Tag Archives: Practicing What You Preach

Burning Lessons In The Brain: A Child’s Formative Years

The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest.

Kid On TractorI grew up on a farm in Missouri, and many of my early lessons were about work. Mowing the fields by tractor took half a day, but it reduced the chiggers when we ran to the pond to swim each afternoon. We spent three hours each morning weeding the gardens; somehow, despite hating it, we learned that the painstaking care itself seemed to make the vegetables taste better. We’d sit in the yard for hours to shell peas, snap beans, or strip corn of the cob, and Mom would have us singing the whole time to pass the time faster. It was in the home that I learned the sweet rewards of self-imposed hard labor.

Dr. Glenn J. Doman wrote on the importance of creativity and breadth in early childhood experiences:

“The newborn child is almost an exact duplicate of an empty … computer, although superior to such a computer in almost every way. … What is placed in the child’s [mind] during the first eight years of life is probably there to stay. … If you put misinformation into his [mind] during [this period], it is extremely difficult to erase it.” Dr. Doman added that the most receptive age in human life is that of two or three years. [How to Teach Your Baby to Read, Dr. Glenn J. Doman, (1963), Pages 43-45.]

In an article entitled “A Day at the Beach”, Arthur Gordon tells how one of his early lessons was the importance of family time:

Swimming After The Work Is DoneWhen I was around thirteen and my brother ten, Father had promised to take us to the circus. But at lunchtime there was a phone call; some urgent business required his attention downtown. We braced ourselves for disappointment. Then we heard him say, “No, I won’t be down. It’ll have to wait.”

When he came back to the table, Mother smiled [and said,] “The circus keeps coming back, you know.”

“I know,” said Father. “But childhood doesn’t.” [A Touch of Wonder (1974), Pages 77-78.]

The blessings of starting early at home are real. Close families don’t emerge overnight. It takes work, and it’s all worth it—They grow up, take responsibility, and start families of their own. And by so doing, they learn some of the sweetest lessons life has to offer, such as, a child’s future is worth every sacrifice:

The hearth at home is the heart of learning. I’ve learned for myself that lasting lessons are learned at home.

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Life in the Woods at Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond

Life In The Woods At Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond

Bonus Materials:

1. Gordon B. Hinckley stated

The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place nor fulfill its essential functions.

2. Read, watch or listen to Thomas S. Monson, “Constant Truths for Changing Times”, Apr 2005 LDS General Conference.

3. Read, watch or listen to Robert D. Hales, “Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty”, Apr 1999 LDS General Conference.

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WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, kid on tractor—www. expeditionoklahoma.com/2011/04/
  • Photo, swimming after the work is done—www. expeditionoklahoma.com/2011/04/
  • Photo, “Life In The Woods At Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond”—From personal collection
  • Photo, “Make Way For Ducklings! And Kids!”—From personal collection

——– End of WebCredits ——–

Make Way for Ducklings! & kids!

Make Way For Ducklings! And Kids!

 

In What Ways Do Mormons Serve Others In The Community? Our Family’s Answer.

What Can You Do For Your Community?

What Can You Do For Your Community?

Reader Question:
Last weekend, a friend asked, “In what ways do Mormons serve others in our community?”  

Family Answer:
Good question. In our family, and as Mormons, we believe strongly that sincere, honest questions are always a good thing. To gather other answers to this question, we talked to our adult kids, and here are the answers we gathered:

1. Joseph Smith taught us that we are “to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all.” (Times and Seasons, 15 Mar 1842, Page 732.)

2. Here’s an example of how we strive to help others In the Church of Jesus Christ. A handful of women touched the life of a youth named Lynne when her stepfather died. Because she saw these sisters help at a critical time when she was a teenager, Lynne was determined to take her turn to serve when she grew older. As an adult, she shared this story.

“A young mother in my congregation, one of my friends, suddenly lost her only child, a beautiful three-year-old daughter, to an infection that took her life before the doctors were even aware of how serious her illness was. The other counselor and I went to the house as soon as we heard of little Robin’s death. As we approached the screened patio door, we heard the father (who was not a member of our Church) sobbing as he talked long distance to his mother. Looking up, he saw us and, still sobbing, spoke into the phone: ‘It will be all right, Mother. The Mormon women are here.’ My turn once more.” (Daughters in My Kingdom, Chapter 10, “Live Up to Your Privilege”, Page 178.)

3. In our family, we like to serve at the local community kitchen, at an interfaith shelter during the winter, at a senior center, or at a local food warehouse. We want to get out of our comfort zone to rub shoulders with people in our community in a number of ways. I think it’s particularly important to do this with people who aren’t like me. It’s important to us not only to write a check but also to donate our labor free of charge and to make new friends by sharing our time and our conversations.

We hope this answers your question and helps you to understand us better, to understand better how your Mormon neighbors serve in your community, and how you may help them out by serving together.

And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

How Can You Have Fun Doing It?

How Can You Have Fun Doing It?

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Bonus Materials:

1. Get Involved In Your Community Service
http://www.mormon.org/values/community-service

2. What Can We All Do?
https://www.lds.org/topics/humanitarian-service/help?lang=eng

3. Mormon in America: A guided tour of an LDS Bishop’s storehouse
http://www.nbcnews.com/video/rock-center/48745343#48745343

There are bishop’s storehouses in many locations around the world.

——– End of Bonus Materials ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, “What Can You Do For Your Community?”, from “Helping Hands Day Is A Community To Community”, The Davis Enterprise (Davis, California), dated 21 Sep 2014—www. davisenterprise.com/local-news/helping-hands-day-is-a-commitment-to-community/
  • Photo, “How Can You Have Fun Doing It?”, from “Helping Hands Day Is A Community To Community”, The Davis Enterprise (Davis, California), dated 21 Sep 2014—www. davisenterprise.com/local-news/helping-hands-day-is-a-commitment-to-community/

——– End of WebCredits ——–

Movie List For Fun And To Build Up And Inspire? Our Family’s Answer.

ocean-big splash at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area in OregonReader Question:
Dave, can you please provide a list of movies that your family has enjoyed over the years and used as you raised your kids? Our family would truly appreciate whatever guidance you choose to give or films you might suggest.

Family Answer:
Thanks for your question. Sincere, honest questions are always a good thing.

To gather an answer to your question, we talked to our adult kids, and here’s the list that we gathered. Note that this will be a living list, a living post, that we will add to over time as we remember other films or learn of new ones that we wish to include.

MormonPanorama Movie List for Encouraging Strong Families (for a general audience unless otherwise marked – parents are encouraged to view beforehand and judge for themselves):

12 Angry Men (1957) — being brave; best for older youth or adults
13 Going on 30 (2004) — being good beats being mean any day
A Cry in the Wild (1990) — breaking barriers
After Earth (2013) — learning to trust yourself
Akeelah and the Bee (2006) — learning to trust yourself
Aladdin (1992) — learning to trust
An Affair to Remember (1957) — discarding doubt
Anna and the King (1999) — breaking barriers
Anne of Avonlea (1987) — learning to trust
Anne of Green Gables (1985) — learning to trust
Avatar (2009) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Babe (1995) — out-of-the-box thinking
Bambi (1942) — being brave
Beauty and the Beast (1991) — progression
Ben-Hur (1959) — progression
Brigadoon (1954) — breaking barriers
Casablanca (1942) — discarding doubt
Charade (1963) — being brave; best for adults
Chicken Run (2000) — being brave
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) — fun
Deja Vu (2006) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Dumbo (1941) — learning to trust
Elf (2003) — learning to trust
Enchanted (2007) — learning to trust
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) — breaking barriers
Fantasia (1940) — culture and fun
Fantasia/2000 (1999) — culture and fun
Father Goose (1964) — breaking barriers
Fiddler on the Roof (1971) — learning to trust
Field of Dreams (1989) — learning to trust; best for adults
Finding Neverland (2004) — breaking barriers
Fireproof (2008) — forgiveness; best for older youth or adults
Frequency (2000) — repentance; best for older youth or adults
Gettysburg (1993) — being brave; best for adults
Gigi (1958) — fun
Gods and Generals (2003) — being brave; best for adults
Gone with the Wind (1939) — Americana
Groundhog Day (1993) — progression; best for older youth or adults
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) — breaking barriers
Henry V (1989) — learning to trust
Hereafter (2010) — learning to trust
Hitch (2005) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Holes (2003) — keeping promises
Hook (1991) — progression
Hoosiers (1986) — breaking barriers
How the West Was Won (1962) — breaking barriers
How to Train Your Dragon (2010) — out-of-the-box thinking
Ice Age (2002) — breaking barriers
In the Heat of the Night (1967) — breaking barriers
Inception (2010) — out-of-the-box thinking; best for adults
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) — breaking barriers
Invictus (2009) — breaking barriers
Invincible (2006) — breaking barriers
Iron Man (2008) — breaking barriers
Iron Will (1994) — breaking barriers
It Happened One Night (1934) — breaking barriers
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) — progression
John Carter (2012) — breaking barriers
Kate & Leopold (2001) — breaking barriers
K-PAX (2001) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Lady and the Tramp (1955) — learning to trust
Lady in the Water (2006) — finding your role in life; best for adults
Ladyhawke (1985) — learning to trust
Les Miserables (1978 with Richard Jordan) — progression
Man of Steel (2013) — learning to trust
Mary Poppins (1964) — progression
McLintock! (1963) — breaking barriers
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) — Americana
Men in Black (1997) — progression
Men in Black 3 (2012) — progression
Miracle (2004) — breaking barriers
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) — learning to trust
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) — breaking barriers; best for adults
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) — fun
Nanny McPhee (2005) — progression
Newsies (1992) — breaking barriers
North & South (2004) — breaking barriers
Ocean’s Eleven (2001) — breaking barriers; best for adults
October Sky (1999) — breaking barriers
Oklahoma! (1955) — Americana
Old Yeller (1957) — being brave
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) — seeing people deeper
On the Town (1949) — fun and romance
Operation Petticoat (1959) — breaking barriers
Patton (1970) — breaking barriers
Pay It Forward (2000) — breaking barriers; best for adults
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) — fun
Pride and Prejudice (1995) — breaking barriers
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) — learning to trust
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) — breaking barriers
Ratatouille (2007) — progression
Rear Window (1954) — learning to trust; best for adults
Ring of Bright Water (1969) — breaking barriers
Rudy (1993) — breaking barriers
Sabrina (1995) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Saints and Soldiers (2003) — breaking barriers
Scrooge (1970 with Albert Finney) — learning to trust
Secondhand Lions (2003) — breaking barriers
Sense and Sensibility (1995 with Emma Thompson) — breaking barriers
Sense and Sensibility (2008 with Dan Stevens) — breaking barriers
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) — breaking barriers
Seven Samarai (1954) — breaking barriers
Shadowlands (1993) — learning through practice what you preach
Sherlock Holmes (2009) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Shrek (2001) — importance of layers in parfaits
Signs (2002) — breaking barriers
Silverado (1985) — breaking barriers
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) — progression
Star Trek (2009) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Star Wars (1977) — progression
Stargate (1994) — breaking barriers
Starman (1984) — breaking barriers
Stranger Than Fiction (2006) — breaking barriers
Surf’s Up (2007) — breaking barriers
Swiss Family Robinson (1960) — being brave
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) — being brave
The African Queen (1951) — being brave
The Avengers (2012) — learning to trust
The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) — learning to trust
The Black Stallion (1979) — being brave
The Blind Side (2009) — treating people as they may become
The Bourne Identity (2002) — breaking barriers; for older youth/adults
The Bourne Legacy (2012) — breaking barriers; for older youth/adults
The Bourne Supremacy (2004) — breaking barriers; for older youth/adults
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) — breaking barriers; for older youth/adults
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) — learning to trust
The Dirty Dozen (1967) — learning to trust
The Fugitive (1993) — being brave; best for adults
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) — being brave
The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) — being brave
The Gods Must Be Crazy II (1989) — being brave
The Great Escape (1963) — breaking barriers
The Great Race (1965) — breaking barriers
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) — learning to trust
The Incredibles (2004) — discarding doubt
The Iron Giant (1999) — learning to trust
The Jungle Book (1967) — learning to trust
The Lake House (2006) — breaking barriers
The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) — learning to trust
The Lion King (1994) — learning to trust
The Little Mermaid (1989) — learning to trust
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) — being brave
The Magnificent Seven (1960) — breaking barriers
The Maltese Falcon (1941) — being brave
The Mark of Zorro (1940) — being brave
The Mask of Zorro (1998) — learning to trust
The Miracle Worker (1962) — breaking barriers
The Mission (1986) — forgiveness
The Muppet Movie (1979) — fun
The Music Man (1962) — learning to trust
The Other Side of Heaven (2001) — breaking barriers
The Parent Trap (1961) — learning to trust
The Princess Bride (1987) — being brave
The Rescuers Down Under (1990) — out-of-the-box thinking
The Robe (1953) — breaking barriers
The Secret Garden (1993) — learning to trust
The Sixth Sense (1999) — believing in others; best for adults
The Sound of Music (1965) — progression
The Sting (1973) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
The Sword in the Stone (1963) — out-of-the-box thinking
The Taming of the Shrew (1967) — learning to trust
The Village (2004) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
The Vow (2012) — steadfastness; best for adults
The Water Horse (2007) — being brave
Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) — seeing people deeper
Timeline (2003) — breaking barriers
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) — being brave
To Sir, With Love (1967) — learning to trust
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) — breaking barriers
Toy Story (1995) — progression
Toy Story 2 (1999) — progression
Toy Story 3 (2010) — progression
Treasure Island (1950) — progression
True Grit (1969) — breaking barriers
Tuck Everlasting (2002) — breaking barriers
Up (2009) — progression against odds
Vertigo (1958) — learning to trust; best for adults
Wait Until Dark (1967) — being brave; best for adults
West Side Story (1961) — breaking barriers
What’s Up Doc? (1972) — seeing people deeper
While You Were Sleeping (1995) — learning to trust
White Christmas (1954) — fun and romance
White Fang (1991) — breaking barriers
Wizard of Oz (1939) — progression
You’ve Got Mail (1998) — progression

What we were looking for in movies for kids as they grew up:

  • Films that have tons of material to discuss – especially about what is right and what is wrong and how to resist wrongs that are embraced by so many others around you.
  • Movies and videos (YouTube, etc.) that build up rather than drag down, that uplift and inspire.
  • We avoided films which stated that our moral standards are silly or which encouraged us to become less than we should be.

We hope this answers your question and helps you understand us better and how to become a more effective family, create strong citizens, and have fun with our young adults.

And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

ocean-Hawaiian beach

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WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

——– End of WebCredits ——–

The Power Of Great Art!

The Power Of Great Art!

Reading List To Encourage Intellectual Exploring? Our Family’s Answer.

oceans-rialto-beachReader Question:
Dave, can you please provide a list of books that your family enjoyed and used as you “encouraged lots of intellectual exploring by reading widely”? Our family would truly appreciate whatever guidance you choose to give or titles you might suggest.

Family Answer:
Thanks for your question. Sincere, honest questions are always a good thing.

To gather an answer to your question, we talked to our adult kids, and here’s the list that we gathered. Note that this will be a living list, a living post, that we will add to over time as we remember other titles or learn of new ones that we wish to include.

MormonPanorama Reading List for Creating Strong Families (for children, youth, and young adults). These are for a general audience unless otherwise marked, and parents are encouraged to read beforehand and judge for themselves.

What we were looking for in books for kids as they grew up:

  • Books that have tons of material to discuss – especially about what is right and what is wrong and how to resist wrongs that are embraced by so many others around you.
  • Literature that builds up rather than drags down, that uplifts and inspires.
  • We avoided literature which stated that our moral standards are silly or which encouraged us to become less than we should be.

We hope this answers your question and helps you understand us better and how to become a more effective family, create strong citizens, and develop better young adults.

And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

oceans-emerald-island-beach

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WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, ocean-rialto-beach—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng
  • Photo, ocean-emerald-island-beach—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng

——– End of WebCredits ——–

They're Fermenting Rebellion...

They’re Fermenting Rebellion…

5 Secrets of Staying Clean

Have you ever been so grungy that you clearly felt unclean? In St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, in the days after Hurricane Katrina, I joined a group of volunteers to help people clean up and repair their homes in the communities of Covington and Mandeville on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain. It was grueling work, and we were truly grungy. We overnighted at a local church with no power and no shower facilities. Someone came up with the brilliant idea to make an outdoor camp shower by drooping a garden hose over the top of a fence as a makeshift shower. For modesty, tarps were thrown over the fences, allowing a couple hundred volunteers from a dozen states to take a decent shower. I was surprised that it felt so good to be clean after a long day of backbreaking labor—and from such a small and simple thing.

Staying Clean And Sober

Staying Clean And Sober

I remember a close friend who worked very hard to stay clean, a young father with five small children. He had severe substance abuse problems with various substances, but he had recently developed a deeper desire to conquer them, to really lick it this time. On one visit, we had just sat down to talk with Jason and his wife, when he interrupted, “How do you do it, Dave? How do you get us to feel these things?” After that, we opened our hearts to each other like never before, and our souls were knit together like brothers. Each time, we would plan our next visit, a week away or more often a month away, depending on what he felt he needed for support.  Sometimes, in the dead of night, he would just call me out of the blue and say, “Please come, Dave. I need your help. I need to stay clean.” These were some of my favorite moments, sitting and talking in the dark on the small stoop outside his home. But I simply could not go to see him often enough, and I looked forward to each visit with all my heart.

Getting Clean, Staying Clean

Getting Clean, Staying Clean

These experiences remind me of how I felt on the day I was baptized. I was eight years old, and I think I was prepared to understand its value. In the months leading up to it, I remember distinctly talking to some young friends who had been baptized recently about how if I were to do any big-time sinning, I had better do it quickly before I was baptized so that I could wash away all those wrongs. While I didn’t yet have the attitude that God wanted me to have in recognizing the sacrifices that His Son has made on my behalf, it was clear that I understood the meaning of the ordinance of baptism as a symbol of cleansed sins and living a new life.

So, here are some secrets of staying clean:

  1. Recognize the need to get clean.
  2. Commit to getting clean.
  3. Put yourself in situations/places where you may stay clean.
  4. Ask for clean help when you need it.
  5. Be honestly curious. Learn more about staying clean.

I have learned for myself the importance of getting clean and staying clean. For me, the symbolic cleansing of baptism is a vital part of me doing so. 

Alma Baptizing People (Mosiah 18:7-17)

Alma Baptizing People (Mosiah 18:7-17)

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Bonus Material:

1. Read or listen: Alma baptizing as people came into the church of Jesus Christ, Mosiah 18:7-17 (in The Book of Mormon)

2. Watch, listen, or read James E. Faust’s address regarding this sacred ordinance, entitled, “Born Again”. (Length: 18:02.)

3. Resources to stay clean from drugs (most towns have some great community resources; this is merely an example): http://www.louisvilledrugrehabs.com/rehab-types/staying-clean-from-drugs/

——– End of Bonus Material ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, Katrina volunteers—www. perfectplank.com/katrina.html
  • Photo, “Staying Clean And Sober”—www. louisvilledrugrehabs.com/rehab-types/staying-clean-from-drugs/
  • Photo Montage, “Getting Clean, Staying Clean”—blog. docsuggest.com/753/personal-hygiene-sofiya-sujad/
  • Illustration, “Alma Baptizing People”—www. lds.org/media-library/images/gospel-art/book-of-mormon?lang=eng#alma-baptizing-people-39653
  • Photo, “St. Tammany Katrina Clean-up”—www. nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2014/01/fema_canceling_disaster_loans.html

——– End of WebCredits ——–

St. Tammany Katrina Clean-up

St. Tammany Katrina Clean-up