Wednesday, August 26, 2015

To My Child Starting Seminary




Remember the story about the Three Little Pigs?  Of course you do, it's a familiar story.  The three pigs leave their family and go out into the world.  Each pig builds a home, one out of straw, one out of sticks, and one out of bricks.  The first two pigs are done building their homes quickly and invite the third pig to come and play, but he doesn't, they laugh at him and go off to play.  He continues to slowly, brick by brick, build a strong home.  Why didn't the first two pigs build a strong home?  Maybe they didn't think that there really was a big bad wolf, or maybe they thought that they would be able to outrun the wolf, or maybe they were just too lazy to do the work.  Anyways, as the story goes, the wolf comes knocking at the door of the first pig, huffs and puffs and blows the house in.  The wolf comes knocking at the second door, huffs and puffs and blows the house in.  What do you know?  There really is a wolf, and he is strong.  But that third little pig?  He is protected from the wolf inside his house of bricks.  The wolf is strong, but not THAT strong.   

I imagine that testimonies are a lot like those houses.  A person with a testimony of straw probably only goes to seminary because their friends do.  They probably don't do the homework, because they are really just there to fit in.  It's quick, it's easy, and that is all.  A testimony of straw will be easily blown down by the wolf.  

A person with a testimony of sticks has worked a little harder, but not a lot.  Maybe they really want to learn, but don't want to spend much time.  Maybe they are afraid that their friends will laugh if they work on their testimony too much.  Maybe they do the work, but just quickly enough to go and play and without really thinking about it. Their house of sticks will be easily blown down.

The person with a testimony of bricks missed out on some of the "fun".  They didn't go with friends to movies that were inappropriate, they missed out on parties that encouraged poor choices.  But they knew that they were building something strong.  Brick by brick they added meaningful personal prayers, they prayerfully partook of the sacrament, they prayed for the companionship of the Holy Ghost daily, they attended seminary with a desire to learn how to build a better brick home, they changed things in their lives to better live the gospel, they repented, they didn't just read the scriptures for seminary, they SEARCHED them- hungry for guidance.  They remembered that there was a wolf and that he was powerful, but not as powerful as a well built brick home.

Those who were too lazy or who didn't believe there really was a wolf will be destroyed.  Of course there is a wolf, our common adversary, an enemy to all goodness, the author of lies.  Unable to create or build anything himself his time is spent blowing down houses built of straw and sticks, destroying lives, and working to make others as miserable as himself.  Which is really saying something, because he is miserable.

Those who figured they would be able to outrun the wolf will discover that he is relentless, cunning, and intent upon their destruction.  Running might work for a bit, but not for long.  

Maybe the lazy pig rationalizes that he is the only one who will suffer if he doesn't build a better house.  But someday, soon, God will deliver precious children to that home.  Will it protect them?  Will they be safe?   

Those who followed prophets, studied scriptures and developed a brick-strong testimony will have peace.  Brick houses are so much stronger than the wolf.  Inside that brick house you might be able to hear the wolf, but you will sleep well at night knowing that you are safe.  Light and goodness and God's power really are stronger than any power of darkness.  

Seminary is an amazing opportunity to build a better, stronger testimony.  Take it seriously.  Work hard.  Avoid distractions in your life that will cause the Spirit to leave you.  Don't be fooled into believing that the wolf isn't real, or that you can outrun him, or that strong testimonies don't really matter- because they do.  Just ask the three little pigs.