Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Family Proclamation Principles
So I have been trying to think for several days about what we do at our house to teach the principles of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I have racked my brain recognizing that we do not have any specific
lessons geared toward that document. Then I really thought about it. How do I teach those things to my children........?.......It hit me:
We do it every day in the way we live. Many, many days I take time out to affirm to one or more of my children their worth and value in the eyes of the Lord. I help them see their gifts when others are unkind or demeaning. I praise their positive decisions to stand for righteous principles...even when it means they must do so alone. I remind them that their generation has a sacred and solemn responsibility to defend the principles and doctrines of the family through their personal example and within their communities.
I realized at one point, that I could not ask them to do this if I was not also willing. I have had to stand up in public meetings to voice the opinion that we may not want to raise money for our schools through activities that do not also promote values we want our children to emulate (for example, hosting a casino night as a fundraiser) and that we do want to stand for principles that grow our communities and support positive child development (like supporting prop 8 as a PTA). Neither was popular. No one backed me up during the meeting, but afterward several people came to me privately and expressed gratitude for saying something they felt but did not feel they could voice in public. I remind my children that we are not in this to be popular. We are to be the leaders. We need to be the voice for righteous principle and encourage all to join us who will chose to.
We teach them to join forces with like-minded individuals. There is so much good in the world---so many people who believe in the principles we believe in even though they may not agree with us 100% on religious issues. We must unite as people who have common core beliefs on the fundamental issues of the family and we must work together. We can do more together as we unite our faith and belief and do so with a public voice.
We watch politics at our house. My sweetheart was a Political Science major. We discuss policies of both parties and talk about how they do or do not support families ...the way God defines them. We teach them of the importance it is to vote and to help others around them understand why supporting the principles of the family proclamation are necessary for the health of all of our communities.
Those discussions and the shaping of their perspectives and feelings about themselves have been extremely important as they have grown. Several of our children have friends and friends' parents who do not feel the way we do about family and lifestyle choices. As we openly discuss their beliefs and how we can treat them kindly and still defend our beliefs, while not ridiculing theirs, my children's abilities to converse intelligently and kindly has increased and they have experience in the public sphere, defending these principles.
I guess maybe we do not do so badly, even though we have never formally had a Family Home Evening Lesson on the Proclamation :-) Maybe you have similar experiences??