Hi this is the talk I gave today for Father's day in
church. The saying goes that if want some advice on how to raise your
children, ask someone that doesn't have any children. That put us way
down the list on knowing how to raise kids. We have 9 children 32
grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. Even so we will give you a
few little ideas about teaching obedience and making your homes a
refuge of love, obedience and belonging.
LOVE AND WILLING OBEDIENCE IS A PROTECTION IN THE HOME,
MAKING IT A REFUGE OF COMFORT AND BELONING. WHERE CHILDREN AND PARENTS
CAN LEARN TOGETHER AND EXPAND THEIR CAPACITY TO LOVE THROUGH WILLING
When we fence a space be it a ranch or field or what
ever, we have several purposes in mind. First to encircle and protect
that which is precious within and so it can develop and grow without
being hindered or destroyed by the evil and destructive forces
Second: to keep evil and destructive forces out and we
usually have a gate to permit entrance and exit. Usually the gate is
operated by the owner of the property who decides what is to come in
and what is to go out.
Many years ago Uncle Loren Taylor was head of the
fencing crew that was fencing the ranch around the lake. I went out to
visit with him and help him and especially learn about fencing.
He explained that the corners were very important the
corner had to be made with big long posts chosen for the purpose and
were buried deep. He used one big post in the corner with a post about
3feet away on one side and another going the other way about 3 feet on
the other side. Then he would brace these two posts to the corner post
very securely forming a very solid corner of the fence.
In our families we can have a good solid corner by
using the Savior as the corner post and the mother and the father on
each side braced solidly to the Savior and his Gospel.
Uncle Loren said that the wires were placed on the
inside of the posts because we want to keep the cattle in for their
protection. The cattle don't know that inside the fence they have
plenty of feed and water and are watched over by the cowboy. If they
should get out they may not find their way back where they have food
and water and the protection of the cowboy. The cowboy as soon as he
finds the tracks going out must go out and bring them back not through
the fence but through the gate and repair the broken fence.
In our homes we can build fences of love and obedience
to keep our families in where there is plenty of food and water and
the protection of the parents. If one of the family strays out of the
fence we must all go out and bring the back through the gate and
repair the fence.
When we first started ranching we would go to round up
the cattle and we needed about ten cowboys mounted on good horses to
round up the cattle and especially when we wanted to drive them into
the corral we really had a time and met with much resistance, they
would break out and run away and become very difficult.
Fathers when we try to drive or force our families to
do the things we want them to do we will meet with resistance and some
will try to break out and run away.
Our son Kiko devised a plan to put a lane all around
the lake leaving gates at intervals where the cattle trails came down
to water. This would enable us to handle the cattle easily a few at
time or all at once. On our round ups, after the lane was made, we
would spread out at the head of the ranch away from the lake and
gently start the cattle down to the lake where they wanted to go to
water. We would let them take their own pace to water following
behind. When all were down around the lake drinking we would close all
of the gates on the upper side of the lane. When the cattle were
through drinking they wanted to return to their feeding grounds so
they willingly left the water and went back up toward the lane and
soon they found themselves going willingly down the straight and
narrow lane into the corral. We could handle the cattle easily with a
couple of cowboys because we were helping them to go where they wanted
to go. Within the guidelines of the straight and narrow fences of the
lane they became tame and obedient.
One of the guidelines of teaching our children to obey
might be to devise a way to get them, through love and desire of
approval, to want to go willingly into the straight and narrow way of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must watch our opportunity to teach
obedience when our children are ready and willing to obey even in the
little things. This can best be done by showing our love for them and
giving them a desire to obey because of love and wanting to please and
We took two couples and their small children to the
mountains and camped with them a couple of days. I was interested in
noting the difference between the methods of teaching of the couples.
One couple had a little girl about three and half years old. They were
constantly telling her no don't do that and come back here, right now!
The little girl paid no attention until the father began to count one
two three. She would wait until the last count of three then obey
grudgingly. I don't know what she was threatened with at the count of
three but apparently she did. She had learned by constant repetition
that she didn't need to heed until the threat of the count of three. I
saw a constant battle of wills between the parents and the child
because she was taught disobedience by receiving so much attention by
making an issue of each command. She was taught a role and she played
The other couple also had a little girl about the same
age and when she started to do something that she shouldn't the father
or the mother would usually say let me help you with that. Or Just a
minute and Daddy will go with you whereupon the child would willingly
obey and wait in anticipation of going with her daddy to do what she
wanted to do and felt the love and approval of her parents. She obeyed
willingly in many things because she felt no need to rebel because of
the threat of punishment. Now that little girl can do many things
knowing that she has the approval of her parents and knows what they
will disapprove of and she wants their approval and the good feeling
that comes with willing obedience.
Another instance was we were visiting some people and a
young couple had a very active little girl who delighted in getting
into everything. That poor little lady was constantly hearing no,
don't do that, no, no. don't. No matter what she started to do the
parents especially the mother would say no don't do that, even though
they didn't even know what she intended to do. I think she heard no!
hundreds of times a day. In contrast I saw the grandfather of that
little girl, when that same little girl started to climb upon the
table or the piano or to get into something, he would pick her up and
throw her in the air and cover her with kisses when she came down. I
saw this little girl smile and laugh and throw her arms around her
grandpa. Then her grandpa would help her accomplish what she wanted to
do in a way that was not mischief. When she was not supposed to do a
certain thing the loving way of her grandpa made her forget about
doing wrong things and she would settle down quietly for awhile.
I was riding along on the ranch one day and I saw a
mother quail and her tiny little chicks running along behind her. The
mother would stop and eat and all of the little ones would gather
around to learn what was good to eat. Suddenly the mother quail
sounded some warning clucks and ran under a protective bush. The
little quail all immediately ran and hid under her where she protected
them with her body and wings. Just as they got to safety a hungry hawk
swooped down and landed just outside the protection of the bush. I
rode up and scared the hawk away but the mother quail would not move
as long as the hungry hawk circled above in the sky waiting for her to
come out. I hate to think of what might have happened if some of those
little quail had waited for the mother to count to three before
obeying her warning clucks.
We could learn a lesson from the baby quail and learn
to obey instantly and without question. Not waiting to consider the
threat of punishment or the count of three. Let us obey because of
love and approval and because we want to do that which is right. Then
we can know that wonderful feeling of willing obedience.
When I was a young boy I made a collection of birds
nests and eggs. I had collected many different birds nests and their
eggs but I thought I needed to find the nest of an Eagle and collect
it's eggs. I had seen a pair of Eagles circling around the wave
mountain out southeast of the Lake. I prepared to go and see if I
could find their nest I road horse back one morning early and rode up
to the foot of the cliff. I could see a small cave up near the top and
some Buzzards flew out of it so I dismounted and began to climb up to
where the little cave was. I finally made it up to the ledge where the
little cave was and started to crawl into the cave. I could see two
little Turkey Buzzards and an egg in the nest at the back of the cave.
I decided to get the egg and maybe a little Buzzard for a pet. As I
crawled toward those little buzzards they suddenly began to hiss and
vomited up a pile of awful smelling, rotten meat. Wow! what a smell! I
got sick to my stomach and my eyes began to water and sting. I backed
out of that cave so fast that I almost fell off the ledge. Those
little Buzzards were well trained and well prepared with a very
effective protection against all invaders.
We cannot prepare our children and young people with
that kind of protection of strong smelling meat but we can prepare
them with a knowledge of the Gospel and a strong Testimony of the Lord
Jesus Christ that will protect them against all evil invaders.
May we all prepare our homes and lives with good strong
fences with the corner post being the Savior Jesus Christ. May we lead
our families into the straight and narrow lane that leads to the gate
of the Celestial kingdom. The best way to do this is by example and
leading through love and obedience to the principles of the Gospel. We
must be an example of willing obedience to the Teachings of Christ or
we can never teach what we do not do.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai and saw the
revelry and the evil of the children of Israel worshipping the Golden
Calf he was so disappointed and angry that he threw down the stone
tablets dashing them to pieces on the rocks. The Children of Israel
had been in bondage for 400 years and knew nothing about obedience
except the lash of the whip and the force of the Egyptians. So when
the Lord gave Moses a new set of laws they were the negative laws of
Thou Shalt Not. With detailed instruction of exactly what to do and
the punishment for disobedience. Even with all of the miracles
performed in their behalf and the threat of punishment they could not
learn obedience through love of the Lord and because it was the right
thing to do.
When the Savior Jesus Christ came to earth in humility
and fulfilled the law of Moses and gave in it's stead the law of love
and obedience through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ then the positive
way of obedience was instituted. The law that Jesus taught seemed
almost to contradict the harsh law of Moses. The teaching of "Do unto
others as you would be done by". Was very different from the law of
"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth".
In teaching a Horse to obey the bit we must first help
him to understand what is wanted. Then by gentle persuasion and
repetition he can learn to obey the slightest touch and every desire.
If we use force when he is not ready he becomes confused and will
become angry and rebellious. Sometimes we expect children to know what
we mean and be ready to obey when they really don't know what is
expected of them. We need to make obedience become a pleasant
experience. Sometimes they receive disapproval for what they think is
obedience. Many times they get more attention for disobedience than
they do for obedience so they learn disobedience. Disobedience can
become a fun little game for a child. Many times they get so many
negative demands that they cease to listen and get in the habit of not
paying attention to what is being said. If children are threatened for
disobedience with threats that they know will not be carried out, they
soon learn that the parent doesn't mean what they say.
Our homes can become a safe refuge and place where
everyone wants to come to enjoy love and companionship. Where they can
be respected and belong as an important member of and eternal