Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hope For The Future

Valerie J. Steimle

Last week, my sweet mother-in-law sent this quote to me and I find great comfort in these words. Harold B. Lee, the eleventh president and our prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints said these words back some time in the 70’s. Presently, we are experiencing such trial and tribulation in our country, this message gives me great hope. We will get through these troubled times where men want to destroy our Constitution and our great nation. It pains me to hear the news of what our so-called legislative leaders want to force through the infrastructure of our country all in the name of improving our welfare, when we know it will do no good at all. We feel so helpless. We do what we can in letter writing and phone calling but to no avail: our freedoms are slowly being reduced to almost nothing. Relish in these words and know that our nation will never fail.

"Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail. This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the new Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won't fail. I have faith in America; you and I must have faith in America, if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are living in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges. I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through. (Harold B. Lee, "Ye Are the Light of the World", pp. 350-51)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fathers are Important Too

Valerie J. Steimle

For the past few Mother’s days, I have been writing about the importance of Mothers. This is only slightly unfair as I have not said a thing about Fathers so with Father’s day coming this Sunday, I thought it only right to present my feeling in the importance of Fathers.

What most people don’t know is that to understand how the circle of a family really works you need the presence of the father. Imagine two sons living in two separate families. Two parents raise the one son and only the mother raises the other. All are good people and do the best that they can. The son with both parents have the example of a father who loves his mother and treats her well as well as the example of taking care of his own children, where as the other son has no example of what fathers do at all and grows up lacking something he never really had.

Tom Wolfe said it well from The Bonfire of the Vanities when he wrote this about fatherhood: “Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later... that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.”

Children need protection and Fathers are the protectors. With great protectors comes the feeling of security. With this security, there is great comfort in being able to communicate what you are feeling with your father, which builds a lasting relationship. Not everyone can do this even with his or her father still here but there are opportunities of bridging the gap of a relationship when Dad sticks around for the duration of a child’s life.

Teenagers might not appreciate what they have now, but wisdom comes with age and appreciation of a father’s sacrifice will surface eventually. Mark Twain said it perfectly: “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

So let’s honor our fathers this Sunday with a card or phone call or both. If your father isn’t here then honor the one who is a father to you and be a great Dad to those in your circle of friends.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Importance of Senior Citizens

Valerie Steimle

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to visit with my husband’s family in Andalusia, Alabama. They were such great people: very sweet and friendly. Almost everyone was over 55 and it was a pleasure to sit down and visit with them. Many entertaining stories were exchanged and five hours just flew by. This got me thinking about our senior citizens and how blessed we are to have these friends and family who have come before us in our life.

Thanks to the marvels of medical science , our parents, aunts, and uncles are living longer than ever before. Adults over the age of 80 are the fastest growing people of our population in the United States. Those in the retirement age are many times dependent on others for their basic needs and most times, it falls to their children. We don’t always remember how important it is to take care for those who lived before us but they are a great blessing to the baby boomer generation. Listening to the great lessons and experiences they have to share, those over 50 are of great value and they need to know we care for them and appreciate what they know.

Many people over the age of 60 are finding that life can be very rewarding and those dreams of long ago are now a reality. There are many news reports of retirees biking across Europe, writing that long awaited book rolling around in their heads or visiting with family far away. It can be a very exciting time and keeping healthy is the key.

It has been found that simple walking 3 to 4 days a week can be very helpful in keeping healthy. Learning something new keeps our brains active and can be a blessing in disguise. For example, learning your way around a computer and the internet can bridge friendships and family members who are far away. Joining community groups, which feature senior citizen clubs, are a great way to spend some time with others and you might even find you have hidden talents you never knew before.

There is a downside of reaching the golden age and that is living in a nursing home. That is where the younger generation should jump in and plan monthly trips to visit with family and friends who are cared for in a home where the residents are wheel chair bound. Youth groups should remember the importance of visiting these special people because after all, we will eventually find ourselves in the same position someday.

So let us remember those who came before us in our life and show them the respect they deserve in our day-to-day living. We will not regret it.