Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Proclamations - Benjamin

This post comes from my friend Benjamin. We've been friends since my freshman year of college, when we went through the memorable process of applying for the Media-Arts major together. He pretty much rocks - being both thoughtful, smart, kind, and slow to judge. Benjamin and his wife live in Boulder, CO. He is a PhD student in Media Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. They are newly-certified foster parents and bloggers.
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If you're interested in contributing my this series about the Family, please email me at

"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wivesmothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."

I realize that Emily discussed this same paragraph in her recent post, but if our aim is to discuss how we make efforts to live the principles stated in the Proclamation, seeing our individual interpretations and applications of the same words should be helpful, right?

Okay. First, I am not a parent. I would like to be, and hopefully soon, my wife and I will have that opportunity. Because of a certain health issues, we haven't been able to start our family as we would have liked.

Considering our situation, one could argue that the Proclamation (and specifically this paragraph) has little/less applicability to our lives. I'm reminded of a Priesthood class in church years ago in which a bunch of single guys readily dismissed a lesson on parenthood because it seemingly had little relevance to their lives. But I would think that due to the Proclamation's explicitly-stated audience ('The World') and the truths it voices, these principles have absolute relevance to us--single, married, with children, or without.

I know that my wife and I are trying our best to learn and live these principles in preparation for parenthood. If we can learn to love and care for each other, our friends, and family; if we can establish careers and develop testimonies that will one day provide for physical and spiritual needs; if we can look for opportunities to teach and serve and obey--If we make those efforts now, hopefully we will be more worthy of and better prepared for the opportunity to be parents. And we've recognized that because of our unique situation, we've been given this opportunity to specifically focus on developing these attributes (though I'm definitely not claiming that we're already there).

I guess one take-away message that I'm finding in this paragraph is that our loving and caring for family is among the most important responsibilities that we have. And because it's so important, we should look for opportunities to apply the principles taught in the Proclamation--no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. This can be really difficult, because preparations for marriage and parenthood can sometimes be painful reminders to the single and the childless. But I'm learning to be thankful for the opportunity that trials such as this give me to reflect on my spiritual growth and look for ways that I can improve, so that hopefully I can one day be a better husband, father, and disciple of Christ.

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