The 13th Article of Faith
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
I never had the cookie cutter, nice and wholesome Mormon lifestyle upbringing. For more than half of my life (so far), I was raised by my single mom and had other prominent relatives share in my upbringing; my uncle Nick, my aunt Aimee, my aunt Emily, my aunt Tali & uncle Tusi - the list goes on of the influences I had in my life. With the exception of my aunt Aimee and aunt Emily, everyone was pretty no non-sense. Everyone was pretty religious too. I had to be at church and church functions. It didn't matter what church, I just remember I had to be there. There were no exceptions.
My mom never spoiled me or enabled any of my bad behavior. If I got in trouble (which was very rare, lol) I had consequences. My mom always made sure I did something to amend the situation. She was stern and even at her lowest points in life, my mom always made sure I stayed in church and treated people with the utmost respect. Especially the people who I didn't feel deserved my kindness: the 'MEAN', the selfish, the self centered, the spoiled rotten, the whiners & complainers, people who feel the world revolves around them. As far as I'm concerned, the waste of life people. My mom, the queen of 'tell it like it is' wanted me to be respectful to these people. These were the same people who treated me like I was a nobody and spread false rumors. My mom went above and beyond in punishing me if I were ever to be rude or disrespect people and there wasn't anything I could do about it.
After graduating this year, both my parents tell me I am an adult who needs to make important choices about where I want to go with my life. I am encouraged daily to be a good person, involve myself unselfishly in the service of others and to look out for my future wife and children by adding only good things to advance my own life. Go to college and study hard. Attend Sacrament meeting and the Elders Quorum and take something away from each. Study your scriptures as well as your school books. Work hard and work two or three jobs if it keeps you from having idle hands. Be respectful. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
Part of my preparation is purging myself of things that have been wasteful in my life. Some of those things include bad habits, wasting time and more importantly wasteful people I might have considered friends or acquaintances at some point in my life. People and things that use to occupy my time with wasteful activities and stupid life drama that is self created. Even though my parents had me literally doing chore after chore, cooking, laundry, taking care of the lawn, washing the dishes, cleaning the entire house weekly, helping my sister do her homework, sending me out to help church members and neighbors in need - you name it, I had to do it, I know now, it really is for my own good. I will benefit from knowing how to do these things. I know these are values and good habits I will seek out in a wife as well.
I grew up in a home where you 'tell it like it is' and if people didn't want to hear your opinion, they shouldn't ask for it. I personally have never been that type of person and I probably won't ever be as straight forward as my mom, but it has finally sunk in that I have to look out for me. I am thankful that my mom does not waste her time gossiping and gives people the benefit of the doubt. These traits I am thankful that I have inherited from her. I am also thankful that both my parents are strict and have taught me that there are consequences for my actions EVERY TIME - good and bad. I actually had many people in my life (that includes family members) that have parents that enabled their pathetic and selfish behavior and wanted ME to be part of the 'world that revolves around them'. For the most part, I ignored what these people did, but not so much anymore. Now I just ignore them and wish them well on their own life journey. A fool learns the hard way and a smart person learns by the mistakes of others before them.
I am not the defender of right or the judge of morality. I do not claim to be innocent of the sins I speak of, but I am grateful that I grew up knowing that my free choices always have 'expected' outcomes. I was taught that my destiny is carved out by me and for me. I was taught to be strong through the most difficult circumstances and that if I fall, not to stay there, but to pick myself up and just keep it pushing. If my parents, especially my mom, didn't rule her house with a heavy hand, my circumstances would've been sad and pathetic. Although I didn't grow up in that 'wholesome' Mormon home with guaranteed FHE on Monday, daily scripture readings, attending all the Ward and Stake meetings and a bunch of other expected Mormon activities, I had a mom and family members who knew the importance of creating good habits and keeping me around good people to save me from years of headaches and heartaches. I am thankful for those hard knocks growing up because I still consider myself a nice guy even if there are kinks I am working on fixing.
I wanted to share something that was emailed to me and my parents some years ago but didn't really seem to matter until recently reading it over again. Now that I am headed to college, I GET IT! If you recognize yourself as a person who don't follow these life rules or enable someone who don't follow these life rules, you are probably a person I have parted ways with. There's no easy way to say GROW UP and take RESPONSIBILITY for your life choices but I think Bill Gates is right on the money with his lecture.
Bill Gates gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.
Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!
Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
If you can read this -Thank a teacher! THANKS MOM!!!
If you can read this in English thank a soldier!!! THANKS DAD!!!
Friday, August 14, 2009
The 13th Article of Faith