Sorry this is so long, if anyone even reads it. I'll be commenting more on specific things throughout the month in hopefully shorter blogs.
I came across a handout from a BYU Education Week class that had monthly topics to focus on for Family Home Evening and for teaching children. This handout is where I'm getting the Monthly Theme. Angelle Anderson (2005) is the author. So, for January the topic is ORDER. :)
When I think of order, I think of organizing and time management. I found two articles about "setting our houses in order": Marion G. Romney, “Let Us Set in Order Our Own Houses,” Ensign, Jan 1985, 3 and Russell M. Nelson, “‘Set in Order Thy House’,” Ensign, Nov 2001, 69.
They were very good, with a lot of good information. But, there was nothing about becoming more organized in our homes or with our time. These articles were about parents teaching their children and setting a good example for their children.
Elder Nelson talks about how parents need to cling to the Savior and "by so doing, [we] become examples of righteousness to whom others will want to cling. He explains how we have been commanded to set our houses in order and then give ideas on how we can do that.
He says, "To set our house in an order pleasing to the Lord, we need to do it His way. We are to employ His attributes of “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, [and] meekness.” 6 Each father should remember that “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.” 7
"Parents are to be living examples of “kindness, and pure knowledge, which … greatly enlarge the soul.” 8 Each mother and father should lay aside selfish interests and avoid any thought of hypocrisy, physical force, or evil speaking. 9 Parents soon learn that each child has an inborn yearning to be free. Each individual wants to make his or her own way. No one wants to be restrained, even by a well-intentioned parent. But all of us can cling to the Lord."
(The part that stuck out to me, because I have a very strong-willed 3-year-old, is how "no one wants to be restrained , even by a well-intentioned parent". I need to change my tactics.)
Elder Nelson goes on to say how as parents, not only do we need to cling to the Savior, but we need to teach our children to cling to the Savior as well. We also need to teach our children faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. "Parents are to teach the plan of salvation 22 and the importance of living in complete accord with the commandments of God. 23 Otherwise, their children will surely suffer in ignorance of God’s redeeming and liberating law. 24 Parents should also teach by example how to consecrate their lives—using their time, talents, tithing, and substance 25 to establish the Church and kingdom of God upon the earth. 26 Living in that manner will literally bless their posterity."
Elder Nelson also quoted a letter from the First Presidency that I really liked:
“We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles which will keep them close to the Church. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility.” 20
Elder Romney also says parents need to "guide their children and encourage them to forsake those things that discourage the presence of the Spirit in their lives."
I also like this next quote from Elder Romney. "As we bear this great responsibility, we must not be so busy with feeding, clothing, housing, and otherwise looking after the temporal needs of our children that we neglect the important things, the things calculated to fortify them against the evils of the world and prepare them for eternal life. We must not, as someone has said, become so intent upon climbing the mountain that in our exhaustion we fail to see the view from the top. Some of us are so caught up in the things of this world that, I fear, we have lost sight of the gospel view."
It is so easy to only focus on the temporal needs of our families, focusing on the spiritual things always seems to take a back burner. Laundry and dishes or whatever always seems so much more important and there are so many other things to distract us. (So I guess there was a little blip about housework stuff.)
Elder Romney also quotes Doctrine & Covenants 121:41–44, and then says "By the exercise of patience, long-suffering, and love, the goodwill and confidence of our children will be won. If time and understanding are devoted to teaching and training them to voluntarily comply with the revealed truths of the gospel, little by little they will, responsive to your guidance, come to realize and appreciate that “men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Ne. 2:25.)"
Another idea from the scriptures Elder Romney gives is from King Banjamin's address in Mosiah 4:11–15. "I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that training our children will be easier if we can get into their hearts and feelings the attitude and spirit of this great sermon of King Benjamin. Let us seek to imbue our children with the spirit of the gospel and then our children will not have a mind to injure one another and others, but to live peaceably and to render to everyone that which is his due. Teach them, as Benjamin said, “to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; … teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” (Mosiah 4:15.) "
Elder Romney says that as we keep the commandments as parents and teach our children to follow them, we will be able to live in the state the Nephites were living in just after Christ visited them - living after the manner of happiness (when we put things in order).
"Ours or any society will be put in order only when, by precept and example, parents teach and inspire in their children a willing resolution to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For when one receives a witness of their divinity and glimpses the joy of their promise, he will pray fervently, work diligently, and strictly obey the commandments of God, which of course include the laws of the land." (Elder Romney)