That observation has nothing to do with what I wanted to write about today. It's just a thought that has been wandering around in the back of my mind.
I have a nephew getting married next week and I thought I would pull out a letter I wrote awhile back - giving advice on how to progress in one's eternal marriage relationship. That essay sat on a bookshelf and gathered dust for months until I had this crazy thought about getting organized. I figured I should file it away so I wouldn't lose it. Now I have no idea where I put it. I did find some hidden Christmas candy though...from 2013 (Where's an emoji when you need one?).
Thinking of emoji's gets me thinking about social media and marriage and families and wondering how different my parenting might be if I were just starting my family right now. Home computers didn't exist when I gave birth to my first child. [Wow. That makes me sound really old!] If I wanted information, I had to go to the library and research through all kinds of books. Or ask a professional. Or my mom. Mom's are so wise. Oh. And pray and study my scriptures.
Elder Ballard made me smile during a recent broadcast "An Evening With a General Authority." He said, "James 1:5 doesn't say 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of Google.'"
The Internet and social media can bring us instant information about pretty much everything. A couple of weeks ago, my dad wanted to know what the menu was like at a restaurant we wanted to try. I picked up my phone and said, "Ok Google...menu for Outback." In about half a second, Google gave me a link to the menu. Dad's jaw dropped and he shook his head in wonder. Now he points at my phone and says, "I need you to use that fancy thing and find Scottrade for me." (By the way, did you know that the average cell phone today has more technology in it than those rooms full of computers that put the first man on the moon?)
As helpful as the Internet can be, there are drawbacks. Most of us are wise enough to know that we can't believe something just because it's published in the paper or on the Internet. Along with the good, there is a lot of just plain bad advice and misinformation (or worse) out there. Technology has become so sophisticated that anybody can be deceived.
I am grateful for the scriptures and the words from latter-day prophets that can help me navigate this information jungle. I am also grateful for the power of prayer and guidance from the Holy Spirit. The gift of personal revelation has given me more strength and enlightened my mind far beyond anything I could ever get from electronic devices. I've had to rely on the Lord to send His Spirit to know the needs of my children and to understand how to strengthen my marriage. Google didn't know when my little boy sat on his bike in the middle of the railroad tracks and needed my help. But the Lord did and through the Holy Ghost let me know that my child was in danger. Google didn't send a text alert to my friend and tell her I needed to know Heavenly Father cared about me and that the way she could help was to show up at my door before eight in the morning with a loaf of homemade bread and freezer jam. The Spirit did that.
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not anti-technology. Just the opposite. I love having the ability to video chat with all of our children and grandchildren, all at the same time even. I have dozens of friends with whom I would probably lose contact if it wasn't for Facebook. While I do miss the joy of finding handwritten letters in my mail box, I adore getting email - especially when it's from our missionary son. And then there's those amazing evenings I can spend online with a general authority and be reminded, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God." And I remember the source of all truth.
Life is magnificent!