First off, I love the new Come Follow Me Study program in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today, I was very touched when a thought that lingered in my mind from Sacrament meeting attached to a question in Sunday School.
At the end of our Sacrament meeting today, the Bishop took the last few minutes to give us one of the non-negotiables for his family that he wants us to incorporate ward-wide. He pleaded with ward families follow his advice. He asked that electronic devices be kept out of our children’s bedrooms. He asserted that very little good comes of kids having devices in private spaces and much harm can come.
I 1000% agree. Keeping electronics and televisions in public places might be the policy that saves our loved ones tremendous heartache and pain. We didn’t have game systems or devices in our home and I think that was one of the best decisions ever. (We do now have a Wii.) But we didn’t pick up on the computer in a public place fast enough and paid the price.
Now, there are a multitude of devices that are easily carried to a private place. It takes far more diligence on the part of interested parents to protect and help their children avoid the heartache, disappointment and failures that can result.
But I glanced around the chapel and realized that many of those listening had not lived long enough to know how vital our Bishop’s council may be. We sometimes hear that messages from Church leaders and think of an excuse or special reason why it doesn’t apply to us or why we can’t make that change. I hope and pray that the beloved members of our ward and all those who read this blog hearken to this good man’s council and make that one simple change. It may save your child!
Then in Sunday School, we were discussing the rich young man who came to ask Jesus “What lack I yet?” Jesus told him to keep all the commandments. The rich young man said, “I already do. Is there anything else?” Jesus told him to go and sell all that he had and give to the poor and come follow him. The young man went away sorrowing.
As is usually the case in our Sunday school class, many of the ward members had great insight into the situation and why it’s in the scriptures in three places. “Was it really the riches that were the problem or merely the reliance on them? Was this advice for the young man specificially because Jesus recognized his one failing?
Heidi Balderee commented that for Abraham, the “Big Ask” was to sacrifice his son. To the rich young man, he was asked to give up his riches. Then Heidi posed the question, ‘What is each of our Big Asks?”
What is my ‘Big Ask?’ What is the hardest thing I could be asked to endure or give up or change for the sake of becoming a true or truer disciple? I think it’s going to be something a little different for each of us. Leisure time? Family ties? Reputation? Popularity? Entertainment? Physical pleasures? Time? Influence? Social status?
So our Bishop asked us to make a change that seems small to me. But are electronics or popularity with our kids the “Big Ask” that cause us to ‘go away sorrowing? We know that apostles and prophets have warned us many times of similar things. It’s not just pornography, but it’s pressure to be popular on social media. It’s time robber games and puzzles. It’s inane or impersonal communications that replace healthy interactions, etc, etc, Most of us recognize the dangers of too much exposure, but we don’t realize that it’s been too much or of a harmful sort until the damage is done and the consequences descend.
“Whether by my own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same.” D&C 1:38 What does He ask by the voice of his servants that will cause us to “sorrow” instead of rejoice with gratitude?
It has certainly given me a lot to think about this afternoon.