One of the great problems I see among the youth (and that I personally experienced) is the phenomena I will call split personality. Growing up I was repeatedly asked, "What did I want to be when I grow up?" I learned by first or second grade that any answer was acceptable except for one, I should not say, "mother." I learned how to answer other questions asked like, "How was the world created?" I also learned I was supposed to give the answer, "mother" at church and home. Thus I had a set of answers for school and a completely different set of answers to the same questions at home and church. This may eventually lead us to become a totally different person in each situation. I see this "split personality"manifested among the youth at a whole new level than even I experienced. Satan is ramping up his game well!
I have talked regularly to my children about being the same person no matter where they are. However, within the Leadership Education circles I am starting to see the split personality creeping in among the "leaders." Recently I listened to several seminars and read a book that all are promoting this. In the TJEd world it is called, "Finding Your Mission." Youth are encouraged to seek out finding what their "mission" is. Often it is not expected to be discovered until the youth are a little older, but an ongoing fascination exists in that it is all the talk while the youth are in scholar phase. One seminar I listed to said, "Nothing will be more satisfying in your life than figuring out what your mission is and then having the courage to fulfill it."
You may be wondering why I see a problem in this. It is simple. We have already had our missions revealed to us. We are to be mothers and fathers. Of course I know in the TJEd world that they encourage motherhood. I appreciate that, it is certainly different than public education, BUT, motherhood is still considered a side note. In the book I recently read the woman (who is a high profiled TJEd leader) cried to her husband that wasn't she created for something more that to change poopy diapers and clean up vomit? When was she going to be able to embrace her mission? Her husband lovingly told her, that he was sure it would be soon.
I fear these statements convey to our youth that there is something more to life than parenthood. It would seem that being a mother is just one of the things you do in this life. Somehow, you must be defined by something else though. This would be a potentially lifelong dedication to a "mission." I believe this is misleading. Consider this:
- Heavenly Father chooses to be called Father.
- His work and His Glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. This means ongoing parenting.
- Keeping our First Estate enabled us to have bodies and procreate.
- Godhood is Eternal Parenthood.
- If we qualify for Exaltation we will be granted the ability to have a "continuation of seed."
- Those not qualifying for Exaltation will be impotent, even those obtaining the lower two degrees of the Celestial Kingdom will be denied the right of continuation of seed.
The noise of this world is LOUD. It is hard to hear the voice of the Father calling us to this high calling. Satan, the father of lies, is louder than God, telling us we were made for something more or better. It takes great faith to turn off the tantalizing noise of the world and tune into the sweet, still small voice of the Spirit. I have come to personally know for myself that great blessings come from turning off the noise. I am hearkening to the voice of the Lord and I am just beginning to have a glimpse of His wonderful and majestic plan. It is more holy and more awe inspiring than anything that Satan can counterfeit.
Perhaps along the way many of us will do great things. I suspect we will. We are the last laborers in the vineyard. We were saved and reserved because we were the best of the best. I simply say that in all our doing we must make sure that being mother remains our priority AND we teach this to our children.
There are times when we will literally parent 24/7. Then there will come a time that we will have more "time" on our hands. Perhaps at this stage we may ask, "How can I help build the kingdom?" "How can I further work on my parenting skills, which really comes down to bringing souls to Christ?" I would suggest that Relief Society and focusing on the Three Fold Mission of the Church would provide untold service opportunities.
As I have extra time I have sought out my faithful Relief Society Presidents through the years and asked for extra assignments. It is through the Relief Society (which is under the Priesthood) that my surplus of time and talents are dedicated. Through the years I have been given many extra opportunities to serve in this way. I have learned that "there are chances for good all around." My talents are used to build the kingdom, but it hasn't come in the way I have often wanted. It has come as I have worked under the direction of my husband and within the ward. There is more than enough to do in my family and ward to fill my time and build the kingdom. I am simply saying I don't need to go "find a mission," I simply need to live my mission already given to me. "There is work enough to do ere the sun goes down," and Zion needs to be built. We further that cause by submitting to our role of mother/nurturer. We further the work of the Father by striving to be mothers who also partake in the Father's work to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
So in a nutshell perhaps we could change the message to our youth to be, "Nothing with be more satisfying in your life than realizing that your mission is to be a mom/dad and then having the courage to reject Babylon's message that there is something more important than fulfilling your family roles."