by Margaret Turley
I am spending time with my son and his family in Illinois this week. Once again I am brought to ponder upon the responsibilities of parents to their children. It warms my heart to see that they have scheduled time and left it blank of any other activity or personal need every evening for their children. As I observe them reading scriptures, playing, telling stories and singing songs together my heart aches for all the children in the world that don’t enjoy this warm loving environment of Father and Mother teaching, guiding, and loving them to know the right way to follow.
Does this mean that their life is any less hectic than other young families that they are able to do this? No. Their three daughters are all below the age of school. They still have moments of sibling rivalry, times that they need to go to the doctor, dentist or other appointments, Church responsibilities and a career. But each child has individual time with each parent on a daily basis.
So when do all the other things get done, like journaling, personal scripture reading and prayer? They are done before the children get up or after the children are in bed. Where there is a will there is a way. For instance my son brought his daughter on a tour of the University Research Dairy he arranged for the foreign exchange students, in fact, some of the married students brought their children along. They certainly weren’t LDS, but families of all faiths can share strong values. Later that evening the whole family visited his office at the University where they could see their pictures framed on his desk, knowing that Daddy thinks of them throughout the day. Even some of the artwork displayed was of their design and making.
Do Kevin and Laura know what is going on in the world and keep up with current events when they don’t watch the evening news, spend breakfast glued to a newspaper and so forth? Yes. In fact I observed very intelligent discussions on what the issues are, the different candidates, and who would best represent their family and community’s needs.
Do they not spend time in service to others? Yes they do. In fact I accompanied my son while he visited the sick and blessed them and played his viola for them. I watched the children while they both attended a funeral to sing and bring food, and dedicate the grave. My son is in the Bishopric. My daughter-in-law is the choir director.
They have neighbors in their complex they actively friendship and seek to share the gospel with others by their example and with small deeds of kindness.
On Sunday the choir performed a beautiful number with Kevin playing the obbligato on his viola. Later there was choir practice. Their ward is made up of many young married families with so many children it takes three nurseries during church time. At choir all the parents brought their children and they took turns watching over them in the back of the room where they played quietly and got to listen to their parents sing. What a nice opportunity for both parents and children.
I am glad to see that the institution of family is well and alive in this generation and see hope rising up strong in my granddaughters who have experienced love and been taught the gospel principals as the Lord would want them to. I pray that we will keep these values in mind when we vote on Tuesday and as we go on living in this world of many temptations.