Friday, May 10, 2013

“It mattereth not unto me”

In 2007, Elder Bednar gave an address in which he talked about an important pattern from the scriptures. Watch the clip and hear what he says.

clip should play from 19:50 to 21:37

The essential thing was the work they had been called to perform; how they got there was important but was not essential.
If you're a new mom looking for information on any parenting topic, you're sure to find a whole heap of advice out there. Since becoming a new mom myself, I discovered that I'm not a low maintenance kind of mother. If things are going well, and my Nathaniel is content, clean, and well fed, I'm fine. But if something appears to be wrong, I will google the tar out of the subject until I find some useful tools to help me or my baby cope.

It's a wonderful blessing to have so much information at our fingertips, but there's a downside. Parenting is one of those things that people tend to feel really strongly about, and sometimes you find parents who have made it their crusade to rid the world of one "bad" parenting strategy or another. All too often I find myself panicking that I'm going to seriously mess up my kid if I make the wrong decisions. "Don't you know that your child is going to be an emotional train wreck if you read him books about red wagons? The only right way to have an emotionally well-balanced baby is to read him books about blue wagons!" (You know the kind of argument I'm talking about?)

Thankfully, I've found some excellent resources that have taught me that really, when it comes down to it, so many things "mattereth not". Even some seemingly big things.

For example, I've been reading a book called "French Kids Eat Everything". It's a memoir of one woman's experience moving to France and discovering a whole different style of teaching kids how to eat. Like, kids should always eat meals at a specific time and not snack inbetween. This also includes infants being fed on a strict schedule.

In America, we tend to find this shocking. Shouldn't babies be fed whenever they are hungry? Well, it seems that the French don't think so. To them its more important that the baby learn to eat full meals than that their baby never feel hunger. Their approach certainly has its drawbacks (and benefits), but feeding babies on-demand also has its drawbacks (and benefits).

Elder Bednar goes on to teach:
“I, the Lord, am willing, if any among you desire, to ride upon horses, or upon mules, or in chariots, he shall receive this blessing, if he receive it from the hand of the Lord, with a thankful heart in all things.

“These things remain with you to do according to judgment and the directions of the Spirit.

“Behold, the kingdom is yours. And behold, and lo, I am with the faithful always. Even so. Amen” (D&C 62:7–9; italics added).

The principal issues in this episode are not horses, mules, or chariots; rather, they are gratitude, judgment, and faithfulness. Please note the basic elements in this pattern: (1) a thankful heart in all things; (2) act according to judgment and the directions of the Spirit; and (3) the Savior is with the faithful always. Can we begin to sense the direction and assurance, the renewal and strength that can come from following this simple pattern for inspired and righteous judgment?
The real question is not, "Which feeding style is the only true and right way to feed a baby?" The real question in my opinion is, "Which combination of benefits and drawbacks is the one I want for me and my child?"

This second question requires righteous judgement and seeking out the directions of the Spirit. And so we'll need to have a thankful heart (not a panicky one) and we'll need to be faithful so the Savior will be with us.

The essential thing for me as a mom, is to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of my children. How I do that is important, but not essential. And honestly, it brings me real peace to know that in the long run so many decisions about how I raise my children "mattereth not".


  1. A wise woman once said...... :-)

  2. Um... you are kind of brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

  3. It makes me happy to watch you in this new adventure of parenting. He's one lucky little boy to have the two of you!

  4. The best advice I ever heard about parenting come from our Stake President. He told a couple in our ward at a ward counsel meeting that the best thing they could do in raising their son was love and respect each other and the Lord. Stay true and faithful to their covenants with the Lord and everything will work out for the good. Don't sweat the small stuff. You have all the knowledge you need to raise your child. You have the best example of that in your parents and grandparents. Love your new adventure, love your quest for knowledge, Love that your a wonderful mother. Love you too.