I guest-posted this back in September 2011 at Chocolate on My Cranium, but never posted it on my blog. After an incredible General Conference weekend, I decided I needed a reminder!
I'm finding there are warning labels on virtually everything!
For example, the plastic bags in which I lug all the groceries home and then recycle as garbage can liners has this warning "Please keep this and all plastics away from children."
The side-view mirror on our 15 passenger van has this little caveat: "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear."
My trusty hair dryer has a semi-permanent tag (more permanent than semi) that is securely wrapped around the cord with red ink cautions on both side: "DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG! WARN CHILDREN OF THE RISK OF DEATH BY ELECTRIC SHOCK!" and "DANGER! Do not use while bathing."
Although not as deliberate as my hair dryer, strict counsel is printed on the carton of my favorite black raspberry ice cream with dark chocolate chunks. It simply reads: "Keep Frozen."
So to read warnings from the Lord to the world about the family, should not be a surprise to anyone! Because all warnings that have come from the Lord have also been backed with eternal consequences. Certainly we remember these warnings that pertained to families:
"Don't eat from this tree!"
"Build an Ark!"
"Don't look back!"
"Repent . . .or everyone (and I mean e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e.) will be destroyed but y.o.u."
And as surely as we recognize those warnings, we must not ignore that we have become the recipients of those consequences:
The partaking of the fruit from that tree resulted in universal, physical death.
The building of Noah's Ark brought about the biggest Spring Cleaning the earth has ever known.
Lot's wife's little peek-a-boo teaches us that a very big mound of salt can completely lose its savor.
And Coriantumr, the last living Jaredite of the Book of Ether, fulfilled that warning prophecy as "the words of the Lord had all been fulfilled" (Ether 15:33).
In our day we have a "warning label" - if you will - that is securely attached to The Family, which is also known as "A Proclamation to the World."
It reads something like this:
"We (meaning ALL prophets, seers and revelators who ever lived, not just the ones who are living now) warn that individuals (moms, dads, and/or children) who violate covenants of chastity, (promises to keep one's heart, might, and mind sexually pure and clean) who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities (and here is the consequence) will one day stand accountable before God . (Yes, I may fool everyone else. I may even hide my sins from everyone else. But in the end it will be just me and Him). Furthermore, we warn that the disintegration of the family WILL bring upon individuals, communities and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."
What. a. warning.
Individual, Community and National Calamities.
So in the meantime, as I live my life for that one day to stand before God and be held accountable to Him, (all while trying to find joy at the same time), what am I doing to heed this warning?
I believe the answer lies here: "to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as THE fundamental unit of society."
And since I am a fundamental part of my family, here are some of the choices and decisions I am making help me maintain and strengthen my family as a fundamental unit of society.
1. Get involved politically
I'm doing all I can to be more informed of political candidates. I am asking myself these questions: "Am I supporting candidates because they are from a "popular" party?" "Will this candidate vote with my voice or with his/her own agenda?" "Is this candidate personally and politically pro-family?"
2. Get involved educationally
My responsibility is two-fold in this area. 1) to be sure my children are doing their very best in acquiring and applying the knowledge they are receiving (this means I get involved with their school work. And believe me when I say that's A LOT of homework!) and 2) to ensure my children are on the receiving end of the very best educational situation for each of them (this literally means I take one school year at a time!)
3. Follow the Words of Living Prophets
These include, but are not limited to, studying the scriptures individually and as family, holding weekly family home evenings, having daily personal and family and prayer, attending church weekly, attending the temple regularly, listening to and applying General Conferences.
4. Repent or, in other words, I Can Change
I am learning that I can repent. I can change the imperfect things I am doing. I can change bad habits or learned "traditions" that breakdown or weaken my family. I can choose to do better things that no one else in the generations of my family have done. What I can change for the better today will not only bless my family now, but my family in the future, which amazingly blesses and touches my family that have already come before me.
And because I know all too well what happens to my favorite ice cream when I forget the caution to "Keep Frozen," I am learning that heeding God's warning signs to families promises His safety, His protection and His freedom. How very blessed we are as God's children to know that He loves us enough to warn us. And not just individually, but as families, for that is how He wants us to come back to Him!