Yesterday morning, as the kids were getting ready to walk to school we heard sirens outside. We couldn't see where they were since they had turned the corner, but they had come to take a neighbor's son to the hospital. During the night he had overdosed on drugs, which is a problem that he has struggled with for years. My heart hurts for his family.
I spent yesterday worrying about him. How cruel addiction is! One or two really bad choices as a teen and his life took a course that he hasn't been able to change. As the afternoon wore on, and I worried about how to protect my own kids from danger like this I sat down with the Book of Mormon to prepare our scripture study for dinner. (We talk about a chapter or two, I read a couple of verses, we ask questions to liken it to us, all while the kids are eating.) We are starting 2 Nephi. As I read chapter one, where Lehi is counseling Laman and Lemuel before his death, I found two concepts that really spoke to me. First, in verse 13 Lehi reminds us that sin becomes the chains that bind us and drag us captive to hell. I thought about this young man and his addiction. Certainly he was being dragged against his will. No one would choose to live like this. Second, in verse 23 Lehi implores his sons to "put on the armor of righteousness". Following the commandments of God is our great protection, and it is the great protection we can offer our children. They have to understand that the commandments, more than a set of rules and restrictions, are the armor that will protect them from the attacks of the devil.
We talked about this at dinner. I hope that they understand. I pray that their hearts will always walk in the light of His love. To really drive home the message we watched this video. It is old, but it had enough action to hold the boys attention.
I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. Today I needed a lesson in arming my children and I found it in Lehi's words to his sons.