Saturday, September 27, 2008

Seeking the Positive As A Wife

I am posting a link to an article by Orson Scott Card titled, "Bad wife or just a busy one?" from I had to smile as I read it because it just sounds so familiar. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Things I Love About My Faith: The Plan of Salvation

Today I taught the women at my church. I haven't had the opportunity to teach adults for a while, so I enjoyed it. The lesson was on the plan of salvation as revealed through Joseph Smith. As I prepared to teach, I realized that this was one of the things I love about my faith. God has a plan for us. Not only that, but He has told us why we are here in the first place. God revealed to Moses that His work and His glory was "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)

We are taught that we lived before we were born and that Jesus Christ was chosen as the Savior of the world as part of the plan to return us to the presence of God. We are here on this earth because we chose to accept that plan. We were given bodies to allow us to gain knowledge and experience and to have moral agency, the opportunity to choose good over evil. As we choose to follow God's plan by having faith in Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments, we will, one day, return to live in the presence of God.

If you want to understand what I'm talking about in more detail, please click here.

Why Gender Matters

I recently read a book that documents studies that show the biological and neurological differences between boys and girls and men and women. It's called, "Why Gender Matters," by Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D. He is a major advocate of same-sex schooling and there were many things I found very interesting, especially since I'm teaching both girls and boys in my family.

Did you know that girls' eyes have more cells that are best adapted to detect color and texture, whereas boys' eyes have more cells that are best adapted to detect location, direction, and speed? So when little girls draw pictures, they draw nouns like flowers, trees, and people using lots of colors and little boys draw pictures with action using fewer colors like black, blue, gray, and silver.

That's just one of the biological differences. Men and women have different brain structures. Boys and girls develop different parts of their brains at different times, so if girls are developmentally ready for reading, for example, boys may not yet be ready. I found it fascinating.

I also read Dr. Sax's subsequent book called "Boys Adrift," detailing the reasons he's found that boys and men in our generation are generally not succeeding as well as girls. These factors include our current gender-neutral educational system, video games, and endocrine disruptors.

I encourage anyone who has children, especially those who have boys, to read these books. They definitely gave me food for thought. If you want to learn more, I'll put the links to these two books below.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nighttime Parenting

The other night, as I was rocking Little E back to sleep, I was thinking about parenting and babies and how grateful I was to have that time with my baby. Yes, it was late. Yes, I was tired, but I know from experience that it won't last much longer, so I chose to enjoy it.

I believe that parents are the first teachers of a child and that their example as parents has a major influence on how a child views God as a parent since He is our Heavenly Father. I also believe that if we want to develop the attributes of God and become like Him, part of that development includes how we parent our own children since He is the ultimate parenting example.

When a baby cries out and a parent stops whatever he or she is doing to care for and hold that child, I wonder if, in a small way, the child learns more how a loving Father could take care of his needs whenever he cries out in prayer. I also wonder if the parent learns in some small way how better to be more like our Father by sacrificing his or her current needs for that child.

What does this have to do with seeking the positive? Being a parent is hard work, especially at night. I get less sleep. I get to sleep, at times, in less comfortable places. I have less time to pursue my own interests. But what do I gain? I get to hold a baby in my arms and help her feel loved and secure. I get to watch my baby sleep while we rock together and relax. I get to feel her snuggle in and feel gratified that she wants to be closer to me. Of course there are times when I long for the day when my baby will sleep through the night, but I also recognize that it won't last forever. In the meantime, I hope that I'm making memories and impressions that will last a lifetime for me and my baby.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Things I Love About My Faith: Respecting Other Faiths

"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." (11th Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

One of the things I appreciate about my faith is that we are taught to respect the beliefs of others. We are taught to appreciate the eternal truths that are found in other faiths and work to build on our commonalities, not our differences with others. That's how Jesus Christ taught. He didn't rip apart the belief systems of those who were trying to do what was right and tell them they were eternally damned, but He started with what they believed that was actually true and then added more knowledge and information to help them understand His teachings.

Understanding and respecting the beliefs of others helps me see that most of us in the world are good people trying to do what we believe is right. I think it can help us see each other as brothers and sisters, children of God, and work together to make life better for everyone.