Friday, January 8, 2016

Parenting Tip - How to Search for Answers

My children tease me about the advice I use to always give them--"put neosporin and a band aid on it" or "take some allergy medicine".  That seemed to cure just about anything in their young lives that would ail them. In the past few years my advice has changed to--"google it".  In my mind, all my answers can be found on the internet from someone who has had the same problem as I have.   But I feel that advice is kind of worldly and shallow when I think back to my own mother's advice to me as a young mother--"have you prayed about it?"

Lately, I've changed my advice to my children to incorporate both my solution and my mom's solution to problems. (I try not to give unsolicited advice to my children-- but boy, is it hard not to!)

My advice to my children now, when they ask me, is: search google for answers to your problems BUT also pray about your problems and get a Priesthood blessing.  To me these seem to go perfectly hand in hand, and I have a scripture to back it up!

Remember when Oliver Cowdery tried to help Joseph Smith with the translating of the Book of Mormon? He was chastised of the Lord.
Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. (Doctrine and Covenants section 9:7,8)
The Lord expects us to search out the answers to our problems, and the internet is one of the blessings the Lord has given to help us.

I recently heard the story of a young missionary who was in charge of several other missionaries.  He received a phone call saying two elders were having a serious disagreement with each other and he was  needed to come diffuse the situation.  As he went to their apartment and began talking with them, another elder showed up saying his companion had just become unconscious and he couldn't revive him.  The young missionary left the two fighting elders to help the sick elder.  They had to call the paramedics and the now conscious elder was taken to the hospital.  The young missionary then called his mission president to tell him what had happened with both sets of missionaries and asked him for his advice.  The mission president, much to his disappointment said, "I don't know what you should do Elder.  That's why I put you there.  You figure it out." Now years later, the man telling the story said he had come to learn that the Lord will help us find the answers, but we must first study and search for ourselves.

I realize that searching the internet is kind of a secular way to search for answers.  But it is one of the fastest ways to find experts on all kind of situations from parenting issues, to physical and emotional ailments and of course, household and repair problems.  The problem is--you don't know which solution is the best answer for your particular problem.

There is another way of searching out and finding the answers to life's problems, and that is listening to the "still, small voice". The Holy Ghost  will tell us the truth and the answer for our particular situation.
I have found an interesting way of listening to the Holy Ghost.  On my morning walks, I listen to podcasts about knitting, or crafting or sewing.  But I've found on the mornings I listen to a BYU devotional talk, a thought will come to my mind that will help me with a situation or problem I'm having.  Sometimes the thought is totally unrelated to what the speaker is saying, but I always feel the truth of the thought and it becomes planted in my soul.  It is another way that I am showing Heavenly Father that I am trying to "study it out" in my mind.

I feel when we ask for a Priesthood blessing, that also shows we are again trying to study out our problem and realize the great need we have for heavenly help in our searching.

One last thought.  Many times our problems won't be solved immediately.  The thoughts and answers we have found may take time to resolve our issues.  Don't mistakenly think you didn't get the correct answers after all, but allow time to help you in solving them.  And feel the peace that someone who loves you from above, is indeed helping you.

Thanks for reading,
Cathy

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