“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

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I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Growing up unto the Lord (Helaman 3: 19-22)

Grow up unto the Lord

Helaman 3: 19-22

In 2004, we had the opportunity to visit the Philippines to retrieve our son who was serving a two-year missionary service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our son (Lacrosse-Guy) wanted to share with us the sights, sounds, feelings and tender hearts he had experienced on his mission. We agreed to fly there and tour the area(s) he served in. He would thin return with us to the states finishing his service time of two years.

For several days he drove us through the top tourist spots and the beautiful surroundings areas around the city of Angeles. My husband and I took in the sights, sounds, politics, and as much of the Philippines culture as we could squeeze into our whirlwind trip. The Philippines are a set of beautiful tropical islands filled with an amazing history and an amazing people. All of our visit left a lasting impression upon my heart. Of all that we saw and visited though, it was the tender-hearts of the members our son had helped teach and convert that caused me to pause and reflect, on how my son had truly "grown up unto the Lord."

My husband had not served a mission. In this respect, my son did not see an example in his father or grandfather (either side) for him to follow. His grandfather did serve a couple's mission, but not a young adult mission. Why then did he want to give two years of his life to help others learn the truths of the Lord’s Gospel?
When he took us to the home of the Relief Society president who was coincidentally also the ward organist and wife of the Bishop, I was touched. Not because of their home’s humble and meager circumstances (cinder block and tin roof) but because of their love for my son. They cried with joy when we arrived. They shared a special meal with us, showed us their electric organ,(used to help her learn music for R.Society) and did their best to honor and respect our visit so that we might feel of the great love they had for our son. This scene was repeated numerous times during our visit. He had served those he taught well. He had learned to love as the Savior loves, deeply. I could see that his heart was breaking when he thought of never seeing these people again. For he had developed a great respect and friendship with so many of them.
What had happened to prepare our son? How was it that he was able to "grow up unto the Lord" as Helaman's sons Nephi and Lehi? Just as the time that Helaman ruled, when there was contention in the land, our home was far from perfect. We have known great contention, difficulties and stress. So what had come together to give our son the faith he needed to serve others with a selfless love of the Savior?
I believe it wasn't because we did everything right. I believe it was because we tried to do everything right. That is all we could hope for. Like Helaman who tried to serve with "justice and equity", as his parents we did our best to raise our family with justice and equity. Like Helaman who "looked to the standards (statutes), and judgments, and commandments of God, we too looked to God for answers when we didn't understand the complexity of our own lives.
Our son set high standards for his life and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He served as a priest in his Priest Quorum at church, blessing the sacrament and taking it to those who were unable to attend meetings. He set goals, achieved high grades, and learned the computer sciences. He loved his sisters, and helped his friends reach their goals. He played sports that taught him the value of team building, rules, and sportsmanship. He did many secular things to prepare him.
But I believe, the most important thing was that attended early morning seminary where he learned with other youth his age to love the word of God, to listen to the spirit that guides, and to want to understand the workings of God in his life.
He was not perfect. There were many trials in his young life that might have thwarted his desire to serve, but his faith held strong.
Today our Lacrosse-son is a leader in his community. He sets a good example for young boys that he coaches and he helps gather community support for the organization of Lacrosse. He is a wonderful brother to his siblings and has worked hard to pass his professional exams. And like our visit to the land where he served God, all of these accomplishments pale in existence to his willingness to remain true and faithful to what he believes. He continues to serve and strive to live a life that helps others.
If it sounds like I am proud of him, I am. He is a good example of a young boy who was taught "in the way that he should go" and then chose to follow the path that God prepared for him. He brings such great joy to my heart. He brings calm peace to my heart. Not because he has finished college, not because he is and will be a successful business man, but because he has grown up unto the Lord and has learned to have a joyful, loving heart that loves to serve others.
He truly is an example of what it means to "grow up unto the Lord".

Words and Phrases

vs. 19 great contention in the land - I wanted to point out that there can be contention in the land and still have people and family who are doing all that is right. As the verses continue, we see that the contention begins to subside. I see a direct correlation between the ability to focus on God's word and the amount of contention a family might go through.

vs. 20 justice and equity - this was accomplished by 5 things
a. observe (look) to keep the standards - when you don't get to do what you want, (or your child doesn't) look to the standards and use them as your guide. I remember times when my son wanted me to cave in and let him do what he wanted. I told him..in our house we serve the Lord.
b. try to understand the judgements of God ... we don't always understand the why's of our life, but if we have faith we can find peace in knowing that God does what is best for us.
c. know and keep the commandments of God. - I was impressed with my son this past week. He had a plane to catch, he could have skipped church, but he chose to attend. He knows how to lead and keep the commandments.
d. did do...... what? that which was right. It's hard to do what is right all the time, but we can try.
e. example.. of his father. ... a family.. affair. For those of us who don't have a family example to follow, we have the saviors, the ones that can rescue us by giving us a good example when our family cannot. This is why we attend church. Not only to rub shoulders with those that serve God, but to get and be examples of God's love.

vs 22 they began to grow up unto the Lord - With Helaman as a righteous leader and example, how could they not? But Alma had a son who did not, so we know that it is possible. But I really love this phrase. As a parent, I want to always raise my children so that they grown up unto the Lord. This is not so strange.. People raise their children unto ??? ... baseball, music, math, sports, apprenticeships for their business. We all raise our children to something.. if we don't choose to raise them to the Lord, then they will be raised to the world.

vs 22 contentions began to cease - When we strive to keep the commandments of God, to understand his judgements, we find peace. Peace is not found in the fast pace, selfish, man eat man world. The world teaches every man for himself. God teaches help everyman and you will help yourself. When we learn to help others, others help us and our contentions begin to cease. When we learn to understand the true meaning of contentment, we find we have little need for contention.


  1. Another good one - but with one correction - one of his grandfathers did serve a mission - in Eastern Canada - remember?
    Love dad

  2. You are so right. I am so sorry. I was thinking of a young mission. I will correct.


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