Sunday, October 28, 2007

the light before my eyes

BB hates the flash of the camera, and this is the resultant photos that we end up with most of the time.
Yesterday we went out for our costumes, and to get TB a pair of sneakers as he's fast outgrown his shoes this summer. Talk about seeing the light! He's in a men's 8 now. That's equal to a women's 10. That's what I wear. He's only 10. Are you following me on this? His father said "he's going to be a monster!" and I just wanted to either go somewhere to cry, or just die and get it over with.
Funny how little time we get with our children while they're little. Time slips away so quickly that it's like you blink and it's a whole new week. We have so little time to prepare them for their missions, and for temple marriage. And before you know it if you're not careful time will have gone out and your life is over. Have you managed your time well? Have you finished all o the work that you were sent here for? If you haven't, then this is where family history, genealogy, and temple work come in.
I haven't been lucky enough to have the time or means to research my family. My mom has put in about 500 hours on her own and traced my family back 15+ generations. I haven't been able to get the names temple ready yet, but I have been able to do some temple work for a couple other sisters who's family submitted their names. The first sister waited 300 years for her work to be done. It felt so special to be there fulfilling her hope after such a long wait. And how much better will it be when the sister's work that I do is my own?
All this from a size 8 shoe.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Law of Chastity

Today I covered the always controversial Law of Chastity. Its a touchy subject and the one thing that tends to scare off investigators the most. It was the one commandment that I struggled with the most when I was contemplating becoming a member, and the one I struggled with just after my baptism. I didn't really have the grasp of the law and its purpose that I have now, and I broke it not long after my baptism. I had struggle after struggle enter my life at that time, and I swear that as soon as the act was done, I literally felt the Holy Spirit leave me. I was in tears after and I knew that I had done something that I was going to have to work very hard to recover from. I know now that I had set my own spiritual growth back several years and cheated myself out of the countless blessings that Heavenly Father had in place for me.
I was stuck in the mindset that most young women are living under. If i didn't have sex, then my boyfriend who I loved wouldn't stay...or so I thought. I was afraid to trust in the Lord that it would be okay, that I would be okay. So I gave in, and paid dearly for it. Fast forward many years full of struggle, adversity and heartache later, and I finally decided to live the principals that I promised I would at my baptism. I cut off all sexual relations from my boyfriend (same one), and started going back to Sacrament Meetings. I prayed and decided that I wanted to ready myself for the temple. After 6 month of regular attendance of sacrament meetings, prayer, repenting and living the covenants that I had made, I went to my Bishop to council with him. I confessed my wrong doings, and he advised me as to the Lord's will for me. I moved forward, knowing that I had been forgiven and from that time forward, I did my best to live the law of chastity. I dressed modestly, and made sure not to put myself in positions that could tempt me beyond my ability to resist. When my boyfriend and I started to talk again after our breakup, (just about the time that I went back to the Gospel) I decided that I would show more respect for myself by telling him that I would only date him again if he was willing to date within the law of chastity that I was bound to, and only if he planned on marrying me. If not, I wasn't interested. To my surprise, he agreed, and we were married 3 months later. He loved me, and it was my own fear that kept me from following that commandment earlier. It might have been different if I'd had that courage before. Before I chose a man over God, and lost both. When I finally chose God first over all else, he gave me the man too.
It's tough to cover this lesson with a group of strangers. It's even tougher when some of the more active members have issue with the weight of this sin in the eyes of Heavenly Father. Its considered the worst sin one can commit, second only to murder. When I was asked about this, (and I'm in no way the expert) I gave the example from my own life and how I found myself a mother before I was ready for that type of responsibility. I told about the adversity that I had to face, and how I was too busy trying to provide physically for my son to have the time to see to his emotional and spiritual need. I said that I believe that God organized families as the way for his children to be brought into this world to learn and grow, and how much of a disadvantage they are at compared to their brothers and sisters who are privileged to be born into the family structure. I talked about how this sin leads to other, greater sins. It seems to me that this one touches so many areas of our growth and development that if we break it, we throw off so much. So much to fix. And that is why it carries so much weight. One of the Elders said that its one of the things that you take, but can't give back. Murder takes a life and you can't give it back or fix it no matter how much you say your sorry. Breaking the law of chastity involves you and the other party who you have helped to commit a great sin, and you can't take that sin back from them or fix the damage that you have done to them or yourself.
I didn't get to cover all of the important points as there were children in class for some reason, but I did my best. I pressed on the point that there is forgiveness for those of us who have broken this law, but that it's not easy. I said that I was an example of this forgiveness, having finally made it to the temple this March. I begged the class to read this at home to get what I didn't have time for, or couldn't cover for the sake of children in the room.
This is the first time I've ever told anyone about that part of my life. I felt compelled by the spirit to share it because I wanted my new members and investigators to know that no matter what state they might currently be in, it can be fixed. They, too, can make it to the temple and start fresh, and have all the blessings that our Father has in store for us.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Saying goodbye with bowling

Angelo Quattro was laid to rest yesterday in the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter. He served in the Army during WW2. He was loving, had 2 children, 2 grand-children, and 3 great-grand children. He cooked, bowled, and made 5 lamps in his lifetime out of Popsicle sticks (one of which my husband helped with). He was a long time member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, and was very strong in his faith, and I respected that.
This past week I've been praying really hard that Heavenly Father would open up a missionary opportunity to my family with the passing of Angelo. It seemed like the perfect time to share the plan of salvation and talk about Heavenly Father's plan for us. I don't know how well the seed is taking, but for the last week I've been talking to my husband about my beliefs and the Mormon faith. He listens more, and has been asking more questions but I don't know if he's ready.
Yesterday we talked after the first service, on the way to the cemetery about the talk that one of the Brothers had given, and about how little sense it made, and how bleak it all sounded. I felt hollow, and the Spirit was noticeably absent from the procession. The talk was glaringly un-inspired. I was a bit afraid of how these teachings would settle with TB. In the car, we talked about what we know really happens after death, and about the real council in heaven and what took place there. I went into how much was answered by the restored gospel and how the pieces just fit, you know? They just fall into place.
Well, it was a really tough day for my husband, who viewed Angelo as his real father, the man who taught him what he knew of how to be a man. I understand the pain of losing a father. My father (step-father actually but i didn't think of him that way) passed away about 4 years ago and it was the single hardest time of my life. But it helped me draw closer to Heavenly Father and deepened my testimony. I prayed all day that this would turn out to be one of those situations, and not one that causes him to lose faith.
So yesterday after we'd been home for only about an hour, just trying to settle in and relax, there was a knock on the screen door and I thought it was TB coming home from the bowling alley where we had the reception (per Angelo's wishes). Instead I opened the door to find the missionaries standing there! I was so grateful for them just "stopping by", and it worked out because I was able to tell them about the questions that my husband had asked me, and they were better able to answer them. They asked if they can come over tomorrow evening and teach him the plan of salvation. He didn't really say anything and I couldn't tell if he didn't want to have the lesson and just didn't want to tell them no, or if he was still just feeling grief so much that he couldn't speak. So I just told them that they were welcome to come over, and hopefully it will be the seed that takes roots and brings forth good fruit.
Now, on an unrelated note, I was left an anonymous comment directing me to a website about Jehovah's witness and some of their court dealings, and a general overview of their beliefs. The idea was for me to forward that on to my MIL. I spent about 3 hours reading over the info contained there, and I found it very enlightening, but I didn't feel that it would be in good taste to send that to her at this time. I don't think that shining a light in the dark corners of the Kingdom Hall would be the best missionary tool I could use, to try to bring her to the restored gospel. I think this would be better done with love and kindness, serving and example, and finesse. I will pray hard for the best approach in this situation, but I thank you for the insightful information. It does explain some earlier dealings I had with her a few years ago in family court over the custody of our oldest son. (And in fairness to her, she was unknowingly suffering from menopause, and I was suffering depression and anxiety, so neither of us were thinking very clearly at the time.) I will continue to discuss our beliefs openly with her, as that seemed to work just fine earlier in the week, and continue to try to serve her in what ever way I can during this time. I think that would be best.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Family bonding

Today I was hoping to help my MIL and UIL to make their arrangements and get some things together, but instead we ended up spending the day together for some family bonding time. We went over and set up the play pin for the baby, got him fed and down for a nap, and then hung out and watched football while they ran a few errands. I washed the few dished in her sink and when they got back we visited as much as we could between the phone calls of well-wishers and chasing a baby around the house and away from the cats.
I really enjoyed my time there and got to know my husband's Uncle much better for the first time. He's fascinating and tells the best stories. We all talked over dinner at the table as a family. We ate Stuffies, beef brisket and brats, and just hung out listening to him and my MIL talk about the old days. I got allot of knitting done on the back of the baby bolero and worked on BB's hat until I couldn't work anymore (decreasing and didn't have my double-points with me). I spent time cuddling with her cats and just being with family. It felt warm and safe and wonderful, and for the first time, like I completely belonged and was at home. I'm glad that we have all come together, but I wish it could have been over a different event. But I think that Angelo would be proud and happy to know that we have come together in support of his children and have become a more loving family after his passing. I see know how wise Heavenly Father is, and how beneficial his commandments are to us. We're lucky to have a Father who cares enough to leave a "guide" on how to live and how to get the best use out of our lives, and maximize our potential.

Gospel principals lesson 37

Today I'm home instead of at Sacrament meeting because TB woke up feeling sick, and today is my GF-in-law's birthday. I think that the whole family is going over to my MIL's house to spend time with her and her brother. I think that if I can't be in Sacrament today, that Heavenly Father would be glad that we've chosen to spend our Sabbath with family, supporting them in their time of grief. But the lesson today was to be, (and will be thanks to a friend who is covering my class), on Eternal Marriage.
Eternal marriage is something that I'm striving to achieve in my own family. It's something that I pray for at least 3 times a week if not every day. I pray that my husband will chose the gospel and that we can be sealed in the Temple with our children. It seems harsh when you realize that marriage is only thought of now as a "legal arrangement" between a man and a woman to live together. Satan has managed to change our views of something that is the most holy of callings, and necessary for our exaltation. The scriptures tell us that we can't reach the highest level of glory unless we are married for eternity in the holy temple. It's about more than just living together and having children. It's about a partnership that will last for ever.
I was married in the Relief Society room in the Scituate RI ward by my then Bishop, Craig White. It was a beautiful little ceremony that lasted about 15 minutes, with a witness couple, and TB as the ring barer. I never thought that day would come for me but I prayed on it over and over. I had prayed that Heavenly Father would bring me together with my eternal companion, who ever that may be. After much prayer, by then ex and I began to spend time together again and he had done some changing during the year that we were apart. I prayed hard as it seemed that we were on our way to getting back together again and I was afraid that it might be a distraction of the Adversary to keep me from my eternal companion. But after much prayer, I realized that he was my eternal companion and a few months later we were married.
I still believe and know with all faith, that my husband is meant to be my eternal companion, but I pray hard all the time because I know that free will is a big factor in this process. I try to live my principals in full view of my husband now, instead of trying to keep it from him as it might make him uncomfortable. I got myself to the temple finally, and I've tried to fulfill the covenants that I made there, every day. The thought that he or I could pass away and that when we meet again in the spirit world, we would have no claims on each other, or our children just scares me. I want to keep my family together, now and then especially. I think the fact that my children would no longer be my own scared me the most. I know that I can always have my marriage sealed by my children after my husband and I pass on, but I also know that it's my responsibility to prepare for my exaltation in my own time, and that I don't want to depend on anyone else to take care of it for me. I want to enjoy the blessings of an eternal marriage in my life time!
I was reading the chapter last night and it stood out to me that I have to teach my boys to prepare for a temple marriage. They have to be willing to sacrifice to get there, and be unwilling to accept less than the highest blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for them. There is still the call to temple marriage for those like myself who were married outside of the temple, but its tough to reach that if one doesn't prepare themselves to get there from the outset. If a couple got married outside of the temple, it's because one or both of them weren't worthy to get there, and so there is work that needs to be done and for some, that work is a greater challenge than for others. It took me 7 years to finally be prepared for the temple, but it can take more or less time for others. I don't know how long it will take for my husband to accept the gospel, if he ever does, and then how much longer it will be before he's ready for the temple, but I continue to pray every day that we'll make it there!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The time is near

Today my MIL came over, and we talked about what needs to be done. My work involves calling many of the companies that she will have to deal with, and helping customers set up or change their direct deposits and automatic payments. I know how to navigate the automated system for Social Security like no body's business. So I'll be sitting down with her soon and making some calls to let everyone know about her father's passing and handle the business. It feels nice to be able to do something for her for once.
I had a few minutes to talk with her this afternoon, and I let her know that I'd spoken to TB and that he'd taken it well. I told her that I felt that church and our faith had been a huge support for him. She told me that even though she know that he's in a better place, she doesn't feel comforted by it. I was a little confused and felt really bad. She had said something about us having to suffer and deal with the things we do, while the Powers look on, to prove a point. I didn't understand what she was talking about and it stayed with me all day. All I could do was think about how bleak that seemed and how much harder it is to grieve if that was where her head was at.
It wasn't until later that I spoke to my husband to ask him what that was about, as she is a Jehovah's Witness and he studied it in his teen years. He told me the basis of their beliefs and that they believe that Jehovah and Satan had an argument about power, and when things didn't go as planned, Satan was jealous and decided to leave and see how many people he could get to go with him, and Jehovah was said to go along with it and allow this contest. They believe that there were only angels and God in heaven, and that we didn't live there. Our souls don't come into existence until we're conceived. In this point of view (if I'm understanding this correctly) we are pawns in a larger struggle for power. If this is true, then our Father allow us to struggle and suffer to prove that we will obey him regardless, and he doesn't interfere as Satan torments us to try to get us to rebel against God. What a depressing view of our purpose, or lack of purpose in the world. It leads her to ask, as a parent herself, how God could allow his child to suffer on principal, and all for what?
I realize now how lucky I am to know about the restored gospel and what it means to me. To know that there is a Prophet to guide us and that Heavenly Father still talks to us to this day. That we lived with him in the pre-mortal world and that he loves us. That we have to suffer some adversity in our lives to be able to grow and progress towards our goal of being like him. To be polished through the trials, and to be able to have compassion towards others because of our experiences. It was made to perfect us, and for us to choose for ourselves what is right. That little thing called "free will" makes it so that bad things happen to us, because he can't stop someone from drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car, or taking drugs, or going into a bank with a gun to hold up the place. Sometimes acts of Nature or "acts of God" cause us adversity, but that only allow others a chance to serve and He know that those of us affected are strong enough to handle it. We are all tested, and we agreed to, and looked forward to being tested and tried in this life. It is so sad that there are so many who don't have the benefit of the true and restored Gospel to guide and comfort them.
And so I think that I will continue to pray on this, and that maybe this will be time for me to give my spare copy of the BofM to my MIL and ask her to look it over. She's searching for the truth, and finding her faith lacking. Maybe it's time.

i'm thankful for the gospel

(This is a rescue kitty that my MIL saved about 6 months ago)
Yesterday me grandfather-in-law passed away. It was both sudden and expected. He was 87 years old.
When my MIL came over to tell us, she and my husband decided that TB should go busy himself upstairs. I hugged my MIL, and held my husband's hand while the news sank in. After they left to go back to the hospital, I talked to TB, and was very thankful for the church and the gospel. TB understood, and didn't cry. You could see that he was saddened by the news, but he understood where Grandpa had gone, and that his work here was over, and that he was greeted by his wife, and the rest of is friends and family that have passed before him. He understood that Grandpa wouldn't ever be sick or in pain again, and that he will see him again. He was okay with it, and at peace. I was grateful that I could explain what had happened to Grandpa, and that he found comfort with it, as I have seen this day coming all year and I've been dreading it. At least when it did come, it wasn't as hard on this family as I feared it would be.
My husband's grandpa was a good, church going man and he lived his beliefs. He wasn't LDS, but he lived his beliefs to the letter and for that I know that he will be greeted by Heavenly Father with a "welcome home, good son." This also helped my husband to accept things. He's known that this was probably the end but it didn't make things any easier. His grandfather was like a father to him. I was glad for the teachings of the gospel that told us to visit with the sick. We took the entire family over to visit last Monday for our FHE, and his spirits were really high. It was wonderful to see. And I was able to comfort my husband with the fact that we had made sure to visit as a family several times, and brought over the t.v. and meatballs, as well as bringing the boys over to visit, and those things had helped to lift his spirits and let him know that he was loved. I told my husband that he has no reason to feel guilt. And in that matter, I don't. I feel at peace. I feel good, like I left things in a good place and that my GF-I-L knew that he was special and loved. Now I have a greater appreciation for the gospel's teachings. Heavenly Father know what he's doing.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

General Conference

This weekend was the General Conference, (for anyone who didn't know) and I missed the entire Saturday session as usual. I have worked every Saturday since I was 18 years old. I tried to stream the audio and video at work, but it's blocked by the company. I also pulled up the site so that The Boy could watch the Saturday session at home while I was at work, but he couldn't get it to play, and instead of asking his dad for help like I told him to, he just said that it wouldn't play and my husband "assumed that it wasn't supported by mac". So, the best laid plans...
Today I didn't get to see the first hour of the first session because it's Sunday and my husband is in a Fantasy Football league. He spent the entire time on the computer looking at Yahoo sports. Lucky for me, he went to a buddy's house to watch the game so I was able to have the computer, and the house to myself. Nothing really went as I had hoped, but it seemed to work out just the same.
I had hoped that TB would watch Saturday, and that I would get out of work on time, an be able to catch the last part of the afternoon session live. That didn't happen. Because I worked so late on Friday, TB went to spend the night with his grandparents on Saturday instead of the planned Friday and so he missed the larger part of the Sunday sessions too. After I finally got my husband away from the computer, I was able to watch the last half of the early session, and caught a wonderful talk by the General Relief Society President. She talked about the role of "mothers who know" and how we teach our children that's important, and how "home making" plays a large roll in who our children turn out to be. It teaches them order, and the value of family, and how to provide a warm, loving environment, and how all of this is crucial to the development of strong, self confident children.
What stood out most of what she said was that mothers who know, learn to be content to live on less, and to focus more on doing what will allow us to spend more quality time with our children and families, and less focus on the "things of the world". They don't get caught up in the rat race, trying to buy and have, and get, and do. They don't forget that what their children need more than a big house and fancy clothes are parents who care and spend time with them. This got me thinking about my own situation where I find myself at a cross road. My husband is going to graduate from NE Tech in February with a degree in web design. They have job placement and I feel pretty secure in saying that he will be working by the Spring. I'm climbing the corporate ladder at work, and find myself in a position of middle management. I go back and forth about whether or not I should take a leave of absence from my job until my baby is ready for school, or if I should just keep pressing onward towards a Team Leader position that I seem so close to.
I've prayed on this, and until today I felt like I should stay at work, and keep pressing forward toward my goal. I realized that we could afford a home much faster and I could have a new car, and I could finally have my food storage, and 72 hour kits that I worry at night over not being able to provide at this time. I could knit anything I want and not have to substitute clearly inferior quality yarn because I can't afford what the garment is actually knit from. I could buy the new clothes that I so desperately need. We could get that new t.v. to replace the one that we've had for 11 years that's on the fritz. The list goes on. But today I watched that talk and I realized that if my husband gets a job making what we are told he can earn, that we can still afford a home, and if we're frugal, I can stop working even if for only a short time, and be home with my children. I could get TB to his scouting meetings, and attend my own Enrichment meetings. Maybe I could even go back to school and get my degree so that when I'm ready to go back to work, I won't have to start off back at the bottom again. My husband is afraid that I'll lose all the momentum that I've gained, and I worry about this too, but after today I realize that there are more important things and that even though I may not do it right away, I now plan to leave my job to be home with my family after my husband gets settled into his job. Especially with the way that my current job has been taking away from my family.
So, back to the day. I fell asleep on the couch between sessions and missed the first hour of the afternoon session. Then my boys both came home and and I got the baby up. I pulled up the rest of the session, made TB sit in front of the computer to listen, got dinner on, and sat down to hear the rest of the conference live. My husband was present for the first time ever. I had hoped that he would "accidentally" hear the entire thing, both days worth, but this was better than nothing. The talk was about choosing the greater things over the good things and making priority in our life. It talked about father's responsibility to their family, and about not over scheduling the children or ourselves. It talked about eating dinner together as a family and how kids do better in school and avoid drugs and alcohol if they eat dinner with their families. That is the one thing we probably struggle with most, as my husband is out the door on the way to school when we're getting ready to eat so we don't get to do that very often. We get so used to not eating together that when the opportunity presents, we overlook it. Well, today I decided that I wanted to eat at the table. I made dinner. I put our plates on the table, and had TB bless the food. We made BB wait until after the blessing to eat even though he was fussing and hungry. I told TB that it was how he would learn what was expected of him, and to pray through the crying. We did, and BB quieted down and ate when it was time to do so. My husband wasn't hungry because he had eaten when he came home from being out, so I asked him to feed BB so I could eat. And he did, at the table with the rest of us, away from the t.v. with the game on. That was something! And I could see the small difference made by him just being with in ear shot of the conference talks.
Tomorrow, we're going to do our FHE a little early as he has somewhere to go in the evening. He's been great about participating in some sort of family activity when he's home for FHE. It's a small step, but one in the right direction. I'll keep praying, and I'll keep posting so my few friends who read this will be able to witness God's hand in this.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Visiting Teaching, and being taught

Today is a big day for the visiting teaching. My teachers stopped by today with their little ones and some home made peanut butter cookies. It was really great to spend some time with them and let our kids play together. We got to talking about family values again, and how the non-LDS world views families and children. My friends both have a boy and a girl, and one of them is expecting another. She gets alot of flack from the general public about why she would want another child, and what the point of it all is, since she has one of each. My other friend wants another, and says that she gets the same questions and treatment. They both also say that they don't get much appreciation for the fact that they are stay at home mothers. I envy them for their ability to do just that. I wish every day that I didn't have to go to work and could stay home with my boys. My husband refers to my few days off as "mommy day" and lately they've been infringed upon by my duties at work and in seeing to the needs of the family. I struggle daily with my need to advance and be fulfilled in my career, climbing the corporate ladder, and wanting to spend every spare second with my family. I'm finding it hard to balance the two, but the church helps a lot with our Family Home Evenings set aside one day a week, and family scripture reading/prayer. I don't get the last two in every day but I try to fit them in a few times a week and it helps to have that little extra family time.
And while my friends are made to feel like they're foolish for wanting another child when they have one of each, I find that people think it's perfectly normal for me to want a 3rd child because I have same-sex children. Instead of the focus being on bringing souls to Earth and raising good Christian, God-fearing's on having one of each and calling it a day. Anything more or less is looked at unfavorably. It's like you're not a real family if you don't fit into that perfect little package. When did the focus on family shift so much from our Father's plan?
Later today my companion and I will be going to visit one of our 3 sisters, (the only one who we can actually visit in person) and hopefully we'll leave her feeling the urge to attend the next meeting. We haven't seen her or her family in months. It makes me wonder what it is about new members that makes them so vulnerable to inactivity? Many of the newly baptized who had the most Spirit and faith up to and through their baptism just drop off the face of the LDS Earth shortly after. We had one young couple who attended all the time, came to my class early on when I was a newer teacher, and were baptized. They live near me and we talked about the neighborhood, and getting together. I never got a chance to call them, and maybe I should have gone out of my way to make the time because the rumor is that someone got ahold of them with anti-Mormon literature, and they called the missionaries and asked them not to contact them anymore. They just fell away so quickly. It reminds me of the Bible talking about casting seed on the ground. Some is rocky and the seed can't ever get into the ground. Some is sandy soil and the seeds never get very deep roots, and the plants wither die quickly, and some ground is very fertile and the plants flourish. I guess you just can never tell which type of soil a person will be, and that's why we're commanded to spread the gospel to everyone. It just really hurts and feels personal when you see someone getting it, and really accepting the truth of the restored gospel, only to drift away within weeks of their baptism. I know that visiting teachers and home teachers have kept me tethered to the gospel, even in my most inactive times and I hope that my companion and I will be able to do the same for these sisters.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Family Responsibility

In my lesson this week we covered Family Responsibility. I really liked the very first line in the chapter...that we all have a purpose in our family. We all have a roll, and we all are placed in our family for a specific reason. Heavenly Father organized it all before we came here, and I know that my children are here for a purpose. When I was young, I always knew that I was here for a reason, because my mother was pregnant with twins and lost my twin, but I made it full term. I'm the only child she was ever able to carry full term, and for that reason alone, I knew I had something that I was meant to do. Now I know that it's more than that. I also know that I was put in my family for a reason, and that we were meant to be close, but due to free will, that didn't happen.
Anyway, we had a small group in class yesterday. All ladies so we were able to focus on the women's roll in the family. I have to say that I love my class and I love teaching it, and there's only been one week that I was asked a question that I didn't feel qualified to answer. I've been in the trenches in my personal life many times so when I talk to the people, I can speak from experience.
One of the girls was talking about how she was worried that her kids were acting up in Sacrament meeting (although I hardly noticed they were there) and I told her that it's definitely not only her children and that the best thing to do is to keep bringing them, and they'll learn what's expected of them and find that they enjoy it. We were also able to talk about how many times we find ourselves having to fulfill both the mother's and father's roll in our lives. She is a single mother of 2 and is expecting another in a few months. She is a sweet girl and I really love her. I just want to take her under my wing and tell her everything that I've been through that she's going through right now, and how she's doing a wonderful thing for herself and her children by taking this step.
We talked about how the church is structured so that there is a male presence in her children's lives if their father can't or won't provide one. We talked about home teachers, and missionaries, and young men's, and scouting so that she would have peace that her son will have positive male roll models in his life. I know that one of the biggest reasons that I joined the church in the beginning was because of it's focus on the family, and because of how much of a support it had for single mothers. No other church I've ever been to cares so much for it's members, or had more members actually living their values during the week and not just on Sundays. We also talked about what our rolls are, and that it's so hard to be both father and mother because we're not made for that roll. It's not part of the natural order of things and so it's a struggle every second. It's another example of why we're commanded to only have sex with our husband or wife, because it was meant to bring children into the world, and we were meant to share the duties of bringing up those children.
Fathers are providers by nature. They are meant to spend separate time with each child and form a loving bond with them. Mothers are nurturers. We are meant to provide emotional security for our children and teach them how to create a loving home. It's so because this is the way we were designed. Heavenly Father created us to be two halves of one whole and to work together. It's just too hard for a father or a mother to do it alone. And if we do our best to fulfill our rolls in our families, we will be blessed to be a part of that family for all eternity.