January: Matthew 2; Luke 2
In Matthew 2:13-23 we read about Joseph having an angel warn him to take the infant Christ to Egypt so as not to be killed by Herod. When it is safe to return, he is again told which way to return to avoid any further danger by Herod’s violent son Archelaus. There was no external sign of threat when Joseph was told this, and no way he could see the events of the future, but he trusted the word he was given and fled with Mary and the babe.
In the same way, today righteous parents can be forewarned of dangers to their children. In October 2018 in his talk “Parents and Children”, Dallin Oaks quoted Pres. Nelson about the importance of mothers in protecting their children, which can be applied to both parents. ““Today, … we need [parents] who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world. We need [parents] who are devoted to shepherding God’s children along the covenant path toward exaltation; [parents] who know how to receive personal revelation, who understand the power and peace of the temple endowment; [parents] who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families; [parents] who teach fearlessly.”
Although there may be times the Lord does not intercede, as we listen to the spirit and teach our children the truth, we will feel inspired in our choices. My husband puts computer systems in hospitals which means we have moved a lot. With only my two youngest at home, we relocated to the Northwest. We had looked at several homes that we liked but next door to a member of the ward, we saw an old, stinky, little house filled with cats and couldn’t get it out of our minds. Each time we prayed, both my husband and I felt we should move to the “cat” house. So, with much trepidation, we bought the place and a used RV which we shared with our two children still at home, while we renovated.
The attic was gabled, and we left it open and built a curtained berth for our daughter out of a large closet, but otherwise, she shared a room with her brother. We had a lovely yard, got chickens and goats, and living there became quite pleasant, but I didn’t realize the blessing until later. I didn’t know that my teenage son had been struggling with appropriate screen usage. Buying this house gave him no privacy and allowed him to make important changes that prepared him for the temple and going on a mission.
At times our personal revelation may not make sense, but if we feel inspired, we should act and have faith. This does not mean that our children won’t make alternative choices later in life despite our best efforts, but it does give us an added tool in lifting and loving our children. Like with Mary and Joseph, the Lord will assist us with our sacred trust to raise our children in truth if we listen to the promptings given.