Monday, March 28, 2011

Letters From Jane: Preparing Your Children For this World

Dear Friends,

I know I’ve dropped off the planet. As many of you know, I’m in school right now—finishing the degree I started 30 years ago. I haven’t been able to decide what to do about this blog. One great highlight of my life is checking in and reading your comments and feeling connected to you—especially when I hear about your successes in using a loving approach to parenting.

And being in school, really experiencing the attitudes and trends of the world, I feel more dedicated than ever to supporting your work right now—your work as mothers of small children. The basic values that form the foundation of my life—a knowledge of the reality of God and of his son Jesus Christ, the family—a mother, a father and children, a clear line between right and wrong—all these things are being systematically altered and blurred into unimportance.

These days you have now with your children are not only precious but more important than they’ve ever been. They are your chance to establish faith. Weekly family home evenings and attending church are so good but not enough. Talk of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can be woven into all of their days—expressions of gratitude, prayers over simple problems, repentance, stories from the scriptures, parables and commandments. There will come a day in their lives when doubt will be cast upon all the things you’re teaching them—about the rightness and wrongness of things, the origin and meaning of life and the reality of God. You are preparing them now while they are so believing and full of faith, for that day.

I know that the academic, secular environment of a non-religious college campus is extreme and it’s been jarring to my sheltered spirit. But because I came into it with deep faith in some things, that faith has been strengthened by the experience. Maybe it’s the contrast—light in darkness or clear truth vs. subjective fuzziness, but my faith has held up. And it gives me hope that all of our children can meet the world in this way.

I think we’ve all grown up hearing about how we’re a chosen generation reserved for these times. But of this upcoming generation—the ones playing at your feet right now—I believe it’s true. Their world is something altogether different than mine was—or even yours. It swirls with technology and ideas and global connectedness. Isn’t it interesting that the ancient truths of the scriptures are still the key to their gaining wisdom and understanding? The same gospel that made an anchor to the soul of Daniel and Nephi and Paul and the stripling warriors is available to your children in its fullness. It’s your mission to infuse and transmit those truths into the “fleshy tables of the heart” each day.

Don’t do it with fear but with faith. As the forces for good and evil line up, you are on the winning side. The powerful eternal truths of God told in your simple words and with your familiar voice are all that is needed. In all of your doings every day, do this.

I can’t make promises about how often or well I will be able to maintain this blog, but I’m staying with it because I just think I need the support right now—the support of powerful mothers in a shaky world.

All my love,

If you’d like to read more on this topic, check out this article.