Copyright © 2008 Happy Clean Living

Monday, December 28, 2009

Motivational Monday - "More Holiness Give Me"

It is important for families and individuals to aggressively seek more of the virtues which go beyond this mortal life.

At the conclusion of every general conference, I experience a longing for more—more of the serenity of the occasion, more of the companionship of the Spirit, more of the nurturing that has brightened and blessed my soul.

The current conventional wisdom is that more is better and less is usually undesirable. For some, the pursuit to acquire more of this world’s goods and services has become a passion. For others, more of this world’s wealth is necessary just to sustain life or raise living standards to a minimum level. The unbridled desire for more often has tragic consequences. For example, President Boyd K. Packer reminded us: “We could be like a father determined to provide everything for his family. He devotes every energy to that end and succeeds; only then does he discover that what they needed most, to be together as a family, has been neglected. And he reaps sorrow in place of contentment” (“Parents in Zion,” Liahona, Jan. 1999, 25; Ensign, Nov. 1998, 22).

Parents who have been successful in acquiring more often have a difficult time saying no to the demands of overindulged children. Their children run the risk of not learning important values like hard work, delayed gratification, honesty, and compassion. Affluent parents can and do raise well-adjusted, loving, and value-centered children, but the struggle to set limits, make do with less, and avoid the pitfalls of “more, more, more” has never been more difficult. It is hard to say no to more when you can afford to say yes.

Parents are rightfully anxious about the future. It is difficult to say no to more sports equipment, electronics, lessons, clothes, team participation, et cetera, when parents believe more will help children thrive in an increasingly competitive world.

Fewer and fewer parents ask their children to do chores around the house because they think they are already overwhelmed by social and academic pressures. But children devoid of responsibilities risk never learning that every individual can be of service and that life has meaning beyond their own happiness

We have all heard children, after they have opened many Christmas or birthday gifts, say, “Isn’t there more?” With all the challenges present in this “more generation,” there remains divine counsel to teach our children “to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, … to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord, … [and to] observe the Sabbath day [and] keep it holy” (D&C 68:25, 28–29).

The meaning of more and less is not always crystal clear. There are times when less is in reality more and times when more can be less. For instance, less pursuit of materialism may enable more family togetherness. More indulgence of children may result in less understanding of life’s important values.

Some aspects of life can be significantly enhanced by the notion that more is better. The sacred hymn “More Holiness Give Me” (Hymns, no. 131) brings to our remembrance the virtues worthy of more of our attention. Jesus Himself described what it requires to be “more, Savior, like thee.” He said, “I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect” (3 Ne. 12:48).

The virtues expressed in “More Holiness Give Me” fall into several groups.

Some are personal goals, like more holiness give me; more strivings within; more faith, gratitude, and purity; more fit for the kingdom; more purpose in prayer; and more trust in the Lord.

Others center on adversity. They include patience in suffering, meekness in trial, praise for relief, strength to overcome, freedom from earth stains, and longing for home.

The rest firmly anchor us to our Savior: more sense of His care; more pride in His glory; more hope in His word; more joy in His service; more tears for His sorrows; more pain at His grief; more blessed and holy; and more, Savior, like Thee.

More of these virtues is better. Less is not desirable.

In discussing our various longings for more, I’m not suggesting we adopt Scrooge as a role model for good parenting. I am suggesting that it is important for families and individuals to aggressively seek more of the virtues which go beyond this mortal life. A prayerful, conservative approach is the key to successfully living in an affluent society and building the qualities that come from waiting, sharing, saving, working hard, and making do with what we have.

May we be blessed with the desire and the ability to understand when more is really less and when more is better. In the holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Valerie said...

Lots of great thoughts and quotes! I love my children and want the best for them and I feel in order to give them the best, I need to give them less material goods and more responsibilities and opportunties to serve. Of course, they don't appreciate any of that now, but I hope someday they will. People can't believe how little we spend on Christmas gifts for each other when they hear, but we give our children the choice to work year-round for money for anything they want. So it's up to them to decide how badly they want the game or toy (or whatever) or if they'd rather sit watching TV all day and not have money. Chores aren't a choice though and hopefully they learn from it. Being a parent is NOT an easy job, but I love it.

Small House said...

Great post! Thank you. This is off the subject of what you shared but....have you opened up your January Ensign? OH MY WORD....I just absolutely loved Elder Hollands message!! It's a good one.

Looks like you enjoyed your Christmas. I'm so glad you did. You're a great mom. And have kids that absolutely love you.
Have a good day.

Kimmie said...

This is what I needed to hear today!!

As we went outside and worked hard as a family shoveling our driveway and sidewalks by hand, while the rest of our neighborhoods fathers took the snow blowers and did it all themselves without children helping them.

Ethan made a little comment about how his friends didn't have to help their parents shovel the walks so why did he?

I told him that we all have to work as a family because that is how Tracy and I know how to work and do things because our parents had us help them when we were younger. I really feel that the greatest thing we can give our kids is TIME and the second greatest thing we can give our kids is the value of learning and knowing how to work hard.

Thanks for your friendship and always making me ponder on the GOOD things in my life. I hope you have a very Happy New Year!!


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