Do parenting meetings cause you to feel guilty?
I attended the Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast this morning. It was well worth my time. I’m glad I was there. I’ve attended every one of them since 2003 and this was one of the best. After Elder Holland’s introduction, President Packer read and expounded upon “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” It was wonderful to hear it from one of the authors.
There was then a round table discussion with Elder Holland, Elder Oaks, Sisters Julie B. Beck, Susan W. Tanner and Cheryl C. Lant, general officers representing the Relief Society, the Young Women and the Primary organizations. They modeled for us what a great ward council meeting should be like, although I don’t recommend that it go so long. I like short meetings.
I took four pages of notes from that discussion and look forward to reviewing the transcript when it is posted on the church website sometime next week. I was disappointed that our satellite feed had audio problems so we had to watch it from the DVD. It was obviously recorded weeks ago as President Packer was referred to as the ‘Acting’ President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We also did not get to hear President Monson’s address at the end.
Carol did not go. Besides not feeling well she said she did not want to experience feelings of guilt abut not being a perfect parent. I know the Brethren have heard this before. Elder Holland addressed it immediately. He told the parable of the homemade shirt and explained why we need a pattern in the church for doctrinal standards, quoting D&C 52:14. He said they fully understand that we are not perfect but it is their responsibility to teach general rules and ideals.
Elder Oaks also addressed it when he said that we never give up as parents of wayward children but that we MUST lay down the burden of guilt at the feet of the Savior. In one of the most touching moments for me, Sister Beck spoke about mothers who had been abandoned by priesthood holders in their homes but had not abandoned the Lord’s plan for happy families.
She was obviously speaking of husbands who had left them, causing them to deal with divorce and raising children in the church alone. I have no idea how difficult a task that must be. I have known some courageous women like this who have been faithful and have been blessed with children who go on missions and marry in the temple. But I also know of women who have tried and feel like failures because their children did not accept the gospel or remain faithful.
I wonder if this comment was in any way related to the sisters who objected to her last talk in General Conference entitled “Mothers Who Know.” They wrote and posted an ‘opposing view’ in their piece entitled, “What Women Know.” I wrote about this back in November. I know the sisters of the church sometimes feel that their voices are not heard. I hope that is changing.
Did you attend the Leadership Training broadcast? If so, what were your impressions?