On Monday, using some lines from Little Fires Everywhere, I took a look at some beliefs I have as a mother, and whether or not those beliefs serve me well. Let’s look at this line again:

“The problem with rules… was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time they were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure what side of the line you stood on.”

I had the opportunity to observe two mothers this week, both my age with children my children’s ages, and both mothers that I really respect.

For my own comfort, I like to think there are rules, and set consequences for breaking or keeping those rules. If you put the baby to bed by 8pm, she will sleep until 8am. Or If you sing to your sons every night, they will tell you everything going on in their lives. Or Sit with the children during their piano practice every day.

I watched these two mothers this week, and I could not make you a list of rules for motherhood, based on their interactions with their children. “There were simply ways.” One way of dealing with a son speaking back, and then another way.

Like the Law of Moses versus the Law of Christ, set rules do give us a framework, right? Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Don’t commit adultery. Rules give us something “to tell (us) for sure what side of the line (we) stand on.” But micromanaging every aspect of our lives, setting rules for everything, especially in relationships, is not the higher way – that is not Christ’s way.

“It is not meet that I should command in all things… Verily I say, (we) should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will.”

Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-27

What, then, is the Law of Christ?

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength… And Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Mark 12:30-31

That is it. That is the whole of the law. And then, my friends, there is a measure of personal revelation that is needed to determine how to follow that law, those rules – how to love God, and how to love our neighbors, our spouses, our children, and how to love and care for ourselves. And there is a measure of work on our own part, to examine, to pray, to act.

Our prophet, President Russell M Nelson recently spoke about “how willing the Lord is to reveal His mind and will”. Yes. And then he offered this counsel:

“Good inspiration is based upon good information.”

Gather the data, my friends. Come up with what feels like a solution or a plan of action, pray and seek revelation, then act.

“What wisdom do you lack? What do you feel an urgent need to know or understand? Follow the example of the Prophet Joseph. (Search for answers.) Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father… Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind… and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take.

As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will ‘grow into the principle of revelation.'”

I want to take an entire post on the application of these principles. Look for that tomorrow on MONDAY MOTHERHOOD MATTERS.

Previous DAY #234 SO WHAT

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