Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Tag: LDS

Sabbath Message: Whom Will Ye Serve?

“[C]hoose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).family-walking-along-beach-1117003-print

I’m not sharing this scripture because it is my favorite, or because it changed my life when I memorized it in Seminary. I think this is one of my dad’s favorite scriptures, and I remember enjoying it when I read it for the first time in Seminary. But it’s never been one of those scriptures that stuck with me. It’s never been my go-to scripture.family-prayer

Although it has never been that scripture for me, someday I want it to be one of the most applicable and meaningful scriptures in my repertoire. Someday, when I have a family with little children who depend on me for so much—I will want this scripture to have meaning. When I have a family I will teach my children the gospel of Christ. I will teach them right from wrong. I will train and guide them in all that they need to know. I will teach them who to serve. When I have a family, we will serve the Lord.

—Shelby Olsen, Stance

Wedding Wednesday: Kid Questions

The excitement is building; I am officially counting down the days now. In a little over two weeks my fiancée and I are getting married in the Salt Lake Temple! He feels like it’s not coming soon enough, I feel like the time is whizzing by.

Today, instead of talking about wedding planning, I’d like to talk about something that I will have to start thinking about in the near future; when to have kids. My fiancée and I have only talked about it occasionally, and it was only the basic questions like: “how many kids do you want?” or “what should we name our kids?” We haven’t really talked about it seriously yet, but I imagine that time will be coming soon. It’s a question that all married couples have to face and eventually decide on.

A couple weeks ago, my cousin told my fiancée and I not to have kids until he had a secure job. At the time we just smiled and didn’t say anything, but I was inwardly upset. Not only was it not her place to say, but also in the LDS faith we are taught that having children is part of God’s plan, and that families are essential to our salvation. I have often heard from Church leaders that couples should not necessarily wait until they are financially secure to have children. I knew that my cousin had heard the same testimonies on the subject so I was confused as to why she would say that to us.

I had to take a step back and think about where my cousin was coming from. My cousin grew up in a home where her father came from a well-to-do family and was already secure in his job when he married her mom. Taking this step back, I could see her perspective and knew that she sincerely had our best interests at heart.

While my cousin’s advice was logical, it is not up to her, the rest of my family, nor my friends, or really anyone, to decide when my fiancée and me have children. The decision when to have kids and how many should be between the spouses and the Lord. When making this decision, and really any important decision, it is necessary to consult with each other and pray to the Lord about the decision. By doing this we invite the Lord to be a part of the marriage and have a hand in it.422661_433475463356702_1883829178_n

Just as we wouldn’t want to be judged, it is important not to be judgmental of other couples based on how many or how few kids they have. No one really understands their specific situation, only the Lord does. The Lord is the judge of mankind, not us. Many times it may be difficult for a couple to bear children, and it would be unfair to judge them. Remember, it is not anyone else’s business; it is solely between husband, wife, and the Lord.

I personally cannot wait to start a family and I am so ecstatic to be a mother. Families are essential to society, and most notably to the children that are brought into it.

By Bryn Adams

My Brother’s Mission: What I Did Not Expect

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by Arianne Glick

Whatever I expected to happen when my brother left on his mission, I didn’t expect this.

I expected it to be about the same as when I left home for college: an increase of distance and a decrease of contact.

I expected that I would miss him, but I also expected that I’d be too busy most of the time to dwell on it.  I expected that he would change a bit, and that the time would fly by.  I expected that this would be his “best two years,” and I expected that the spiritual growth he gained would impact the rest of his life.

What I did not expect was the pain that I would feel every time I wanted to call him and tell him a funny story.  I did not expect that, even with an increasingly busy schedule, memories of him would pop into my head no matter how inopportune the timing, or that my new favorite question would be “How’s your brother?” because of the free brother-bragging license it provided.  I did not expect that my favorite letters from him would not be the ones that detailed profound spiritual experiences, but rather the ones where pieces of the old him were visible. I did not expect that the first 6 months could feel like 6 weeks and 6 years, or that the first Christmas he was gone would be my best because I got to talk to him and my worst because the conversation had to end.

I expected that it would be a little tough when my brother served a mission.

I did not expect it to be excruciating, eye-opening, heartbreaking, and wonderful. And I did not expect that his spiritual growth would push similar growth in me.

My brother is my only sibling.  He’s always been one of my best friends – even during the times that I thought I might hate him.  He’s my brother, my younger brother, my only brother.  I have always expected myself to be his example, the one that he looked up to.

I never expected that I would be the one looking up to him.

But I’m starting to realize that my expectations never come close to what God expects for me, and I’ve never been more grateful for anything in my entire life.