Wednesday, February 8, 2012


This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Children, by Neil L. Andersen
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

As I write this post, you can tune in to a news station or point your browser to a news site and find reports relating to children and family planning in the US political arena. Some republican candidates are calling for contraceptives to be banned, while the democratic-led national leaders are calling for women's health services to be available to all employees (including contraception)—with the notable exception of church-employees. (I wrote about a similar topic in my first blog post)

It's an interesting time to be alive.

As my wife and I discussed last night what little we had heard of these conflicts, we agreed with something that I happened to read in Elder Andersen's talk today:

When to have a child and how many children to have are private decisions to be made between a husband and wife and the Lord. These are sacred decisions—decisions that should be made with sincere prayer and acted on with great faith.

Whichever side of this ideological divide you may find yourself, this statement from an apostle may easily be used to support your views. However, before shaping this statement into a weapon to hurl at opponents, consider Elder Andersen's later restatement:

The decision of how many children to have and when to have them is between a husband and wife and the Lord. We should not judge one another on this matter.

Strange how much of the fervor of an argument disappears when judging stops.

Okay. I need some humor to fill the void that's left now that argument is off the table. I liked the funny story Elder Andersen shared, mostly because I can imagine it happening to our family!

A young mother got on a bus with seven children. The bus driver asked, “Are these all yours, lady? Or is it a picnic?”

“They’re all mine,” she replied. “And it’s no picnic!”

It's funny because it's true!

I love my children. And I love their mother even more! You may have heard/read my praises of her in the past—if you haven't, either you don't know me, or I'm not being a good husband!—but I'm going to do it again (and again, and again):

I love my amazing wife! Each school day she single-handedly gets our four children ready for the day, rides her bike (with one child in a seat behind her and another in a trailer) with the two oldest to school, plays with the youngins, loads everyone back up to ride back to school in the afternoon, and smiles the whole time! (She'll claim that she only smiles most of the time.)

On top of all of this, she is funny, great to talk to, gives lots of hugs (and amazing kisses!), and is oh so beautiful!

The only thing I can't figure out is what she sees in me!?

If we're ever asked why we have so many children, I can honestly say, "With the world as crazy as it is now, it needs as many of the type of children we can give it as it can get!"

And by "we," I mostly mean my wife.

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