Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Preparation Brings Blessings

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Preparation Brings Blessings, by President Thomas S. Monson

During a recent work lunchtime conversation, we were talking about skateboarding. I shared experiences from my childhood where my eldest brother was really into the skateboarding scene. In fact, I shared, we had multiple skateboard ramps in our back yard where my brother's friends would all congregate to skate.

At this point, a friend said, "Wow; you must have great parents!"

I admitted that I had never considered this evidence before. I now acknowledge that my parents are wonderful, but for the longest time as a youth I struggled with them. If only I had seen them through the eyes of my work friend—as great parents.

Now, I don't know why they allowed the ramps in our back yard. It is hard to contemplate their reasons, particularly considering our litigious society now. I wonder if they simply wanted my brother to spend more time at home where things could be more under their loving influence. . .

The connection between my parents and President Monson's talk is somewhat circuitous. President Monson's talk reminded me of the For the Strength of Youth (FSoY) pamphlet (link, pdf). Recently my father taught a Sunday School class where he compared current FSoY guidelines with those that he grew up with. His efforts to embrace Church teachings reminded me of how great he and my mother are. This reminded me of the skateboard discussion.

The 1965 FSoY pamphlet seems quite different from that used today. It discusses women wearing slacks and curlers in their hair. For the men, it mentions the appropriate places of sportswear and having the glow of health from meticulous grooming. Also outlined are posture, littering, and dance styling and clever footwork.

Despite the differences in the two booklets, I'm grateful for guidance to supplement the norms of culture and society. Whereas the current principles are more explicit (of necessity) than their 1965 counterparts, they are necessary when going against what is portrayed as acceptable in common media nowadays.

President Monson teaches:

The Lord cuts through all the media messages with clear and precise language when He declares to us, “Be ye clean” (see D&C 38:42).

I'm grateful for the words of prophets and other inspired leaders. Their messages can cover a wide spectrum, but a brief summary is provided by President Monson:

Happiness comes from living the way the Lord wants you to live and from service to God and others.

2 thoughts

Aubrey said...

I loved the comparison between FTSoY then and now! Great insights, thank you.

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

Thank you for this post, it's interesting to hear the difference between now and then, I'm planning a lesson on this talk today in Relief society and I'm going to be referring to this post. Thanks!