Friday, May 8, 2009

Don't shoot the messenger..

I am composing this post as a follow-up to this post.. primarily in response to a particular comment.
I published that post for two reasons.
1- To be a voice. In a world where it seems the majority is not embracing what my values are, instead in opposition of them, I felt I needed to voice what I believe. We will be held accountable if we stand by and do nothing, say nothing, and not stand up for what we believe in, no matter how un-popular it may be. (Think of Miss California!!)
2- For my children.. and grandchildren.. and great-grandchildren, and so on.. I want this to stand as a record, an accurate one of who I was, what I believed. I blog primarily for them. Not for an audience (although I am totally aware that there is one).
While I enjoy comments from the blogging world, I don't say the things I say for praise, admiration, or to "stir it up". I don't do it to be contentious.
I in no way, wanted to come off as if I were telling people what they should do. My family plan doesn't apply to everyone. That's why Heavenly Father answers prayers individually, gives us the blessing of personal revelation.
I stated my personal experience, what decision me and my husband came to for our family, and presented quotes from a prophet of God that helped to guide us in our decision.
Some took it one way. Others took it another way. It wasn't designed to be judgmental, or to hurt feelings.
But I find it interesting, that counsel from our prophets comes directly from a loving Heavenly Father, who desires only for our happiness. I am here to testify, that when we abide by the counsels given, we are happy. Sometimes it isn't easy, but it is always, most certainly worth it.
I think the key word in President Kimball's quotes that impacted me the most, was "necessary".
I know of some who have personal issues, and getting out of their home for a few hours every week has been prescribed by a therapist. Others find themselves in situations out of their control, where they must go outside of the home to find work to support their family.
There are others, who do it for "fun"(?), to "get away", who do it to pay for the un-necessary.
I have an awesome sister-in-law (doubly awesome :D) who works to pay for health and dental care for their family.
But I am not judging what is necessity and what isn't..

My mother stayed at home.
I was oblivious to the sacrifices she and my dad made for us; I was a child. They never made a big deal out of the fact that she stayed at home. They just did it.
I didn't really grasp what it took for her to stay at home.
When I got married, and was responsible for grocery shopping and preparing meals, it hit me.
Top Ramen is about 8 cents a package.
Dry pinto beans are somewhere in the 50 cent range.
Jiffy cornbread mix is 44 cents (I know because I use a lot of it.. hooked from childhood, I guess.).
These were commonly our meals. They were cheap.
Mom & dad very rarely got anything for each other for Christmas, they put all they had into us. My mom now tells me that she would cry most Christmas Eves, worried that we would find our gifts inadequate; she always wished they could give us more.
But my mother stayed at home. She could have gone to work, we could have had awesome meals, some really extravagant gifts! But to my parents, abiding by the council (not a commandment) of the prophet, her staying at home was more important than these things.
I cannot even recollect what I got every year for Christmas.
I can recollect my mom being home everyday after school. Being there when she answered my phone call from school telling her I wasn't feeling well. I can recall everyday, all that she taught me, everyday.
I am blessed because of her choice. My family today, is blessed by her choice, by her example. She has touched so many others' lives through her service.

It all comes down to agency and our personal situation.
Some HAVE to.
Others WANT to.
We will be judged for the intents of our heart, not necessarily by our actions.
I honestly do not know what I would do, if my family found ourselves in a situation where it was necessary for me to go to work. I know it would take faith to do it. I applaud those women out there who sacrifice in that way, to do what is necessary for their family, and for their own situation.
To further prove that I didn't dream up plans of what's best for other families while I was riding on my high horse or that one instance when I was sunbathing on my soapbox (read the sarcasm).. here are some quotes that I found inspiring from other prophets that carry a similar message...

"Because the trend in society today is away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, you will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which you believe. Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith. When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life. The adversary would like nothing better than for you to allow derisive comments and criticism of the Church to cause you to question and doubt. Your testimony, when constantly nourished, will keep you safe."

- President Thomas S. Monson

"Teach your children when they are very young and small, and never quit. As long as they are in your home, let them be your primary interest... God bless you, dear friends. Do not trade your birthright as a mother for some bauble of passing value. Let your first interest be in your home. The baby you hold in your arms will grow quickly as the sunrise and the sunset of the rushing days."

-President Gordon B. Hinckley
"A successful parent is one who has loved, one who has sacrificed, and one who has cared for, taught, and ministered to the needs of a child."

- President Howard W. Hunter
"God established that fathers are to preside in the home. Fathers are to provide, love, teach, and direct. A mother’s role is also God-ordained. Mothers are to conceive, bear, nourish, love, and train. They are to be helpmates and are to counsel with their husbands. There is no inequality between the sexes in God’s plan. It is a matter of division of responsibility."
"Because some parents have departed from the principles the Lord gave for happiness and success, many families throughout the world are undergoing great stress and trauma. Many parents have been enticed to abandon their responsibilities in the home to seek after an elusive “self-fulfillment.” Some have abdicated parental responsibilities for pursuit of material things, unwilling to postpone personal gratification in the interest of their children’s welfare."
- President Ezra Taft Benson
And a favorite of Merrill and mine:
"Tremendously important to the child's upbringing is the presence of Mother in the home. Of late years, mothers have left their homes to work in such numbers that the Church authorities are much concerned, and make a call to mothers, 'Come back home, Mothers, come back home.' We realize that there is an occasional mother who must go out to work. There are some mothers whose children are all reared, and who are thus free to work. But for mothers to leave children when there is not an absolute necessity is a hazardous thing. Generally, children just cannot grow up properly disciplined under babysitters, no matter how good these may be, as they can under a mother who loves them so much that she would die for them."

-President Spencer W. Kimball

We all do this, whether we work or stay at home.. we support one another as sisters, as women.. I don't say this to judge, but to explain my stance on this issue.
So there was the message.. I am just choosing to be the messenger.. I did not come up with the concept.
Please don't shoot me :)


Six-Pack Momma said...

Thanks for having the courage to "do what is right".

Your kids, too, will look back with fond memories and admiration of your 'sacrifices' (if you can even call it that!)

Love ya!

Julie said...

Thanks so much for finding all those quotes and reminding us to do what each of us knows is best for our families.

mer said...


Sunshine and Lazy days said...

Thank you for those words! My family had eight kids in the home, we lived off of one income. When my dad was going to work and school, there wasn't a lot. I remember many nights when my mom wouldn't eat, just so that there would be enough for her children. I have learned so much from my mom, who sacraficed so much to stay home and raise us. I have seen the power of a mom in the home, my family has certainly been blessed because I am home with my children. I have seen in my husbands family, first hand, what can happen when mom isn't there to raise her children... although I also understand why some women have to work and like you said, it is for us as individuals to decide what is best for our families. This gospel is based on individual testimony and inspirtation. God bless the women of this church!!! =)

pebes2 said...

Thank You. In my heart I sooooo want to stay home. My ultimate goal is to stay at home but not quite possible right now. Hopefully soon.

Brooke said...

BANG! tee hee! Thanks Min!

BookwormMom said...

Luv ya, Min!

I really am so honored to have you as my friend. I really feel blessed that we were directed here when we were looking to buy our home!

Amanda said...

Amen Mindy! Thank you for posting what you did. You wrote exactly what is in my heart.
I'm counting the days until I can be home with my little Celia!