Friday, October 7, 2011

Helping Others

The discussion that we had as a class on Monday was the one that caused myself the most thought and reflection. In preparation for class we watched some clips on individuals from different socioeconomic statuses. The clip that was particularly moving was Tammy's story. This is the one about the single mother who walks 10 miles each way to work at Burger King. The family lives in a trailer in very humble circumstances. As the mother was talking about her dreams of going to college and becoming a teacher I was impressed by her simple yet wonderful hope. I thought about how I enjoyed such a wonderful home and family to grow up in. I felt sympathy for this family and the difficult conditions they live in and had a desire to help. How many people struggle with these kind of living circumstances that have true and pure desires to create a better life for themselves and their families? What have I done to help others in need?

A few months ago I had a wonderful opportunity to drive 7 hours with a friend of mine to southern Utah. Obviously we had a lot of time to talk about various topics. One of the first things we talked about was her experience of going to Ethiopia for 5 months in 2010. Among the questions I asked her was if she felt bothered or annoyed by the way we as students and faculty at BYU-Idaho talk about all of these problems in the world that are in need but go home to our apartments and homes without doing anything to help. She had the opportunity to serve and bless the lives of many people on the other side of the world and then she came home and had to sit through "sincere, heartfelt" discussions about the problems in the world knowing that little is done to help.

This discussion gave me a new perspective on what it means to bless the lives of others. I don't believe that it is necessary that we go around the world to help others, but if we go to church and call ourselves good Christians but throughout the week we are so self absorbed in what our own needs are then we need to do a little self evaluation. As I write this I realize that I myself have been hypocritical in my approach in regards to my "desires" and actions. I know that true joy in living the gospel is directly related to blessing the lives of others through time spent in their service, now I need to live that testimony.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I can do hard things

As I was reading McGoldrick's write up on family genograms I was surprised by the complicated nature. My understanding is that a family consists of a married couple, man and women, and their children. I understand that divorce is something that touches many families today. I am sensitive to that, and though I cannot say that I understand what exactly it is like to have divorced parents, I want it to be understood that what I have to say is not in any way a judgement on others. These are just some observations and thoughts that I have.

I believe that this genogram, that is Henry Fonda's family, is not what our Heavenly Father intended for the family to look like at all. I don't understand the background of this man, but I think it is fair to say that the individuals that are part of this unit have experienced much uncertainty in their lives. The family is ordained of God. It is a unit that is here to teach, nurture, and prepare young people.

The government comes up with a lot of programs to help young people, when in reality I believe the focus should be on families. Education will be more valued, a stronger resolve to keep commitments in business and a deep sense of caring for others is something that is best taught in the home. It is unfortunate to see so many families struggling because there is only one parent there, or because of abuse that takes place. Observing all of this happening in our own families can cause ourselves to doubt and fear the future. I think this is what Satan wants us to do though. He wants us to question our own abilities to raise a unified righteous family. I have no experience being a parent or even being married, but I hope that when the time does come for those divine opportunities that I will do so with complete faith that I can do it.

"I can do hard things" is a quote from Susan W. Tanner that I read on my mission. I read this and remember feeling that perhaps it was a little corny, but I don't care. I have thought about it often when I have been faced with a challenge. When I start to have a family and things are getting crazy and not going according to plan I hope I remember those words. "I can do hard things." And the reason why I can is because of my divine potential, and through the aid of a loving Heavenly Father who is always watching over me, and ready to guide me when I humbly come to Him for strength, guidance, and love.