December 15, 2014

Sacrament Talk - Priorities

Families & Time

Talk Given:
August 14, 2013 Draper 5th Ward
November 17, 2013 Draper 11th Ward
January 12, 2014 Draper 2nd Ward
March 9, 2014 Draper 6th Ward
December 14 2014 Draper 10th Ward

  1. Many years ago, in a stake conference, one of the speakers asked the question, “how many of you have children who are 9 years old?”  

According to national average, half of the total time they will spend in your home is gone.  Most leave the nest at 18.  He then said, those of you who have children older than 9 years, you haven’t got much time left!

  1. Someone once said:
Imagine pulling into your driveway without two bicycles, the hose, and a big wheel.
Imagine making a batch of cookies and ending up with enough dough to make as many dozen as he recipe promises.

Imagine opening your desk drawer and finding a whole roll of tape and your good scissors right where you left them.

  Imagine your bathroom floor without wet towels, muddy shoes and socks, a pony-tail elastic and a broken mascara tube.

Imagine your telephone ringing and it being for you.

Imagine your car with a full tank of gas

Imagine a kitchen without cabinets and drawers left open, fingerprints on the refrigerator, food caked on the table, frozen pizza crusts crumbling on the counter,  and milk rings hardening inside half a dozen glasses in the sink.

Imagine your sofa without bread crumbs in every crevice

Imagine an evening of quiet conversations without doors slamming, radios wailing, voices whining, feet pounding, an water running.

BUT ALSO, imagine your birthday without a handmade card.

Imagine a clean house, a tidy yard, and a vacant toy box.

Imagine nobody calling you at night -- or during the day.

Imagine deserted games, unused basketball hoops, forgotten merit badges gather dust in neat rows.

Imagine dolls lined up and waiting forever on a perfectly made bed.

Imagine the sound of the clock ticking.

Imagine your home without children.

Now is the time, before our families are scattered, to enjoy our family members and make those relationships worthy of eternal duration.

III. Prophets:

President David O. McKay said: “No other success in life can compensate for failure in the home.  

President Harold B. Lee said: “The most important of the Lord’s work that you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.  Home teaching, bishopric work, and other church duties are all important, but the most important work is within the walls of your home.”

IV. Need for Balance.
  1. The first step in devoting the necessary time with our families is to get balance into our lives -- get control over our lives.  Elder William R. Bradford in General Conference back in 1992 spoke on uncluttering our lives.  He and his wife received a letter from one of his married daughters who wrote:
“I’ve become a nurse. Four of the six kids have the flu. I’m changing my ambitions from psychiatrist to nurse. Anyway, nobody in this family is sick in the head, we are just all sick. I hate it when the kids are sick.” Then in capital letters, “I WANT MY LIFE BACK!”

This letter motivated Elder Bradford to speak on uncluttering our lives and getting back to the basics.  He told a story of a little boy who arrived home from school and found his father standing at the open door looking into a very cluttered house. “Is Mother home?” asked the boy. His father answered, “I can’t see her, but I know she’s in there somewhere. I can hear sobbing.”

This would be funny if it were not true in so many cases. I believe that a cluttered life can create a great deal of sorrow and sadness and be the cause of much sobbing. I also believe that there are a great many people in the so-called “fast lane” that want their lives back.

  1. Our lives are divided between so many competing forces, each of which take a part of us and our time: church, family, job, civic responsibilities, sports, and recreation.  We must decide which to emphasize, and others will have to come in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, etc.  Some influences will have to bend a little to accommodate others.  They won’t always fit together.  You decide which has the biggest part of you.

National statistics tell us that our jobs (employment) take more than 1/3 of our time (if you add getting ready for work, commuting, time spent studying at nights, etc.)  So 1/3 of our lives, we have little control over.    

  1. How we spend the other two thirds of our lives is the challenge.  How easy it is to get things out of balance.  Brother Bradford first suggests that our lives can become cluttered with material things.  We surround ourselves so many gadgets and toys that we really don’t need, and that may interfere with our spiritual development.

But there are more subtle time consumers.  Satan knows that while we are in mortality, we are subject to time and that we have free agency and are at liberty to make choices that use up our time unwisely and keep us from our families.  

A few years ago, there was a story going around the internet entitled “RU2 Busy?”  It said:

Satan called a worldwide convention.  In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can't keep the Christians from going to church.  We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth.  We can't even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship with Christ.  Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.

So let them go to their churches; let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time,... Distract them ...”

“How shall we do this?”  shouted his angels.
“Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.

“Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow borrow borrow.

Persuade them to go to work for long hours, 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles.  Keep them from spending time with their children.  As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work!

Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice.  Entice them to play the radio whenever they drive.  To keep the TV, VCR, CDs and the PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly.  This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.

“Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers.  Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day.  Invade their driving moments with billboards.  Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.  

“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive.  Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted, and unprepared for the coming week.

Don't let them go out in nature to reflect on God's wonders.  Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead.  Keep them busy, busy, and busy!

And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions.  Go ahead, let them be involved in soul winning; but crowd their lives with so many good causes that they have not time to seek power from Christ.  Soon they will be sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.  It will work!  It will work!”

It was quite a convention.  The evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get more busy and more rushed, going here and there.

I guess the question is:  Has the devil been successful at his scheme?  Does “busy” mean: B-eing  U-nder  S-atan's  Y-olk?

We need to examine all the ways we use our time: our work, our ambitions, our affiliations, and our habits that drive our actions.  We need to get back to the basics.  At the top of our list is the family.  The family comes first.  Elder Bradford says, “WE GIVE OURSELVES TO THAT WHICH WE GIVE OUR TIME.”

V. Cats in the Cradle - Harry Chapin

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say "I'm gonna be like you, Dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home, Dad
I don't know when, but we'll get together then
You know we'll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today
I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him"

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while"
He shook his head and said with a smile
"What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please"

I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

VI. What can we do to avoid this human tragedy?
President Ezra Taft Benson gave us ten suggestions to guide our children.  I want to close with his suggestions.

  1. Take time to always be at the crossroads in the lives of our children whether they be six or sixteen.
  2. Take time to be a real friend to your children.
  3. Take time to read to your children
  4. Take time to pray with your children
  5. Take time to have meaningful weekly home evening.  Make it a tradition.
  6. Take time to be together at mealtimes as often as possible.
  7. Take time to read the scriptures daily.
  8. Take time to do things together as a family.
  9. Take time to teach your children.
  10. Take time to truly love your children.  Unqualified love.  Christlike love.

It is my prayer and challenge that we will all make it a priority and a goal to spend TIME with our families and one day gather them in the celestial kingdom.

1 comment:

Alyssa said...

Amen! Appreciated these thoughts.