Reflections

I like the message of this Church-produced vignette called “Reflections.”  It reminds me of the importance of loving our children, no matter where they are.  I especially appreciate hearing the father’s voice — always optimistic, although eventually weary; ever present, in fact always there and never aloof — always “still listening.”

I hope my children know that I am always there for them.  I want to be present in their lives.  I think there is no greater work for me as a father than to love them and do all I can to help them progress.

I’m saddened that so many parents give up on their children and lose that “connection.”

I first heard the song “Cat’s In the Cradle” in the early 70’s.  It’s a song about how easy it is to forget how important family relations are and how quickly precious time passes us by, to never be regained.  For some reason the words have always deeply moved me.  Now when I hear the words of this song I often cry.

As we reflect upon our lives and as we have those we call “dear ones” do things we disagree with, may we look beyond ourselves and try to do as Christ would do.  Always love and never give up.  Always be present.  Christ does not abandon us nor does He ignore our problems and hang up.

I also hope I can remember that my children are sent to teach me and who knows, maybe even to save me.  Why not?  It’s far too easy to assume that because we are older, we are thus wiser and more advanced somehow.

I also hope that my loyalty to my children will always be greater than my love or respect I may have for others or for some institution, profession or hobby.  They are flesh of my flesh, bone of bone and I cannot imagine an eternity wherein they are lost because I did not do that which seemed so hard to do while here.  Strange isn’t it, how it’s often hardest to love those who are closest?  No wonder many were saddened by Jesus’ teaching:  “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”  (1 John 4:20)

My grandfather was that way.  He seemingly loved everyone, but he abused my grandmother and cheated on her with dozens of women both before and after joining the church.  She cried as she spoke of him, even so many decades after their divorce and his passing, remarking sadly that the pain never really goes away.

I truly mean it when I say that I hope that every one of my children is greater than me in every way.  I do not envy them when they display gifts of the Spirit or other talents that I do not possess.  When they surpass me physically or intellectually or spiritually, I rejoice and can hardly contain my excitement.

I hope to repent of my many sins and to be sanctified to be able to enter His presence.  I believe forgiving those we should love the dearest and “reconnecting” with those we may disagree with, is a good place to start.  Otherwise, rather than singing the song of redeeming love, we may find ourselves singing “The Cat’s in the Cradle” when our lives have passed away as it were a dream.  (Jacob 7:26)

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https://youtu.be/GCpsD0ZDfus

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, Dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
We’re gonna have a good time then

12 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. ben thompson

    If you join Denver’s church and leave the Church of Jesus Christ you obviously realize you will lose temple sealings that keep families together forever.

  2. Bishop Anon Post author

    Is it really that easy? In addition to just being “sealed” what are the minimum requirements that make the seal effective? I think we can agree that there are many who are sealed whose seal will be of no worth hereafter. If you believe my blog to be apostate, for example, but I’m still an active latter day saint, is my seal still valid? If I’m bad at home teaching but I have a good heart, is my seal any good? If I pay 20% tithing and give to the poor, but I’m too busy in my church callings and thus neglect my children, does my seal endure? If I work on Sundays and like to watch the Super Bowl, but I’m a great father and husband who believes in the restored gospel, will my seal be of any value after this life? You speak of temple sealings as if pixie dust. Is sealing a family in the temple all that is required? What if the redemption of the soul and the literal entrance of a man or woman into His presence in this life, is actually the ONLY way to be saved?

  3. Rebecca

    Such a great post. Thanks for sharing it Bishop! The Cats in the Cradle song has always moved me too and I really enjoyed the Reflections vignette. I hadn’t seen that one before.

  4. Steve

    Denver Snuffer has no church.

    And if the LDS church at a minimum changes the ordinances (sacrament, endowment, initiatories), deletes scriptures without a vote (Lectures on Faith), changes commandments (changing word of wisdom into a commandment), changes doctrine (i.e. polygamy), and casts out a true messenger and others for no sin, is it still the Church of Jesus Christ?

  5. ben thompson

    Ok, the ‘communities of Denver,’ then, if you prefer. Since we disagree on the definition of church.

  6. ben thompson

    I never stated all that was required was a sealing, but obviously if you leave the Church of Jesus Christ and join another community, the sealing from the church is no longer valid.

    Does Denver have plans for a temple?

  7. Bishop Anon Post author

    And yet when someone is re-instated after excommunication, the restoration of their temple blessings is delegated from the First Presidency to the Stake President, who now only has to lay his hands on your head to “restore your blessings”? Man, it must be nice to have so much power. To simply speak (Or have a secretary print a letter for the SP) and BAM! Sealed again for time and all eternity without having to even go to the Temple! Dude! Valid, schmalid. Get your sealing from God. The temple is great – but it is only a template of what we must do. Adam and Eve are depicted in nature, at an altar, literally living out the endowment. Do the same. I feel sorry for you if you believe these men have such power over your life. It’s time to stop fearing them more than God.

  8. ben thompson

    what if one of my children of I don’t see Christ in this life, which seems like a pretty tall order to me, will they not be sealed to me? it seems like Joseph Smith thought the restoration of the sealing power was pretty darn important.

  9. Bishop Anon Post author

    I think that’s a great question. Maybe a good place to start is by asking “what does it hurt to believe that we must see Christ to be redeemed by Him in order to be saved? There’s a lot of scripture support for this that I’d be happy to post if you’re interested…

    I guess I don’t see why erring on the side of caution would be bad. Joseph taught “…I never hear of a man being damned for believing too much; but they are damned for unbelief.” Why not go for broke? We are desperate are we not for His mercy and dependent for our daily breath? Why not beg to be redeemed by Him since we’re already begging — withholding nothing, and believe He can come to us?

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