Should I feel guilty?

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Minyan Man
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by Minyan Man » 13 Apr 2019, 10:53

grobert93 wrote:
13 Apr 2019, 07:12
...This is what I have been struggling to live by since I went on a mission. The mission showed me how toxic my childhood was despite doing all the "right" things (baptism, priesthood, Eagle Scout, seminary, mission). Coming home from my mission I fell back into the toxic trap and went off to college after a year. I am now married to someone who was also in a toxic family environment and did not have the gospel support. So having such a different perspective in my new marriage helps me to realize that just because I had all the blessings of the gospel doesn't mean I was going to feel happy.
grobert93, I would be interested to hear what changes you & your wife will make to help your lives be happier.
My brother (who is not a member) and I have talked about the changes we consciously made to make our lives & our "family life" better.
This isn't presented as a "one solution" fits all. For example, we were raised in the '50 & '60 in the Midwest. Ancient history, I know.
Your situation may be different.

For example,
- We decided to be open with our affection for our children & (now) their families. Lots of hugs, kisses & "I love you's"
- We openly talk about issues in our lives & ask for suggestions or opinions.
- We freely admit that we don't have all the answers or that we are not perfect or that we need help.

grobert93
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by grobert93 » 13 Apr 2019, 11:26

Minyan Man wrote:
13 Apr 2019, 10:53
grobert93 wrote:
13 Apr 2019, 07:12
...This is what I have been struggling to live by since I went on a mission. The mission showed me how toxic my childhood was despite doing all the "right" things (baptism, priesthood, Eagle Scout, seminary, mission). Coming home from my mission I fell back into the toxic trap and went off to college after a year. I am now married to someone who was also in a toxic family environment and did not have the gospel support. So having such a different perspective in my new marriage helps me to realize that just because I had all the blessings of the gospel doesn't mean I was going to feel happy.
grobert93, I would be interested to hear what changes you & your wife will make to help your lives be happier.
My brother (who is not a member) and I have talked about the changes we consciously made to make our lives & our "family life" better.
This isn't presented as a "one solution" fits all. For example, we were raised in the '50 & '60 in the Midwest. Ancient history, I know.
Your situation may be different.

For example,
- We decided to be open with our affection for our children & (now) their families. Lots of hugs, kisses & "I love you's"
- We openly talk about issues in our lives & ask for suggestions or opinions.
- We freely admit that we don't have all the answers or that we are not perfect or that we need help.
Well, a lot of what we have chosen to do is based off of what we wish we grew up doing. Open communication. Having safe space to vent and to calm down if anxious. Every voice is valid. Emotions are valid. A lot of accepting of the reality of being imperfect. Not assigning topics as taboo such as sexual concerns, conflicting gospel interests, etc. Challenging each other to owe up to our responsibility as adults. Etc.

Some more unique things we try to live by include not assigning expectations based on gender or culture. We openly share responsibilities and treat our marriage as if both of us were critical. No "mom works in the kitchen, dad works in the garage" stuff. And no "mom takes care of the kids and dad goes to work" either. These expectations are harmful to us and we avoid them. if we don't feel up to going to church, we don't go and we find something to help our emotions feel relaxed. Etc

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SilentDawning
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by SilentDawning » 13 Apr 2019, 14:49

Minyan Man wrote:
24 Mar 2019, 20:01
In Priesthood today, we had a lesson that centered on a talk from the last General Conference.
(It doesn't matter which talk it was.) On of the quotes used in the lesson from David O McKay.
You all know what it is. Say it along with me..."No other success compensates for failure in the home."
I would of liked to ask the question: what constitutes for failure in the home?

The reason I ask, we became inactive shortly after our children were baptised. We didn't go to church again until
they were through college, married & had children of their own. All (3) of them are members of other faiths now.
They are reasonably happy, fulfilled, good partners to their spouse, good parents & decent all round human beings.
I loved them beyond words. Also, I consider them to be good friends to their Mother & me. We ask their opinions
on a regular basis.

I refuse to feel guilty that they are not in the LDS church. Or, that they didn't marry in the temple. Or, that they
didn't go on a mission, etc. So I go back to the questions:
- What constitutes "failure in the home"?
- Should I feel guilty that our family doesn't measure up the the "ideal" family presented by the church? (whatever that is.)
To me, failure in the home is the inability to create loving relationships and children who become productive citizens. This would have to be due to parental inattention or abuse to become a "failure in the home", although I wouldn't call it that.

I don't consider your children choosing a different religious path a form of failure at all. If they are happy, productive, and good citizens, then I would consider your parenting successful. And even if they weren't happy, productive or good citizens, I still wouldn't go straight to calling your parenting a failure.

It's hard to tell how much of dysfunction is due to parental inattention or abuse. You have many families where the parents do all the right things but the children or a single child chooses to rebel. You have some families where the parents are derelict but where the children react to it and live healthy lives (although less common in my view).

I think leaders have to be careful about assigning blame to parents. In my own family, my daughter emerged pretty together from a gospel and general perspective. My son, not so much at this point although he is improving, and not fully developed yet. He has the seeds of greatness, if he chooses to nurture them. But he refused the priesthood at 12, and LDS parents blamed us saying "it depends whether family home evening and scripture study is happening". I countered that if that was the only variable, then why is my daughter so on point with the gospel? That shut that person up, and the person next to him agreed. He has now accepted the priesthood and is now a priest...

Members want so desperately, some of them, to understand the world, and hang success in it on a few variables (like holding a TR, FHE and family prayer/scripture study) they oversimplify.

I think there is no fixed definition of failure in the home. I do think that parents who sexually abuse their children, abuse them physically, tear them down intentionally (their self-esteem), and neglect them, when they could provide for them, would qualify as not being successful. But what constitutes failure beyond outright neglect and abuse is a complex question that would need to be decided on a case by case basis.

My mother induced very weak self-esteem in me when I was a teenager. I was smart, good looking, socially competent, talented, yet emerged with extremely low self-esteem and anxiety. Was my mother a failure as a parent? She was an orphan, sexually abused by the family who adopted her, and then emerged as a productive citizen, although worried about everything all the time. She was unkind and beat me a lot when she felt I misbehaved. My father was inattentive as he tried to provide for the family, but he tried with canoe trips, hiking trips, family vacations, and always took us to church. They provided religious instruction in the home. They provided a decent standard of living and many opportunities.

My father's father was an alcoholic and his mother was always in the hospital and therefore rather absent. They were very poor.

My mother invested in my learning as a child, cared for my physical needs, medical attention, etcetera. She later apologized for the angry beatings because she said that was how she was disciplined. And at the time, thought that was how it was done.

Can you call that a failure or a success? It's complex, as you look into the backgrounds of my parents. Neither had great upbringing, but they definitely improved upon the upbringing they came from. I would call that success notwithstanding the failings.

I think it's a continuum, success or failure in the home, and the assessment needs to be made in the context of the parent's upbringing and resources. And allowance needs to be made for the personalities of the children too.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by DarkJedi » 13 Apr 2019, 17:34

I do dumb things when I get bored. I did a little research on the original quote, oft attributed to DOM. McKay did say it in General Conference April 1935, but he was quoting one J.E. McCulloch (not a member). McKay repeated the quote in April 1964. The quote is as follows:
“The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home”
I think that adds a little context. Activity or inactivity in the church would seem to have had little to do with it.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Minyan Man
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by Minyan Man » 13 Apr 2019, 17:50

DJ, you got farther than I did. Thanks for the effort.

Minyan Man
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by Minyan Man » 06 May 2019, 17:36

This past weekend, two of my youngest Grandchildren had their 1st Communion in the Catholic church. This is the first time I've been to
a Catholic service in a long time. It was very interesting. I forgot about all the sitting, standing, kneeling & sitting again. Our participation
was the sitting part. It was a beautiful day. They have very nice friends, family, other Professors & teachers from the University.
The only thing that was different from an LDS gathering was they served wine. We drank the soda.

It was a good time & I didn't feel guilty once.

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nibbler
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by nibbler » 07 May 2019, 05:22

That reminds me of something I saw years ago:

Image
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

Roy
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by Roy » 07 May 2019, 09:27

DarkJedi wrote:
13 Apr 2019, 17:34
“The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home”
Looking at the quote in this context it seems to be saying ... Nothing can take the place of the parental and family role in rearing and teaching children. No other successful program (not head start, ready for kindergarden, pre-school, school sports programs, cub nor girl scouts, music programs, not debate team, scared straight, reform school, peace corps, nor neighborhood watch programs, etc.) can fully compensate for or fully recover from the lack of the parental and family role in rearing and teaching children in their formative years.

Fascinating!
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

LadyofRadiantJoy
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by LadyofRadiantJoy » 17 May 2019, 20:52

grobert93 wrote:
13 Apr 2019, 07:12
LadyofRadiantJoy wrote:
12 Apr 2019, 21:05
The way we talk about it at church it is taken to mean that success is sons going on missions, children marrying in temples, staying active, serving in callings and paying tithing and all that stuff. Yet, you can raise children who do all of that stuff and have bad relationships with your children. Parents can raise children to be stoically faithful all their lives, while being abusive parents. No one wants to talk about that because only "righteous" parents can raise children so faithful. I have known people at church who experienced child abuse but then say, "but hey, at least all of us kids had the gospel and went on children" which totally minimizes the very real pain they experienced. It's really sad.
This is what I have been struggling to live by since I went on a mission. The mission showed me how toxic my childhood was despite doing all the "right" things (baptism, priesthood, Eagle Scout, seminary, mission). Coming home from my mission I fell back into the toxic trap and went off to college after a year. I am now married to someone who was also in a toxic family environment and did not have the gospel support. So having such a different perspective in my new marriage helps me to realize that just because I had all the blessings of the gospel doesn't mean I was going to feel happy.
All the feels there. I'm glad you and your wife communicated about what you wished you two had so you can do your best to make it happen.

(and I don't know why my original post you quoted says "went on children" not "went on missions")
Roy wrote:
07 May 2019, 09:27
DarkJedi wrote:
13 Apr 2019, 17:34
“The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home”
Looking at the quote in this context it seems to be saying ... Nothing can take the place of the parental and family role in rearing and teaching children. No other successful program (not head start, ready for kindergarden, pre-school, school sports programs, cub nor girl scouts, music programs, not debate team, scared straight, reform school, peace corps, nor neighborhood watch programs, etc.) can fully compensate for or fully recover from the lack of the parental and family role in rearing and teaching children in their formative years.

Fascinating!
I think it's also saying in that context is if you don't bother teaching your children but you are hella successful at work and business or other pursuits, none of that makes up for not paying attention to your kids.

I love the original context.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Should I feel guilty?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 May 2019, 21:14

That original context changes the entire message. Soundbites usually distort intended meaning, and this is a great example.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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