for myself because I need to hear this but I hope that perhaps it can be useful to you as well.

Image here

Monday, January 12, 2015

Faith Without Works

A popular phrase among us Saints is a verse in the New Testament (James 2:26) Faith without works is dead... and how true that is. Lets look at it from a temporal point of view. Like a garden or fire, it needs constant watching and maintenance if you want to keep it clean and functional. Faith works a bit like the same way. Its one thing to say that you love Jesus but how can you love Jesus who you have not seen when you do not love your neighbor who you have seen? Faith is the evidence of things that are not seen. When we show faith we are showing that we are the evidence of God love for others through our charity and true love for others. When we show our work, we show that we know something like math or writing. You and I can claim all we want to we can do something but it is completely useless unless we do something.

While some might have an issue with my first paragraph because they would want to argue grace and works blah blah blah... I want to be clear that I am well aware of the grace of the Master but I want to stress emphasis that this world is a hard place to live in right now. It has been this way for a while (perhaps our whole lives) but it is important to do what we can to push back evil with good deeds and a righteous living. I recall the phrase 'bad things happen when good men do nothing' (Edmund Burke) and it could not be more true than it is today. Faithful men loose faith when we fail to show our faith.

We must be a faithful people and not just believers. Believers know and do nothing. We cannot be so overwhelmed by what is going on when the whirlwinds and tempests destroy what we know to be 'normal' and show that we are a faith building people by picking up the pieces when the damage pushes us down. Let us be eager to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that need comfort; than get up and build our lives by building the lives of others so that we can say that we are builders and not wrecking balls. Be it physical, mental or spiritual if you are a faithful person you can help others either through your work or direct others to where they can get help. Nothing but temporal things will be lost if we are constantly attempting to show our faith.  We must remember that temporal things are just that, temporal.

Image found here.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Teach Me to Walk

The song Teach me to walk in the light has been running through my mind all week. I wasn't sure why exactly. At first it was the tune; mellow, light and comforting. Some time later I began to recall the words. Being a primary song, I had been singing the song since childhood so the words came naturally.

Teach me to walk in the light of His love
Teach me to pray to my Father above
Teach me to know all the things that are right
Teach me, teach me to walk in the light

The first verse is a plea to a loving parent to be a teacher for something that the child doesn't know. For us older children of our Father who have lost our parents it could be a plea to God Himself. To those of us that have parents but are parents, we continue to turn to the sages that are our parents to continue our teaching so that we can teach our children. Finally, for those that are children themselves, young, single and free it is a request to a parent to be out guide. Sometimes I am not sure what I was asking when I ask for what seems like basics. I have seen and experienced a lot; things that I would have not otherwise experienced if I had not asked the simple requests of the first verse.

Come little child and together we'll learn
Of God's commandments that we may return
Home to his presence to live in his sight
Always, always we'll walk in the light

The second verse it seems is a reassurance to us because of our request. We as parents realize that our mortality is a continuous learning experience. We are barely masters of our lives and when we become parents we learn together both raising our children but blazing a trail that hopefully our own parents have led for us to follow. Times have changed from our parents to ourselves and it will continue to change when our children reach adulthood but its important to help our children have a solid and sound foundation while continuously solidifying our own. My own parents grew up in the '60's and '70's, myself, '80's and '90's and lastly (but not least) my kids are growing up now. The lessons that apply to me, my wife, my parents, grandparents, etc. still apply to my great kids and this hymn and poem says a lot about that.

Heavenly Father, we thank thee this day
For loving guidance to show us the way
Thankful we praise thee with songs of delight
Gladly, gladly we'll walk in the light

After receiving a great gift of lessons that are line upon line and precept upon precept we show our thanks. I know that at one time one of my blogs (I cant remember witch) I wanted to ram all my knowledge and insight into each and every child because I was so worried that the children would need it the way that I got it. How gratifying it is that our Father (who probably thinks the same at times) exorcizes restraint and lets us walk on our own and ask at our own time and speed. The same has to hold true for us as parents. The simple things like Family Home Evening and daily family prayer and scripture reading is a great teacher (though at times I wish that I could give so much more). I am just grateful that I can teach my kids songs and poems to let them have something to hum at times alone.

Its nice that I grew up in a great home full of song and for those that have not thought on that take some times to play 'Sunday music' on the sabbath. Just that act alone will stir thoughts and feeling that allow Father to teach our children when we are not there. I know that I will not be there for ever for my sons and daughter but when the time comes I hope that I will have left the tools that they need to be the men and woman that they need to be for this future.  

The image is here.