When that Family Proclamation was read to the church, and by extension the world, nothing seemed surprising, outlandish or different about it. We couldn’t have dreamed at the time that it would ever be a controversial statement or that it might some day be a core belief that would drive us to the margins of our society.
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On Christmas day in Kirtland in 1832, Joseph Smith received Doctrine and Covenants Section 87, which seemed in part a response to the current events. Congress had passed laws that favored northern factories over southern plantations, and South Carolina nullified the tariff and forbade its collection. In response, President Jackson called out federal troops. In this section, wars are prophesied “beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina” until they became global and resulted in “a full end of all nations.” At first, it seemed that this revelation was not fulfilled. In a few weeks the South Carolina rebellion blew over.
Then, of course, more than two decades after Joseph’s death, the artillery rounds fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina signaled the start of the Civil War. A writer for the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury remarked that he had a pamphlet containing Joseph Smith’s 1832 revelation and he could not help but note the parallels. In the paper, the writer speculated about the prophecy concluding, “The war began in South Carolina. Insurrections of slaves are already dreaded. Famine will certainly afflict some Southern communities. The interference of Great Britain, on account of the want of cotton, is not improbable, if the war is protracted. In the meantime, a general war in Europe appears to be imminent.” Then the article in the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury ended with this stark question, ‘Have we not had a prophet among us?’
Maurine and I can’t get enough of Church History and the scriptures and that’s why we created The Kirtland Diary and the Come Follow Me Old Testament Calendar for this next year’s study. These beautiful products will be a treasure for you throughout the coming year as you record your thoughts, your ideas, your own personal insights and revelation and as you follow the lesson reading assignments week by week in the Old Testament. We sell these products because they help us pay for the continuing publishing of our 23-year habit of Meridian Magazine. Order yours today and enter the code word PODCAST and we will give you a whopping 45% off AND include flat rate shipping no matter how many copies you order. We’re just doing this for you, our Podcast audience. Order your Kirtland Diaries today at latterdaysaintmag.com/Kirtland and your Old Testament Calendars at latterdaysaintmag.com/2022. And thanks for your support. Don’t forget to use the discount code: PODCAST. These will make beautiful gifts that last the whole year long.
Have we not had a prophet among us? Part of the gift of a prophet, seer and revelator is to see what’s coming. That’s the see-er part of seer. On September 23, 1995, President Hinckley announced and read The Family—A Proclamation to the World to the women of the church in a General Relief Society meeting. It reaffirmed so many things that are precious to us. God’s eternal plan is about families. The plan of salvation is a family story. In fact, the pre-mortal world was a place where we were nurtured by Heavenly Parents who were invested with extraordinary love in our growth and progress. It is not surprising that connection and relationships would be our foremost joy in this life. Our eternal souls were raised in a place of connection. It is what we are made for. It is an eternal yearning inside of us. Our heaven is not a place of lonely individuals who play harps alone on clouds, but a place of families and communities united together in love. It is a people who have learned to love, even when loving seems difficult.
When that Family Proclamation was read to the church, and by extension the world, nothing seemed surprising, outlandish or different about it. We couldn’t have dreamed at the time that it would ever be a controversial statement or that it might some day be a core belief that would drive us to the margins of our society or that we would have to stand with courage to believe its tenets or that some of us might lose jobs or social standing because we stood by this proclamation.
As members, of course we understood “that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
Of course, we knew that “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.” Of course, we believed that “the divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave.”
Of course, we believed that “the family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”
While the world didn’t know the extraordinary eternal meanings of family, marriage and parenting, at least most of the world still sought these goals and acknowledged them as beautiful and important. We couldn’t have imagined the day when family, marriage and parenting, which reflected the wisdom of the ages, would be discarded and discarded quickly. Why would we need these things so clearly spelled out to us as a proclamation issued by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve?
But have we not had prophets among us? The family was about to be hit by a whirlwind.
Most of us hadn’t seen the signs, but I had an unusual opportunity to see first-hand what was happening—and it actually wasn’t a whirlwind at all that was brewing, but a carefully calculated, intentional, well-planned, strategically orchestrated ideology whose goal was to deconstruct the family as a basic unit of society. This was all done in the beginning in the name of granting women additional rights, which was a worthy goal, but when you have a good intention based on a faulty ideology, the end can be disaster.
Here was my in-depth exposure to this orchestrated plan to deconstruct the family. When I was young, in 1977, I was invited to attend the International Women’s Year Conference in Houston Texas as a press secretary for the delegates from Utah. This conference is widely considered as a turning point in the women’s movement in the United States.
Delegates from every state had been elected by women in their state to come together to this conference and devise a National Plan of Action for Women that would also be presented at the United Nations to impact the policies of the nations of the world.
The women elected to the Utah delegation were all remarkable. They included general presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints auxiliaries, a legislator, women who owned their own business and public servants on every level. All of them valued the role that family plays in society and in the happiness and stability of adults and children, and all of them were accomplished, powerful women.
What I didn’t know is that this conference had been carefully orchestrated long in advance to place a radical, anti-family agenda before the nation and the UN as the will of American women, and so, the delegates from other states had been carefully managed and recruited to represent that point of view. It was a political operation. They had been connected and communicating with each other for some time. Not only were the women from Utah outliers and marginalized at this meeting because of their family point of view, but when I picked up the press materials, one of the resources was about the women from Utah specifically. The official IWY organization disdained our group and falsely claimed they had been dishonestly elected. The Utah delegation’s so-called crime, of course, is that they were conservative. All the press were given that point of view with their materials.
This conference opened my eyes in every way—first to how radical the agenda was. Family was cast as the oppressor, marriage as a kind of bondage. Children were seen as a relentless burden, and underlying it all was a sense that there was no objective reality, no truth, but only the subjective, expressive, authentic feelings of individuals that should be a guide. Today, we might call it “you do you.” Family relationships were an assault upon womens’ authentic identity and search for liberation.
Thus, about marriage there was this slogan. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Abortion rights, extending through pregnancy and internationally should be the norm. This would become so important that over time, staff would let aborted babies born alive die. Minors should be able to have an abortion without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Teenagers could receive condoms at school, while children should receive extensive and intrusive sex education at school. So-called sexual liberation was the norm that was demanded in every way. The conference was successful in pushing the limit on the Equal Rights Amendment three more years, an amendment which in erasing any distinctions between men and women, also erased many protections for women, including the possibility of being drafted into combat or having private locker rooms.
The hostility toward traditional morality or anyone who represented that was breathtaking, and what was even more surprising is that the press completely supported this conference to the point that anything so radical the general public couldn’t have swallowed was unreported, while conservative, more family-centered women had no voice to tell their story to the press. I remember, as press secretary, approaching Tom Brokaw, asking him how the Utah women and their point of view could be not just dismissed, but officially disdained, and he would give me no answer.
Honestly, it was a day that my idealism was punctured—the air went out– because before that I believed that the press was honest and that people played fair. It was the day that my desire to have my own publication that could tell the truth was born. A consortium of people and powers were going to press a new and harmful agenda upon America that would be an enormous step toward deconstructing the family, and most of us would never know it. It would be claimed to be progress. We would think that over time the family had just unraveled by itself, but in reality, these powerful forces were reshaping our sense of reality and what was true and good. Family was expendable in the name of liberation.
So now, all these years later, where do we stand as far as family in this land? One journalist writes in an article called “First Comes Love, then Comes Sterilization” about the new trend toward twenty-somethings choosing to become sterilized, because they don’t want to be parents.
She said, “Last year, the number of deaths exceeded that of births in 25 states— up from five the year before. The marriage rate is also at an all-time low, at 6.5 marriages per 1,000 people. Millennials are the first generation where a majority are unmarried (about 56%). They are also more likely to live with their own parents, according to Pew, than previous generations were in their twenties and thirties.
“It used to be that people wanted to make babies…But now, for an increasing number, the question isn’t how to have it all. It’s: why do it at all?
This journalist continues, “This psychological reversal didn’t just happen. It took place inside the hurricane of spiritual, cultural and environmental forces swirling around us. But the message…is clear: Life is already exhausting enough. And the world is broken and burning. Who would want to bring new, innocent life into a criminally unequal society situated on a planet with catastrophically rising sea levels?
“The end — is upon us, and this is no time for onesies. So says The New Yorker and NPR … According to a new poll, 39% of Gen Zers are hesitant to procreate for fear of the climate apocalypse. A nationally representative study of adults in Michigan found that over a quarter of adults there are child-free by choice. And new research by the Institute of Family Studies found that the desire to have a child among adults decreased by 17% since the onset of the pandemic.” (https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/first-comes-love-then-comes-sterilization)
So we are at an all-time low in number of marriages and children born, but what about the children who are born? That is also a grim picture. Now, 40% of children are born out of wedlock. Researchers from the Brookings Institute noted, “since 1970, out-of-wedlock birth rates have soared. In 1965, 24 percent of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64 percent for black infants, 18 percent for whites. Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families. If we have learned any policy lesson well over the past 25 years, it is that for children living in single-parent homes, the odds of living in poverty are great. The policy implications of the increase in out-of-wedlock births are staggering.” (https://www.brookings.edu/research/an-analysis-of-out-of-wedlock-births-in-the-united-states/) The human suffering is staggering because in our society we have lost our family structure.
You add to that that governments are more restrained when families and other institutions like churches are vibrant. Obliterate them, and the government steps in to assume more and more roles.
Our children are addicted to pornography. The youngest ones are taught in school that their gender does not necessarily match their biology and they can choose what works for them.
Loneliness is on the rise. People feel barren and disconnected and depressed. Without satisfying connections, life loses its meaning and we wander in a echoing, heartless wilderness.
Without family, everyone suffers. The Proclamation on the Family reflects eternal reality and eternal law. Our spirits, male and female, were born in a place of a loving, divine family, and the way we are made, the very way our spirits are fashioned, is to yearn for those sealed relationships and to be incomplete without them. Infants, who come crying into this world, not yet even knowing how to breathe, are fragile and vulnerable and need the irrational, relentless, undeviating love of parents completely devoted to them. People need the growth that comes from investing in others well-being without restraint or self-serving. That’s what happens in a family.
If family is so vital to the Lord, it is not surprising that the Adversary attacks it in every way possible. He discourages family formation by shaming and shrinking young men and women through pornography addiction. Once a family is formed, he preys upon marriage partners, emphasizing their complaints and irritations and fanning flames of discontent. He urges distress and despair so large in one’s mind and thoughts that they become blind to another’s need.
He sets children against parents and parents against children.
But do we not have prophets among us? Yes we do, and they said in the Family Proclamation, “we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.” We already see it. We’ve noted some evidence here. Our great nation is in decline because we as citizens have failed to invest in our families and we have taken on secular worldviews that ultimately disintegrate families.
Where issues of family, sexuality, gender, anger, division, pornography, moral relativity, and so much more are concerned, we can look nothing like the world. President Dallin H. Oaks noted, “Jesus corrected Peter for not savoring the things that be of God, but those that be of men,’ declaring, ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matthew 16: 23, 26)…
“Similarly,” President Oaks said, “the writings of Jesus’s early Apostles frequently use the image of ‘the world’ to represent opposition to gospel teachings. ‘Be not conformed to this world’ (Romans 12:2), the Apostle Paul taught. ‘For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God’ (1 Corinthians 3:19). And, ‘Beware,’ he warned, ‘lest any man spoil you … after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ’ (Colossians 2:8). The Apostle James taught that ‘the friendship of the world is enmity with God[.] Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
President Oaks said, “Those who do not believe in or aspire to exaltation and are most persuaded by the ways of the world consider this family proclamation as just a statement of policy that should be changed. In contrast, Latter-day Saints affirm that the family proclamation defines the kind of family relationships where the most important part of our eternal development can occur.” (Dallin H. Oaks, The Plan and the Proclamation https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2017/10/the-plan-and-the-proclamation?lang=eng ).
Now some complain that The Family Proclamation does not include them because they are not married or cannot marry or because their family situation looks much less than ideal. But the Lord promises the righteous that eternally they can attain all He has. That surely includes all the blessings of a fulfilled and harmonious, and yes, glorious family life and bonds of affection and love that eternally surrounds and encircles us. We may not see that now, but those who trust the Lord know with Nephi, that even when we do not know the meaning of all things , “I know that he loveth his children” (1 Nephi 11:17).
Being a part of a family will teach us all the godly attributes: love, patience, long-suffering, forgiveness–sometimes seventy times seven, resourcefulness, empathy, courage, persistence and how to pray intently about the people you love. We find quickly that our own intellect and wisdom are insufficient for the problems we face and our hearts break their old boundaries with the love that grows. This is what investment looks like. No matter what your position of responsibility or influence is in the world, you will have to know more to be a mother, a father, a sister or brother. More character will be required, more charity, more unrelenting devotion.
As a family we are in it together for the long haul. That means, of course, that we see each other up close and personal over the journey. We remember each other’s foolhardiness and mistakes. We have to forget old wounds and weaknesses and let people move on. In our love for each other, we forget differences and seek to see each other’s eternal souls.
Maurine, from the beginning you and I planned what our marriage would look like. We sat down on our honeymoon with pen and a notebook and discussed how we would do things. We decided to be intentional in our choices, and I really love that world intentional. We wanted to think and act toward each other in the way we planned that was according to our deepest values, rather than just come what may and ride on our emotions. We wanted to be intentional in the way we talked to each other, studied the gospel together, worshipped God, planned together, dreamed together, prayed together. In a world that is sometimes tough, critical and judgmental, we wanted to be each other’s safe harbor–and it has taken us to a place of the most remarkable unity and love.
Your face is my happy place.
In the Family Proclamation, it says, “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.” Since marriage is ordained of God, then he is our partner, if we let Him be. We take our problems to Him. When we lack wisdom—which is often when you are parents—we ask of God. We talk to Him constantly. We judge our actions by His teachings. We seek to change.
I really love the result. Just before our youngest daughter, Michaela, got married, I wrote her a letter that said, “So I want to send you off to marriage with a secret. Dad and I just recently celebrated an anniversary while leading a tour at the Yellow Mountains in China. We each awoke that morning, and secretly in our corners of the room, began a gift of writing for the other. We did not consult with each other, nor let on to what our scheme was, but when we were finished we exchanged phones where we had written on a note pad and our gifts were surprisingly born of the same idea. I had written for him a list of thirty things I loved about him. He had written for me a list of thirty things which he prayed for me.
“We both had a hard time stopping at thirty, for we could have gone on and on.
“It was tender and affectionate, and we wept together at how clearly we saw each other. ‘You really know my heart,’ Dad said. ‘In all the world, you are the person who sees who I am.’ I said the same thing as I read the thirty things he prays for me. ‘You know what matters to me. You see me. Your prayers for me are more thorough and insightful about my concerns than my own prayers for me are.’
“How did you know?” we both sighed to each other. “How do you know me so well and see me so clearly?”
Maurine continued her letter: “There is a greeting in the movie Avatar that is the secret I want to share for a joyful marriage, the secret that we were expressing on our anniversary morning together. It is “I see you.” The lyric to the song says, “I see me through your eyes.”
“There is a similar sensibility in Nepal, where people greet each other with their hands placed together, palm to palm, below their chin and say ‘Namaste.’ That means many things, but one translation is ‘the divine in me sees the divine in you.’
“I remember, Michaela, when you were just about four years old, I came into the living room calling your name, and teasing you, pretending that I couldn’t see where you were. ‘Michaela,’ he called. ‘Michaela.’ You answered two or three times, ‘I’m here, Daddy. I’m here.’ I just kept calling to make you laugh. But finally you said with a bit of confusion why I couldn’t seem to see you, ‘I’m right here, under my hair.’
“It is a funny moment, but reminds me of something you’ve told me often—that is that more than anything else in the world you want to be known, you want someone to see you. I think that is what we all want—and that is the gift that spouses can give to each other.
“Life is tough. It rocks and assaults us; it presents problems we couldn’t have anticipated. It stretches our sense of well-being to thinness. Sometimes it is tedious and tiring. It plies us with uncertainty. The Lord kindly puts us face to face with our weaknesses. And one of the casualties amidst this journey, is sometimes our sense of self. We forget who we are. We are blind to what we can do. The divine spark in ourselves sometimes flickers and dims. We get lost.
“We think we are no more than a list of duties to do and half-kept resolutions. We know there is a swelling something inside us once in awhile that tells us we are more, but the days can beat it out of us. The mists of insecurity shroud our peaks.
“How utterly magnificent it is, then, to live with someone who really knows you and sees you for who you really are and will be. That steady vision from your spouse gives you hope. It reminds you of your true self on the days when you’ve forgotten.”
I continued my letter to our daughter, “When I have fallen on my face, when my ankles have been thick as fence posts in pregnancy and I don’t recognize myself, when I have cried in disappointment about a weakness of mine, there your Dad has been, smiling at me, and seeing something more. ‘I see you,’ he seems to say. ‘God has told me who you are. I know you. You are not just a bundle of broken sticks. I can never forget who you are.’
“It goes both ways.
“When things don’t work out, when he wonders if he is enough, when his best efforts are not recognized and his sacrifices are unseen, I still see him. I tell your Dad that things will work out because I trust him. I tell him that I know him. I see who he is. I remind him of all the good things he is and has done. I have a great sense of his eternal soul. I am actually dazzled by it.”
“So there we are together, through a lifetime, validating each other’s worth and saying in every way that we can, “I know who you really are.” If I have a weakness, your Dad sees it as temporary and already paid for by the atonement. If I am discouraged for a day or a year, he never seems to lose the vision of who I am. I do the same for him.
“Once during a long drought when I felt my prayers were not being answered, I said to Dad, ‘God must not love me.’ He answered, ‘No. He loves you. He sent me to tell you that He loves you.’ I believed him.
I told Michaela, “Dad is never cold. Truly. I am cold when the temperature plunges only a few degrees. He sees me and picks me up at the door of the restaurant or theater while he goes out in the bracing cold to collect the car. He doesn’t just say, ‘It’s warm. Buck up.’ He knows who I am.
Maurine, you wrote, “We both work not to forget the eternal majesty of the person we married despite whatever mortal mask we are wearing now. I love this quote from C.S. Lewis, ‘It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…
“’There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, [and] marry.”
“Lewis also said, ‘If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot not imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness.’
“It is an awesome thing to marry an immortal soul and to have the most impact on him—and he on you—than any other person. Both of you, plead with the Lord to see each other as He sees you, to know each other as He knows you. Pray that you can be that steady source of light to each other, especially for those days when your spouse is tempted to believe he is only a shadow of his real self and you are inclined to look into the mirror darkly.
“’I see you.’ ‘The divine in me sees the divine in you.’ That is the secret that your Dad and I have attempted to live, and felt it again recently. In the faraway Yellow Mountains of China, I felt home, because I was with him, the one who sees me best.” (https://latterdaysaintmag.com/a-secret-for-my-daughter-about-to-marry/)
It is an awesome power to impact an eternal soul as we do in families, and we do it with constant revelation from the Lord as he polishes our souls toward higher virtues.
The altar in the temple at which an eternal family begins as we kneel together is profoundly significant. It is an altar that symbolizes the great, atoning sacrifice of our Savior. Why would the Lord have us sealed across this altar?
His atonement means at-one-ment, and it is through this stunning, unimaginable gift that we can again be reconciled to God, made at-one with him, our face turning home again, the veil rent.
Surprisingly, it is also through the Lord’s atonement that we become one with each other, that two who have lived their lives separately and singly can be joined for eternity, never to be entirely separated again.
Oneness in marriage is actually made possible through the atonement and the gradual change and expansion in us that is promised if we accept this gift. We are to leave behind our old, smaller selves.
Satan’s work is to scatter and divide us. The Greek word for Satan is “diabolos” meaning to divide or separate. This name means “He who places division.”
It was Satan’s work to scatter the Children of Israel, and the Lord’s to gather them in one again. Those who ultimately live in Zion will be of one heart. Satan sows division. The Lord invites us to oneness.
We come to each other in marriage incomplete and somewhat fragmented. We are still children about so many things. The Lord says, “I will take you on a journey to wholeness. The broken things in you I can mend. The incompletion, I can complete.”
The promises for this journey are more than finite minds can comprehend, but the sacrifice is not just Christ’s–it will involve your sacrifice as well—the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. We must be willing to grow, discard the parts of you that are small and contracted. We must shed parts of ourselves that are burdening the way—even our favorite, most habitual, and long justified weaknesses.
Oh, that is hard! Happiness is built on repentance and changing–and expanding yourself is happily not your job alone. Christ has taken that on long ago.
It may be tempting to think that we come to marriage to change our spouse. If you don’t think it now, there may be times in the future you might be convinced that is your job.
It is tempting to think we have a better plan for our spouse’s way of being. But be very wary of having a plan for how anyone can change. When you are dealing with another person’s identity, you are on sacred ground. Take off your shoes where you stand.
If we and our spouse build our marriage on the Lord, it is He who will change both of you as you submit your heart to Him. You don’t need to do His work for your spouse.
A repenting couple is a happy couple–repenting particularly in the sense that you are both humble and willing to enlarge your understanding and perspective, willing to change what is trivial and weak about yourself.
When we marry, we are deciding to take a journey together back into the Lord’s presence. That means both husband and wife are committed to finding an expanded, better version of themselves and we trust that the Lord’s gift can work this in each other. It is, in fact, only the Lord’s gift that can work this in you.
If we want a powerful, loving marriage, decide to become devoted disciples of Jesus Christ together. Pray together morning and night. Life will be hectic and demanding. We may feel that there is so much to do that we have to just hit the ground running to even survive. But build into your very system this unshakeable habit of talking to the Lord together.
In your prayers remember to express your gratitude for each other in the most specific ways. Be grateful for the gifts you gave each other that day and the service that was rendered. Watch each day for the inspiration that the Lord has given you. Remember it and thank him aloud and specifically in your prayers for His gift to you this day.
Of course read your scriptures, attend the temple, watch for opportunities to serve. Say to yourselves from the beginning, this is who we are, this is what we do. With this firmly in place we become slower to gripe about our spouse and sooner to celebrate the good things they are and do.
When husband and wife are bonded together with the Lord as their partner, that union becomes a source of security for all the children. Parents understand that they have been called not only to nurture them, sit up feverish nights with them, and love them, but to teach them. And that is not just to teach them any old thing, but their eternal identity. Growing up as Latter-day Saints in this tumultuous world, they will have to learn how to be courageous, how to know God, and how to receive revelation. They must know how to work hard and be responsible. Who will teach them if their parents don’t or if their parents are casual about it or think instead, their job is merely to entertain them?
I love this parenting motto: “Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.” This matters because we are constantly told, that our job is to prepare the road, giving our children the easiest, most entitled way. We are about something bigger than that.
We are told falsely today, that suggesting constraints on our children can be damaging to them, that helping them learn self-governance is too challenging, that teaching them to stretch to understand and do hard things is asking too much. But we should never abandon them to following their own untrained willfulness.
Jordan Peterson, a psychologist gave this rule. “Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.” “Children must be shaped and informed, or they cannot thrive… Children are damaged when those charged with their care, afraid of any conflict or upset, no longer dare to correct them, and leave them without guidance… More often than not, modern parents are simply paralyzed by the fear that they will no longer be liked or even loved by their children if they chastise them for any reason. They want their children’s friendship above all, and are willing to sacrifice respect to get it. This is not good. A child will have many friends, but only two parents—”
Peterson said, “It is an act of responsibility to discipline a child. It is not anger at misbehavior. It is not revenge for a misdeed. It is instead a careful combination of mercy and long-term judgment. Proper discipline requires effort—indeed, is virtually synonomous with effort. It is difficult to pay careful attention to children. It is difficult to figure out what is wrong and what is right and why.” (end quote)
Yet, that difficult job is what we are called to do, and we know from the Proclamation on the Family, that our charge as parents is a loving and sacred one, and we will receive heavenly help if we ask for it.”
I love this school called family. When we are together, I always say, “This is heaven to me.” I think that is because it is heaven, and for those times when it is not, hang on with hope.
That’s all for today. Thanks for being with us. Next week is our Christmas podcast. Special thanks to Paul Cardall for the music and Michaela Proctor Hutchins who produces this program.
See you next week.