Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Family and the War Against It.

Last week was an emotional week. But you know what I have been reminded of? Family is the reason Christ died for us.  Family is the reason for creation, the fall, and the atonement (see Teaching the Doctrine of the Family by Julie Beck) . This life of ours isn't about ourselves - it is about learning happiness in family life.

This is clear when one goes to a funeral. It is clear when you have to say goodbye to family members at an airport whom you won't see for a long time. It is clear when you have those moments in your life when you look at your little one and your heart is so full of love that you can't bear the thought that this moment is temporary and fleeting because you want it to be like this forever.

Yet, our world is teaching that family doesn't matter -  not only that happiness can be found in other ways, but that families will keep you from happiness.... marriages don't matter, children are a burden, family holds you back. We shouldn't even talk about family because we may offend. I know there is a lot of heartbreak in families, but pretending that this heartbreak comes because we have set an ideal is foolish. It comes because family bonds are so strong and it hurts when they break. No one has a perfect family. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying to be stronger.

“Many of the social restraints which in the past have helped to reinforce and to shore up the family are dissolving and disappearing. The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us. …
“… There are those who would define the family in such a nontraditional way that they would define it out of existence. …
“We of all people, brothers and sisters, should not be taken in by the specious arguments that the family unit is somehow tied to a particular phase of development a moral society is going through. We are free to resist those moves which downplay the significance of the family and which play up the significance of selfish individualism. We know the family to be eternal.” - Spencer W. Kimball 

Some people have asked me lately why I am getting so into science and the controversies around it. Why does it matter? If God created us through billions of years of evolution - great. It doesn't change the relationship we have with him. I agree.

But it is also true that many attacks on the family are grounded on the assumptions made from an evolutionist world view - survival of the fittest, we have an animal nature, we will prosper by our own genius, biological urges are to be satisfied without restraint.

"In addition to understanding the theology of the family, we all need to understand the threats to the family. If we don’t, we can’t prepare for the battle. Evidence is all around us that the family is becoming less important. Marriage rates are declining, the age of marriage is rising, and divorce rates are rising. Out-of-wedlock births are growing. Abortion is rising and becoming increasingly legal. We see lower birth rates. We see unequal relationships between men and women, and we see cultures that still practice abuse within family relationships. Many times a career gains importance over the family.
"Many of our youth are losing confidence in the institution of families. They’re placing more and more value on education and less and less importance on forming an eternal family. Many don’t see forming families as a faith-based work. For them, it’s a selection process much like shopping. Many also distrust their own moral strength and the moral strength of their peers. Because temptations are so fierce, many are not sure they can be successful in keeping covenants." -Julie B. Beck

They are getting this exact message that Korihor, the anti-Christ, was persuading people with in the Book of Mormon:
Alma 30: 16-18:
Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so. 
And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime. 
And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms—telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.

My kids need to be armed with an understanding of this message. They need to understand the basic assumptions of the prevalent messages of today. These assumptions are directing our government policies, or education, and our world's moral climate.   Julie B. Beck explained that anything taught that is anti-family is also anti-Christ. And anything anti-Christ is also anti-family. Our kids are fighting a war on the family and they need to be prepared.
"We are preparing our youth for the temple and for eternal families. Many threats are coming to them that can discourage them from forming an eternal family. Our role in this is to teach them so they don’t misunderstand. We must be very clear on key points of doctrine, which we find in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before. If they don’t know it, they can’t defend it..." -Julie B. Beck

I don't know how God created the Earth. But I do know that my children need to understand that science is not a as cut and dry as it appears to be in their text books, that it has underlying assumptions that influence the interpretation of everything discovered, that evidence is sometimes cherry- picked and our tools aren't always reliable. I want them to see that science and theories are constantly changing. And that relying on experts or the latest theory is not a sure foundation.

They need to understand the assumptions that are being championed in this individualistic, anti-family world are false. And they need to recognize them. They need to be prepared for the war this world is waging against them. Against family. Against Christ.

I love my family. I know there are few things are real as the love in have for them. It may not be observable or measurable, but nothing the world tries to teach about its insignificance could ever change that solid fact.

Some more pictures from the week:
Park family fun:

 My birthday:
I got my cards/gifts when Bill got home from work, except this early morning present that Joshua gave me as I woke up. It was a brownie. And a sweet card.

Birthday hike on my own:

I'm going to miss this little city

 Science class
Making molocules

Magnetizing metal

Maggots "spontaneously generated"

Playdough atoms

Playing with electriciy

Birthday dinner

Birthday flowers from a beautiful friend

Bill made me breakfast in bed and a cake.
 Tuesday hike:

Wednesday studies:

I found Dallin reading the 1828 dictionary - had to take a picture
 Wednesday geocashing with friends:

 And a picnic dinner later with family

My brothers arrived Thursday night for a funeral the next day. The funeral was beautiful and inspiring because it was for such a good, wise man. He and his words of wisdom will be very missed by many people.

The next day we went for a rainy hike.

And then to some  chalk art:

People are talented. After some fun times and lively debates, my brothers left on Sunday. I hate it when they go. I am grateful to have come from such a close family and for the man who has passed on that helped it become so. I look forward to properly thanking him in Heaven.