Sunday, May 30, 2010

Honoring Our Parents

The 5th commandment reads: "Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12) We often hear how wise and smart the youth of today are and politicians regularly cater to the youth and even suggest that they often know more than their parents. Hmmm ... is this really true?

In my faith we are taught that before the world was created, Satan rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven (Rev 12:7-9 & Moses 4:1-4). It seems to me then that one of the first "sins" was someone who rebelled against our Father in Heaven (or other in words thought that he knew better than his father) and took many of our Father's spirit children with him. God let this happen. What does that tell us about Him?

It tells me that our Father in Heaven places a premium on agency and will allow his children to take the wrong path even if by doing so we will influence others to do the same. Agency is an eternal principle. On earth we have the same options. He allows us to choose. He gave us commandments and will speak to us through the Spirit, if we will listen, but He will not force us.

Getting back to the 5th commandment. Honoring our parents is obviously important. In fact, Malachi 4:6 states "And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Obviously, terrible things will happen if child/parent bonds are broken.

I believe that severing the bond between a child and his parents eliminates a steadying influence on the course of man and is a tool used by those who would subvert Heavenly Father's plan for man to retain his agency (or God given rights as discussed in the Declaration of Independence). The lack of reverence for our elders is one of the contributing factors in the seemingly unending cycle of history; where societies move from war, poverty and hardship to peace and prosperity and back again. If we would revere our parents and grandparents, respect their views and learn from them we could eliminate this cycle.

If we had remembered the lessons learned by our grandparents and great grandparents during the depression regarding thrift, would we be going through the financial turmoil we are in today? If we had listened to the cautionary words of our founding fathers regarding the dangers of an all powerful government would we have allowed our federal and state governments to grow to the point where we now have a tax rate and debt burden that threaten to bankrupt our nation and destroy the free market?

No! We were seduced by the siren of immediate pleasure and lured away from individual responsibility by the narcotic of government care. Now we are saddled with debt and a diminished ability to assume control of our lives.

My brother (Miki Mann) recently spoke at a GOP event in the Seattle area. The focus of his speech was "Moments of Clarity"; events which clear the fog which often enshrouds our lives and create a common understanding of what is really important. Pondering the impact of not honoring our parents provided such a moment for me.

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