One of our speakers in Sacrament meeting this morning discussed Elder Hales’ talk Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation (it is NOT only about the Duty to God program), and it got me thinking about this series of Sabbath Activity posts I’ve been doing. I thought it would be appropriate to take a little break from that series for today and share my thoughts instead.
He told the story of a woman who worked alongside her youngest daughter as she completed her Personal Progress requirements. It was more than just making sure her daughter did her requirements and signing things off, as she did with her first three daughters.
Which truly is a great start. I have to say, I’ve heard leaders complain that too many parents won’t do even that. My reaction is generally that a lot of parents don’t know what they’re supposed to do. It isn’t that they don’t care.
But I digress.
The woman in the story learned that doing the projects with her daughter was a blessing to her daughter, a blessing to herself and a boon to their relationship.
The same is true for joining our children as they complete their Faith in God, Duty to God and Scouting requirements, where appropriate.
It reminded me of my own experience with Personal Progress. I’m an adult convert to the Church so my first exposure to Young Women and the Personal Progress program was as a leader. I had so much fun with them and half the time felt like one of the girls myself, making up for what I never had the chance to experience at their age.
My first year in YW I served as counselor over the Beehives and decided to earn my Personal Progress medallion right alongside them. Naturally, that helped me gain an enthusiasm for and testimony of the program which I was able to share with the girls. But (selfishly) that isn’t what I cherish most about that experience.
The best part was the spiritual growth I felt as I truly put my heart into fulfilling those requirements. I learned first hand the truth of the saying “You only get out of it what you put into it.”
This is what we can teach our children. We can do it by example.
Encourage them to approach these requirements and experiences with an open mind and heart. Encourage them to ponder and to grow. Encourage them to stretch.
Be willing to do that yourself. Even the Faith in God program has activities which would benefit adults as well.
The Gospel reaches the heart at any age and there’s always more to learn. Learning is part of the fun.
Elder Hales encourages parents and leaders to work alongside their youth as they work on these programs. I want to add my amen to that.
So take another look at Sabbath Activities past. See what you can do alongside your children. Ask them to share their experiences. Listen to them. Then share your thoughts and feelings too.
Gee, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy right now. Aren’t you?
P.S. I’m not sure exactly how many more Sabbath Activity posts I’ll do, but I do know I’m not going to do this indefinitely. Personally, when a list gets to be too long it starts to feel overwhelming to me and stops being useful. I think a manageable list of posts is a better resource, and if you need more ideas you can always browse the requirements in your children’s books or over at the America Jane website.