Friday, April 10, 2009

Teaching Ideals

Another interesting tidbit that kind of jumped out at me during conference:
The other day I was reading on another blog (I'll post a link if I can find it again) a discussion about the way the church always teaches to the ideal. There was a great deal of fus and debate in the comments, about whether the Church is right or wrong in teaching ideals -- like children have the right to a 2 parent, married in the temple, father working, mother staying at home kind of childhood -- and it was generally taken for granted by everyone that in fact the church does this. The main line of discussion seemed to be whether that was proper or not, whether that neglected those who couldn't meet those standards etc.
During the Priesthood session, Bishop Edgley had this to say:
Bishops, the sisters have a role in this effort. Because of the economy, many mothers are finding it necessary to make budget and other living adjustments. Some are even finding it necessary to leave the home to find work. The Relief Society sisters, with their specially endowed, compassionate hearts, can help. They can help identify the needy. They can teach. They can babysit, console, comfort, and encourage. They can make a difference.
I found this quite refreshing. He was explicitly telling the members of the church how they can help those who find themselves in circumstances that don't permit them to provide the "ideal." Telling the sisters to provide babysitting, so that mothers can work... what an awesome move that would be in the Church. If we can get around this whole idea of judging each other. Sure, it might not be the ideal, but maybe I should do all I can to make it more ideal.
Just a thought. I think it's interesting that sometimes we can get really caught up in arguing about whether something the Church is doing is the best or not... even when sometimes that may not be what they are doing at all.

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