By: Don Bowman, Moroni Channel
United States of America
A baby looks up at the temple while being carried around Temple Square at Christmastime.
We as parents often take on the responsibility of our children’s bad decisions. We think, if only we were more this or less that, when it comes to temperament, conflict as in arguing, negativism, permissiveness, being thrifty, spiritual, demanding, expectations, attendance at activities, being educational minded , freedom allowed or not, language, dinner together, praying, worshiping, family home evening, reading, time with them, and many others. Did I yet, capture your attention, with all the possibilities?
We can stir all these ingredients into a spin of guilt, and some times even shame, not only that, we can then play the blame game on each other as one spouse judges, and criticizes the other spouse, for his or hers perceived bad performance, on the raising of their children. Oh, the pain, suffering, damage, and hurt, this all causes, as these self afflicting, and also this austere afflicting on one another becomes a continuing exercise in our daily life. These types of judgements and criticisms are self defeating to the plan and purpose of the joy and happiness of the gospel. They are destructive and cause alienation from God and each other. And they certainly don’t help in the aid and rescue of our children! Know we not that each spouse is given their own gifts and talents, as the gifts and talents of male and female are also given to each. For one spouse to lay blame on another for not having their gift or talent by thinking, why are you not more like this or that, is not seeing the great picture of union or synergy. For between both spouses the gifts and talents are to be shared, appreciated, and adored. It is certainly not to point at the lacking of the one or the other.
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
We are personally responsible for our own decisions, as also we should expect, that our children should be responsible for their own choices. The God in Heaven doesn’t feel guilty for the behavior of His children in the pre-earth life or in this life, and believe me He could amend or fix them, yet that is not His way. He will force no man to heaven. Yes, but we say why would He feel guilty? For we are the imperfect ones with the weaknesses and imperfections and God is not. Do we not know that the Lords Spirit is constantly flowing in to all His children with love, inspiration, and the light of truth, that does constantly remind them of who they are and what direction they should walk, yet some of His children deflect, block, suffocate and even extinguish this spirit and then pervert and defile it into ungodly things.We are personally responsible for our own decisions, as also we should expect, that our children should be responsible for their own choices. The God in Heaven doesn’t feel guilty for the behavior of His children in the pre-earth life or in this life, and believe me He could amend or fix them, yet that is not His way. He will force no man to heaven. Yes, but we say why would He feel guilty? For we are the imperfect ones with the weaknesses and imperfections and God is not. Do we not know that the Lords Spirit is constantly flowing in to all His children with love, inspiration, and the light of truth, that does constantly remind them of who they are and what direction they should walk, yet some of His children deflect, block, suffocate and even extinguish this spirit and then pervert and defile it into ungodly things.
D&C 84:45 – 54 “For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit. And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father. And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world. And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin. And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me. For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin. And who so receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me. And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now. And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received.”
All have their chance and opportunity to listen, if not the true Gospel, then to the spirt, continually directing them, to the good life of righteousness.
Parents oh parents, this is our first experience as parents and for goodness sakes we are full of our “own”, our nature man, that we are trying to overcome. What does anyone expect? A perfect parent? We do, and we do, yet we falter, stumble, and even fall like all others. There is much to overcome in this world and we move forward, all the same while that we have children that need our care and love. Oh, the test of this mortality, the burdens to bear, as we try to work out our own salvation through repentance and a continuance of a changing of our hearts. Where is the forgiveness, understanding, empathy, and charity, and the bearing of one another’s burdens. No! There is sometimes not. God Forbid! Each one is responsible to the spirit of God, and some obey the best they can, where others treat it as a thing of naught.
There are however abuses and cruelty that some parents render on their children, and therefore, a time of healing of the pain and hurt, the sorting out of responsibility, and guilt and shame of all, need be overcome, yet with forgiveness, charity, and compassion, as the final aspiration, even so much as the Spirit teaches.
Dr. Don W. Bowman
Dr. Don Bowman is a Dentist with more than 38 Years of experience planning, developing, implementing and practicing Dentistry. He had all the skills to operate a large practice of Dentistry including, accounting, marketing and the handling of the employees. He served in the navy for Two Years. He won awards in marketing for yellow page add and radio add. Married to a lovely wife for 43 years and have 7 Children and 35 Grand Children. He also served as a Bishop, a high counselor, an Elder’s quorum president and a Stake Mission President.
University of Louisville – Louisville, KY
Minor in French and was trained in orthodontics in Columbus Ohio.