A Welcome Message

It's a great big world we live in. And yet-it's a small world (after all). There are so many different cultures and opinions and theories and beliefs, but there is one thing that exists among them all, and that is FAMILY.

I firmly believe that "the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).

On this blog, I'll share information from my classes, experiences from my own life, thoughts and feelings from my heart-all on the subject of FAMILY.

Friday, July 24, 2015

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Here is a summary of some of my favorite things from this semester. If I haven't already done a post to expound on any one of them, I hope to still. I hope even more so that you've learned something valuable with me!

Being an informed and involved parent changes lives.
I learned a lot about parenting this semester and received insights that pertained to my own children, for which I am grateful. I love the things that were brought up on teaching a good work ethic within the home. First of all, that kids naturally love to work and we need to nurture that rather than squash it like so often happens. Work is not all about money. As soon as we introduce this attitude to our children, it will stay with them. One of the most important points of this I thought, was to make each child a contributor. We all want to feel important and that we have a way to fit in. I also liked the blessings we talked of coming from Heavenly Father's allowing us (young couples) to be parents and raise His children. Just a few of them are because the Lord loves us and knows that children will shape us to be more like He is; because parenting teaches us to love in a complete, pure, God-like way that is unconditional, and because this life is a pattern for the eternities and families are central to His plan. Michael Popkin's Problem-handling Model was helpful, but I especially liked the discussion on our basic human needs. I gained great insight regarding my oldest daughter that has already helped my relationship with her, just recognizing that she needs more contact and implementing that into my interactions with her. The Lord truly loves and cares about us and our children. The more engaged we are in our parenting partnership with him, the better suited we are to see to their needs.
Heavenly Father doesn't give us trials just to test us. He leads us down the path that will most bless our lives.
I really love this thought and believe it is true. The whole reason we were sent to Earth was so that we could become like God and therefore have everlasting happiness. "Men are, that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25). Joy in this life comes with family. Everything the Lord gives us in this life, including our trials is for our benefit. The Lord wants to bless us. Brother Williams mentioned Carlfred Broderick's idea of saviors on Mt. Zion and how it refers to those who suffer in this life so that those who come after them will not have to suffer. As I pondered this, I found it applies to so many whom I know.
It is not enough to simply rely on research unless we know it is true and honest research.
People in the world today rely far too much on scientists and research and not nearly enough on truth. We saw the truth of this as we analyzed the research on same-sex parenting. It is easy to fall prey to the opinions and views of others unless we create a habit of doing our own research to find the truth behind the popular posts, opinions, and views of the world. Simply taking the time to read an article all the way through and check either its sources or the opposing side gives us a greater picture of what is true and correct and where we should stand on any issue.
"You can never get enough of what you don't need, because what you don't need won't satisfy you." 
I love this quote by Elder Oaks. I found its origin in a talk called Joy and Mercy and loved his entire message as well. This quote, however, talks so bluntly and yet so beautifully of our natural man searches for happiness and how happiness and fulfillment can never be found through unrighteousness means. This applies to issues of same-sex attraction, substance abuse, pornography, laziness, pride, entitlement, and any other form of sin and selfishness. The only way to find joy and fulfillment in this life is Heavenly Father's way. That means keeping His commandments, making and keeping sacred covenants, and following His plan for families.
Borrow the best and learn from the rest.
Our families of origin have a great impact on our marital and other close relationships. We need to first understand what kind of family traits we come from, which of them are healthy ones that we should keep, which are unhealthy that we should replace, and then find good traits and traditions to replace them with to strengthen ourselves and future families. What has been tradition or habit for centuries in our family may need to change and we can make those changes if we are aware and willing to put in the effort. Going back to Broderick's saviors on Mt. Zion, sometimes we need to work harder or endure more for the sake of others. Doing so will bring us closer to the Savior of all and will bless us eternally.
We are so much more together.
I absolutely loved the discussion on how males and females complement each other so completely and especially how our separate strengths and weaknesses combine to create the absolute best atmosphere for us and our families to thrive! Women are naturally wonderful empathizers and focus on the quality of relationships. Men naturally are action focused and more aggressive, which makes them great providers and protectors. Together, a man and woman become the proper nurturers, presiders, providers, and protectors that The Family: A Proclamation to the World teaches we need in order to be successful in family life.
Daryl Bem’s Exotic Becomes Erotic Theory
                I found this theory fascinating. It makes sense to me that Heavenly Father would not create us in a way that is contrary to His plan, which means there has to be another cause for same-sex attraction. This theory explains the probable cause in a way that leaves room for the Atonement to work on those with same-sex attraction as it does other human sins and weaknesses. The four steps Brother Williams taught for changing are 1) Understanding that the urges one feels are for non-romantic intimacy 2) The abuse-whether self-inflicted or not-has to stop 3) Skills for properly managing emotions need to be developed and 4) Healthy relationships need to be made. I can see how Bem’s theory and these steps can help church leaders, parents and others to know “how to treat” those with same-sex attraction as opposed to the current trend of encouraging same-sex attraction out of “love.” If our actions are performed out of real love, they will always lead to Christ and his teachings, never contrary to them.
Dating Dos and Don'ts
                I actually had the opportunity to use Brother William’s story of the trendy young man’s image survey with my young women at a mutual activity. Much like the girls he surveyed, my young women described two very different people when asked to describe the kind of man they’d like to marry and what they think of someone dressed similar to a male model. I should have gone farther to ask them what the man they described as marriage-worthy would look like to each of them, perhaps, just to go a little further with the example. I love that proper dating leads to successful marriages and sets the stage for couples to fulfill their roles as fathers and mothers. A date is planned, paid for, and paired off which is practice for presiding, providing, and protecting a family. Date activities can include practice for the woman to nurture as well! There is a difference between dating and courtship, or at least there should be. A healthy relationship develops through dating ->courtship ->engagement ->marriage. As soon as a couple is married there should be a very real boundary set that links the two as an executive, equal partnership.

                Intimacy in marriage is extremely important, not just for the purpose of bringing children into the world. Men and women are physically made to complete each other just as we are emotionally, spiritually, and behaviorally made to do so. When selfishness is abandoned, vulnerability given to one another and complete acceptance with it, sexual intimacy becomes a beautiful and even heavenly part of the marital relationship. The problems that arise in a sexual relationship between spouses can all be turned into positive benefits for the couple if they can unitedly and openly work through them. Discussion of intimacy between parents and children needs to change from traditional night-before-the-wedding “talks” to constant and age-appropriate open discussions between parent and child throughout their life.