Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Learning from Mistakes

In Elder Bednar's talk, more Diligent and Concerned at Home from this most recent conference, he gives families 3 suggestions on how we each can become more diligent and concerned in our homes.

1. Express Love and Show it
2. Bear Testimony and Live It
3. Be Consistent

In talking today in class about the fears of making mistakes as parents I was reminded of this talk and the reassuring feelings I felt as I heard it in conference a few months ago. I want to choose to focus on the last of his suggestions where Elder Bednar spoke of his family's scripture study and family home evening time.

He said, "Now, I am sure what I am about to describe has never occurred in your home, but it did in ours."

"Sometimes Sister Bednar and I wondered if our efforts to do these spiritually essential things were worthwhile. Now and then verses of scripture were read amid outbursts such as “He’s touching me!” “Make him stop looking at me!” “Mom, he’s breathing my air!” Sincere prayers occasionally were interrupted with giggling and poking. And with active, rambunctious boys, family home evening lessons did not always produce high levels of edification. At times Sister Bednar and I were exasperated because the righteous habits we worked so hard to foster did not seem to yield immediately the spiritual results we wanted and expected."

"Today if you could ask our adult sons what they remember about family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening, I believe I know how they would answer. They likely would not identify a particular prayer or a specific instance of scripture study or an especially meaningful family home evening lesson as the defining moment in their spiritual development. What they would say they remember is that as a family we were consistent."

"Sister Bednar and I thought helping our sons understand the content of a particular lesson or a specific scripture was the ultimate outcome. But such a result does not occur each time we study or pray or learn together. The consistency of our intent and work was perhaps the greatest lesson—a lesson we did not fully appreciate at the time."

I loved this part of the talk because I learned that what parents do truly does matter and the fact that my family home evenings growing up entailed quite the same banter as the Bednar family was pretty hilarious.

Elder Bednar also said, "Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable."

Though we might make some mistakes along the way, as long as we are being consistent in the ways of the Lord and ever striving to become the very best we can, our families will be preserved. Each of us will make mistakes as parents, it is pretty much inevitable. The way we choose to deal with those mistakes is what really matters. If we can learn and move on and focus on the opportunities at hand, we will be blessed.

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