Sunday, January 10, 2010

White Socks

Responsibility and white socks. Who would’ve guessed the correlation white socks would have with that most grown up of words? It was, however, that day when the white socks would come to mean something more than a suit or your best pair of slacks.
Dad never wore anything but dark socks. When he got dressed in the morning, regardless of the day’s activities, before he put on his shoes, he pulled on a pair of socks. The socks were always dark socks. These were the proper socks. Understated and reliable, the dark socks seemed to go with dad’s personality very well. They would do.
Today. Today was the day the young boy would be baptized and be confirmed a member of the church. It was a couple weeks since his eighth birthday so he was old enough to live with the responsibility and honor of being a member of the church. No, he didn’t know everything but not even the oldest member of the congregation had an complete grasp of the gospel. Everyone was still learning.
Responsibility and white socks. The gateway to embracing that responsibility is baptism and baptism required white clothing. Although most people went bare foot, Dad had a pair of white socks that he would wear to keep his feet comfortable. This was the first time the boy had ever seen Dad wear anything but dark socks on his feet. It seemed to be engrained in who dad was, the dark socks. The more worn socks would become work socks and he would never wear those on the Sabbath. The new socks were for Sunday best dress but the older ones would do for the other days.
White socks and responsibility. Juxtaposed in an unusual way, white socks weren’t about responsibility in most cases. White socks were about fun, sports and recreation. You know, the things people did when they were trying to avoid responsibility. White socks were almost like saying, “I’m not going to do that. I’d rather be shooting some hoops!”
White socks. Only a few things stand out as unusual that day. While some things were very special, others were just unusual. The white socks were very unusual.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Making my will mirror His.

Speaking to his Son Helaman, Alma implored that he “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (Alma 37:37)

I’ve tried to instill in my children this same kind of practice. I have tried to teach them the importance of turning to our Heavenly Father both in times of prosperity and times of need. My heart aches as I listen to my daughters plead for us to be blessed with employment almost every time they pray. It seems no matter who acts the part of the mouth-piece, the same plea is part of the prayer. The stress lately has been incredible. That my children must go through this time with me does not help me feel less culpable or more empowered.

I found myself driving this morning with nothing but the sound of the road and my thoughts. When I had a passenger, she was sleeping. I just drove in silence, thinking. I wondered as I thought – wondered how long this might continue. I wondered what it was I was doing, or wasn’t doing, that was aggravating the situation. I wondered why our prayers seemed to be falling on deaf ears. Then, a thought came to me. Am I seeking to counsel with the Lord in all my doings or am I seeking to counsel the Lord in what He should be doing.

What then is His will for me and my family? How can I be sure I am seeking after those things?

In Priesthood meeting this morning, we spoke about Moral Discipline, the General Conference talk Elder D. Todd Christofferson shared this past October. Additionally, we covered Moses 1 in Gospel Doctrine. On the face of it all, these subjects do not seem to speak to the problems I am currently facing. However, there were a moments in each hour that seemed to suggest I had a few things to change in my life.

Our Heavenly Father cares deeply for each of us as a Father cares about his Children. Our Savior, Jesus Christ has experienced enough, descending below everything, to truly understand every trial we ever face. His love for us and His atoning sacrifice are enough to meet our every need. That wasn’t all today’s gospel doctrine class brought to my mind but some of the more important aspects of the class summed up in just a few sentences.

Truth does not change based on our perspective. There is a standard for each of us and that standard is the same. Again, not everything but something very important to me today.

How do these principles apply to my problems and to me today? I know I felt God’s love for me today as the spirit whispered such sweet confirmation to my soul. I just have to figure out what the Lord’s desires for my family are and how He wants me to act on that. I need to figure how to make my desires mirror His. No small task, that.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Years Revolution

You say you have a New Years resolution? Well, you know, people want to improve themselves. You suggest it’s the best solution? Well, you know, people want to improve themselves. But when you talk about resolutions, don’t you know you can count me out! Don’t you know it’s gonna take more than that? All right, all right.

You say you have a real solution. Well, you know, we don’t all want to see your plan. You say you want my contribution. Well, you know, I prefer my goals to last. But when you want to base yours on the turn of the year, they’s something less than substantial. All I can tell is brother you have to change something more than the calendar. Don’t you know it’s gonna take more than that? All right, all right.

You say you’ll change with this resolution? Well, you know, you’ll have to change your head. You tell me it’s the passing of a brand new year? Well, you know, you better change inside, too. Still, if you insist on that brand of thought, it’s better than doing nothing at all. Don’t you know it’s gonna take more than that? All right, all right.

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This last year has to go down as one very tough year. I have to admit I’ve seen growth in this turbulence. It’s time for more than just resolutions, I’m afraid. Time for something of a revolution, yes!