FFF #38–The Law of the Harvest

This is one of my very favorite times of the year.  I LOVE October!  I love the nip of chill in the air as the brisk fall weather indicates cooler temperatures on the horizon (at least here in the states).  I love fall leaves and Halloween and pumpkin flavored everything!

At our house, we have been putting up grape jelly–75 pints worth, so far.  This week we were looking forward to apple pie filling and applesauce.  (Until the toilet overflowed—now we are just trying to get the bathroom and the laundry functioning.  Still waiting on that front!)  But this is the season to reap the benefits of lots of hard work over the spring and summer seasons.

Because we are no longer a strictly agricultural society, the ‘law of the harvest’ is farther and farther from our every day lives.  Sure, we participate in it to a small degree (not many of us can afford house elves to clean up after us if we choose not to do it).  But with fast food, electricity, indoor plumbing, smart phones, etc….we no longer have to completely participate in the law of the harvest to have our needs met.  Not many of us have to build a fire to keep warm or sew clothing to have something to wear or bottle fruits and vegetables to have something to eat through the winter.  We do not have to plan or prepare much to survive.  We just expect we will be able to do most of that with out too much thought or effort.  Heaven forbid if for some reason our expectation aren’t met!  We’ll figure out who to call and yell at to get our services functioning again.  (It is really funny typing that sentence knowing that this week I have spoken with 7 plumbers trying to get the washing machine back up and functioning!!  I haven’t yelled at anyone yet, but I have been plenty, plenty frustrated!!)

One place I believe the ‘lazy monster’ rears its ugly head is in our parenting.  We want parenting to be easy, simple, straight forward.  We birth them, change them, feed them, rest them, and teach them a few of our favorite things.  We want them to grow and eventually move out having become amazing, beautiful, brilliant, talented people without much effort on our part.  Oh, well, we expect a little kick-back—like crying babies, a few childhood illnesses, a broken bone or two, and maybe a visit to the principal’s office.  But over all, we do not expect learning disabilities, physical deformities, serious childhood illness, or death.

Our oldest son had Hirschprung’s Disease.  He perforated a bowel at one month old, had emergency surgery, stayed in the NICU for a month and had a colostomy for 2 and 1/2 years.  (He also has an anaphylactic nut allergy.)  Our 2nd had a heart murmur and was drowning in his own blood before we figured that out.  He also had horrible colic because he was allergic to everything I was eating we didn’t know it.  By the third child, I was praying for a ‘normal’ baby, one without all of those ‘extra’ problems.  At some point in my prayers, I realized —- Wait a minute!  Some people are born with physical disabilities, some have mental disabilities.  Some people eventually need glasses or braces, or special medications.  Having something wrong with us, IS normal!  Ugh!

Then I realized that it really didn’t matter what their issues might be.  I was going to love them anyway.  I do!  And I have!  I am sure you do too.

But just loving them isn’t enough.  We have to teach them!  We expect to teach them toilet training, how to read, and ride a bike, to talk, and to feed themselves.  I think most of us expect to do that.  But we also have to teach them how to share, to use their words, to manage their anger and as they get older, how to manage their time, money, homework, and sort through emotional issues and relationships.  We need to teach them how to interact properly with others.  When we take into account their individual struggles, physical or otherwise, teaching those things will usually take us more work, time and effort than we want to exert.

In the past, the school and the church (any denomination) have functioned to help parents socialize their children and educate them academically and spiritually (morally).  It would seem however, in our modern, individualistic society, that as parents, many of us would like to abdicate our responsibilities for teaching and training to the school or the church.  With our society’s increasingly fast pace toward moral relativism (where everyone is right and no one is wrong), however, neither the church, nor the school can be relied upon to teach these principles.  Where we once could teach our children at home and then send them out into the world to validate these teachings, more and more often our children are coming home confused because the messages they receive out in society are so very mixed and often at odds with the ones we are teaching at home (if indeed we are making an effort to do that).

What are we harvesting??  Just look around and listen to the news.  My husband told me that we have had 71 school shootings this year!!  71!!  Thirty years ago, when I was in high school, I don’t ever remember hearing about any!  More and more children are showing a propensity toward violence, so much so that many of them are being tried in our courts as adults!  Mothers are killing their children, not only through abortion, but after they have cared for them for months or even years!  More children are born out of wedlock than are now born within the bonds of marriage.  More and more families are ending in divorce, if they begin with marriage in the first place.

It would seem to me that the ‘moral crops’ we are harvesting as a society are not going in the right direction.  My belief is because more and more, we are taking God out of the equation and out of our society.  Mentioning Him in public is no longer ‘politically correct’ because we might offend someone. 

Well, we are offending someone!  Him!

The more we remove our hearts and thoughts from Him and His way, the more and more we will continue to reap the harvest of the seeds we are currently planting.

I am here to tell you that there is a right way.  There is a right answer!  Our Father in Heaven, God, has a plan!  He has an opinion!  Your life and the lives of your children and your siblings, and your parents, and your spouse, and your spouse’s family—-He cares about all of us!!  He wants all of us to be happy and loved, and cared for and for our needs to be met, regardless of our station, or economics, or nationality, or the color of our skin.  We are all His children and He loves us all!!  He knows what we need to do to receive those blessings.  Hi message has not changed since the beginning.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  You can know the truth of His message for yourself!  You do not have to rely on the words of others.  You can learn to recognize His spirit in your life and how it works.  Through the power of the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things!

Start by praying to  your Father in Heaven.  Tell Him you know He has a plan and you want to learn about it and follow Him!  Read the scriptures—-the Bible and the Book of Mormon to hear the words of ancient prophets.  Here what His modern prophets are saying—Link here!  Call the missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and ask them to teach you about God’s plan (no string attached–if you don’t like what they say, they won’t come back!).  If you need more help, email me and I will help you.  God loves you.  He has a plan for you and your life.  He will help you.  Then you will know how to help your children and your grandchildren and your great grandchildren!!

Teaching them truth is not taking away their ability to choose for themselves.  It is giving them direction and guidance.  It is not brainwashing them.  It is our responsibility to teach them and help them, that is why God sent them to us, so that we could help them.  If we want to harvest happy, stable, healthy people, we have to be those kind of people, and we have to teach them how to do it!!  (Not ignore our responsibility or hope it will just happen without any work on our part.)  It is time to rise up and become the parents God intended us to be!

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