This journal entry was written by Randall and Nicola at the beginning of their fifth week studying Act in Doctrine, a new book written by Elder David Bednar.
We start this week with a great opportunity to be together as a family overseas on holidays visiting what is advertised as “the happiest place on earth.” We love the professionalism, cleanliness and excitement that we feel from being together in this setting. It has been over 18 years since our last trip and we have been enjoying strong and good memories of our last visit. As good as those memories are, this time around, I feel that these memories are not in themselves the “happiness” that life has to offer and they seem to be more contribution to our bank of happy times. As parents, we feel that providing these opportunities builds our resilience as a family to external pressures, provides each family member with a reminder of the good things in life, and re-focuses each of us on the love and trust we have with each other.
In our reading of Act in Doctrine, I was reminded that we need to adopt the same approach to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Understanding that it’s impossible to be truly happy and experience the full joy of life if we withdraw ourselves from the spirit and if we “put off” the progress we made in becoming a saint.
We spoke as a family about the importance of not only finding time to do things together as a family that are fun and give good memories, but to also ensure that each of us understands something of even greater importance. We discussed the appeal of the shiny lights, games and rides, yet we value even more the significance of taking upon us the name of Christ, putting off the natural man and the ensuring the principle of “once you have it (the gospel), don’t let it go” is well taught.
The temptation to chase after temporary happiness in preference to long term joy has to be controlled. I know my Heavenly Father loves me, and I know that through my actions there are consequences that I am worthy of receiving. The passage of scripture, Doctrine and Covenant 82:3, rings true: of him unto whom much is given, much is required. As parents who have made covenants and with children who have made their choices to enter in covenants, we are blessed in so many ways and we have a responsibility to live what we know. We want to “continue as we commenced.”