I know. The title of this post sounds dark and dramatic. Sorry.
A good friend and I were discussing a scripture this morning that comes from the Book of Mormon. This one is pretty straightforward and serves as kind of a pattern for life. There’s more I want to share about it, so don’t go anywhere, but here’s the verse:
“O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.” (Alma 37:35)
An implied idea might be that some things are easier to learn when you’re young…like following the Savior and striving to keep His commandments. I agree. Once certain habits and attitudes have hardened over the years, changing seems nearly impossible. So, I very much see why God would want us to learn to keep His commandments when we’re young. It may solve some future problems.
But what about the other side of this? Meaning, whenever God desires something for us, Satan seems to desire the opposite for us. No surprise there. But when we really analyze what God asks of us or is trying to bless us with, we can see, a bit more clearly, what Satan may be aiming at. It isn’t pretty.
If God wants us to learn, at a young age, to love and keep His commandments, then Satan wants something, too. He wants us to learn, very young, not to love the commandments. In fact, I think there are a lot of things that Satan tries to teach a young person, in their youth, so that when they’re old, they’re kind of stuck. Here are a few things that might be on that list:
- Your outward appearance defines the level to which you’ll reach happiness.
- The “romantic love” found in Hollywood is a reasonable expectation for long term relationships (most men aren’t vampires).
- Raising your voice gets you what you want.
- If someone else feels worse, you’ll feel better.
- Physical intimacy is the center of any romantic relationship.
- There are little versions of dishonesty and big versions. Don’t be too concerned with little ones.
- If enough people aren’t inclined to like an individual, you shouldn’t like that individual.
- Reason, alone, unlocks the mysteries of the heavens.
- There is a short-cut to hard work when it comes to success.
- Some people don’t deserve to be treated kindly.
- Public opinion dictates truth.
- You need to be perfect to be respected.
- You need to be perfect to be loved by others.
- You need to be perfect to be loved by God.
- Some poor choices are unforgivable.
There’s more. The more a child misunderstands some basic encouraging truths as a young person, the harder it will be to follow the Savior as an older person. We ought to be very careful regarding what influences our children and the youth we have responsibility for.
These views are personal, and are not the official views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints...