Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reproving Betimes with Sharpness

The scripture that has offered me the most day-to-day guidance in my life is D&C 121: 41-44. Although it may be the recipe for properly using priesthood authority, I also view it as the proper behavior for parenting. Perhaps, the role of mother is actually an office of the priesthood too?

The topic of guidance and discipline is one of the hardest for me to implement with a typical 2 year old. The scripture provides insight in how to do so yet I have been most confused by how does one "reprov[e] betimes with sharpness?" The footnote offers some more clarity (how's that for a pun) as it states that sharpness in this case refers more to the concept of clarity used in photography. The opposite of clarity in that sense is blur. When reproving, the directions we give or chastising ought not to be unclear, muddy or incomprehensible.

I have tried to do this in my parenting and I'm pleased to report a success it in. Like usual, the two year old and I were struggling about naptime. He doesn't like but he needs it. That day I was able to gently, without getting frustrated or losing patience, get him to his room for a nap and clearly stated the purpose of his time in there. When he awoke (or when a sufficient time had passed and I heard him making noise again), I greeted him. We talked briefly and he happily got up to continue his play. As I walked down the stairs behind him, I wondered, "Did I do the scripture? Did I reprove with sharpness (clarity) without maintaining power by the virtue of my status as "the parent? And then show an increase of love?" I felt the comforting assurance from the Spirit that I had. I need to feel that more often in relation to my efforts at parenting.

That experience has led me to want to memorize that scripture. Here I am going to attempt to state it from memory and as I continue to work on it, hopefully there will be some improvement.

Oct 6, 1am:
"No power or dominion ought to be maintained by the power of the priesthood, only by persuasion, gentleness, meekness and love unfeigned. Reproving betimes with sharpness and afterwards showing an increase in love."

--Close, but missing verse 42 and 44 completely.

"No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by the virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by gentleness and meekness and love unfeigned; by kindness and pure knowledge that greatly enlargeth the soul without guile. Reproving betimes with sharpness when moved upon by the power of the Holy Ghost and afterwards showing forth an increase in love so he does not esteem thee as his enemy."

--Still missing verse 44. Missing long suffering, without hypocrisy, and to him you have reproved.



















Oct 7 11:04 pm (I found I need to create blank space between so I can't see the previous attempt)
"No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by the virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by gentleness and meekness and by love unfeigned. By kindness and by pure truth without guile. Reproving betimes with sharpness and showing afterward an increase of love to him who you have reproved so he does not esteem thee to he his enemy, but that you will be faithful until the end of your days."





11:20 pm
"No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by the virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by gentleness and meekness and by love unfeigned. By kindness and pure knowledge which doth greatly enlarge the soul with _______ and without guile. Reproving betimes with sharpness, being moved upon by the Holy Ghost and afterwards showing forth an increase of love to him who have reproved so he doth not esteem thee to be his enemy so that he may know that they faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death."

Closer, I'll try again tomorrow night.

Oct 9
I think I have it:
"No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by the virtue of the priesthood, but only be persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness and love unfeigned. By kindness and pure knowledge which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile. Reproving betimes with sharpness when moved upon by the Holy Ghost and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love to him {whom} thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy {-so} that he may know thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death."

Missing one word and adding another. Not too bad. Should I also work on memorizing the correct punctuation? Maybe tomorrow night.

1 comment:

Kevin at Utah eBikes said...

I think you have some clear ideas on the role of parents. Difficult to implement. I thought of this scripture after reading this article by Alfie Kohn: http://www.alfiekohn.org/parenting/conditional.htm

Great job at applying the scriptures!