The doctrine of work!
David O McKay “Let us realize the a privilege of work is…the blessing of work is…”
We have to create the vision that work is a gift.
Everything in the scriptures that discusses reaching exaltation is described with an adverb that requires effort.
Pray…always, diligently, without ceasing. Pray is a verb. He doesn’t say just pray. He tells us ‘how to’ pray. Every word denotes great effort. There is nothing that changes the natural man that doesn’t require hard work.
When Adam and Eve were taken out of the garden they were told “by the sweat of thy brow”. It means you have to really work. The earth will be cursed and bring forth noxious weeds. Why? It will be cursed for your sake. Why are noxious weeds for your sake? It provides work. It provides opportunity to do something hard, not as pleasant, makes us sweat, makes us uncomfortable.
The philosophy of the world…no effort, no work, it’s all joy, you get everything for free. If you are successful you have a job that you work at home for ½ day and you get paid tons of money and live in a huge house. The goal of the work force is work less and earn more. This is what our children are living with. This is what you unconsciously teach them.
We need a bigger house, another car, another vacation, etc. Unconsciously we are teaching them that happiness is bought and we can’t be happy because we don’t have enough money. I want you to see what’s out there. Look at what surrounds your children. What makes them happy? What do they want to do? I want to hang out at the mall. I need the car. They leave the car empty. We don’t hold them responsible. Then we get mad at them because they aren’t responsible. Why should they? You always do it.
We feel like if they go to church, don’t smoke, drink, or be immoral. Growing older doesn’t make a person responsible. They have an excuse for everything. They always have a reason that they can’t do what they need to do. People accept the reasons and never hold them accountable.
We rescue our children and don’t let them experience natural consequences.
We don’t just pray every day. We pray, attend church, pay tithing, attend the temple. We have to do multiple things to help our children gain strength. We help them do what we can do.
Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.
Who is the laborer in your home? The Dad earning the money. Parents
Heavenly Father will hold us in condemnation for expecting nothing of our children. Everything Celestial requires work. Mortality is not a time where we can do nothing. It’s not enough to teach our children to work. That’s not enough. Our goal is found in Nehemiah.
So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
“The people had a mind to work.”—That’s what we want to teach our children. This is where people enjoy it!
Class member: You have to create opportunities for your kids to work. If you don’t teach people that it’s fun and to enjoy it they won’t do it.
Your kids have to know it by the time they get out of elementary school….11 years old. It just means it’s harder if the kids are older.
What does a mind to work look like…
Do it without whining
Do it well
Resilient—when it doesn’t turn out.
What does it look like not to work…
What’s in it for me?
Do you see?!? You need to get a picture first. Our goal is NOT just to get them to do a job list. Do we use a job list? Yes. Is that the goal? No.
Now your kids have grown up and have job lists. They die and go to heaven and have and Heavenly Father tells them to create a world. God’s job is to work out the eternal life of men. He’s working for us every day. We are not sitting on a cloud playing a harp when we get there. The goal is to find JOY in that process.
Do you think the Savior woke up and said “I don’t want to go see the people today. I think I’ll just go hang out in bed.”
How do we teach it?
We can’t give our children everything they want and expect them to not be spoiled. We can’t excuse them from doing hard things and expect them to build character. We can’t save them from the consequences all the time and expect them to grow up to be responsible.”
HOMEWORK: (Read this talk)
Elder Tad Callister “Parents the Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children”
He opens with the story of Ben Carson. I want you to see what the mother did to her children. Were they happy about it? Were they thrilled? They didn’t like their mom. See what happened to their children when they learned to do hard things. She held them accountable. Focus on Mom and what Mom did.
We need to start our children working from the time they are very young. In the beginning they do job lists and they love job lists. Ages 2-11 is the age of Industry vs Inferiority. In this age “Industry”---work creates feelings of self worth. Hard work in these stages create a feeling of self worth.
Class member: I was going to say we have a Dad in our neighborhood that teaches them to work, but he picks at them. You can see it.
This is exactly what I mean when it can be a stick to beat them by or an eternal principle. It’s how you do it.
I want you to stop being so soft. I want you to require a great deal from your children. I want them to work until they are exhausted.
Class member: How do you do that in a neighborhood subdivision?
You feel stuck if you are in a subdivision. There is SO much to do.
Class member: There is one family in our ward that was a snow day. They knew that Dad and boys were out shoveling driveways.
When my kids were growing up we were blessed with a unique opportunity. My husband started Tanner Construction on the side to create work opportunities for the kids. They day they got out of elementary school they started working on the subdivision. They were digging a street light pole. They are in this hole digging. They did HUGE irrigation structures. In the beginning they older boys would complain that Cory was sitting on the street throwing rocks and doing nothing. I let them work it out. 2 years later about 9th grade Cory was begging me to get up early and hand level and put the lawn in at our house.
We had a house we planted some trees. They were big trees. They had to dig big wells. We had 15 trees out there over this 4 acres, but we didn’t have a sprinkling system. They had to haul the hoses out and fill the wells about 3x a week. They hated that job. You have to water the trees. The problem with the trees was you couldn’t put the hose out there and them come back. It would take 30-45 minutes to water a tree. We had gophers. You had to watch the water going down the gopher hole. You had to fill the hole. It was after dinner he hadn’t done it. About 7pm he said, “Mom I’m just really tired. I’m going to go to bed.” Cory went down and about 8pm Mike came home in the truck. Mike said did Cory water the trees? Cory is pretending to be asleep. Cory said, “I was just so busy I didn’t get them done.” Mike said our agreement was that you do it today. You need to get up and get dressed. Take a flashlight and go do them. It was the best lesson he learned in his life.
If we don’t hold them accountable they won’t become responsible. They will feel like they can get away with things.
You can find opportunities.
Tyler is building a house in Blackfoot. He just poured 34 yards of concrete (4 trucks). Nathan brought up the 2 boys 13 and 11 and Tylers 12 year old boy….they kept them out of school and they had these boys out there with finishing trowels. Those boys worked WAY past comfort. He laid out the wall and told the 12 year old to build the wall with the studs.
We underestimate what they can do. Don’t be too critical when it’s not perfect. It won’t always be.
You don’t make your kids do enough.
2 year olds…How do you get a 2 year old to work? Consistency, Lots of Praise, Attention Span, Lots of time on your part.
Are you making a bed or teaching a child to work? As you start with children teach them what a complete job looks like. You need to teach them what a clean room looks like. What does a clean bathroom look like?
We worked for 4 hours on Saturday morning before they could do anything else. They would get up at 5:30am. They would watch Smurfs. At 8am you are mine. You had better be dressed and had your breakfast. If you haven’t done those things you are still mine at 8am. We worked until noon. They said, “Mom why don’t you ever work?” You get stuck in thinking I have to do all these things. You aren’t doing anything during those 4 hours that you can check off their list. You are going to be a cheerleader. You always have them return and report.
You say…”Let’s go check it out.” We teach them to do things ½ way. When my kids were really little, I taught them parts. I will teach them how to clean a toilet. What do you want a clean toilet to look like. You may not hold them accountable without teaching them. You say…I taught them and they aren’t doing it. You may have to teach them and re-teach them. Do you see the pride that comes in their work? He is thinking I did a great job.
You want them to say how they feel about the job. Then you say…this is how you clean the sink. Teach them each part. You shake mats, refill the toilet paper. If you don’t tell them you can’t hold them accountable.
If you have that job after school on Wednesday night this is what you expect. If you have that job on Saturday it is a deep clean.
Class member: When we don’t clean like that how can you have that expectation of the kids when you don’t do that?
You have to be an example, but you don’t have to be perfect. You are going to learn to work together.
Things 2 year olds can do…(in the syllabus)
Class member: Do I do part of it or ask them to do it?
Stop coddling them! Make list. Little ones are motivated with visuals. As they get older subtract points for attitude.
Cell phones don’t give them your kids young. They are a privilege and they need to be earned. You would be surprised how many elementary kids have cell phones. They need to learn how to use a cell phone. It needs to be controlled by Mom and Dad. If you give your kids a cell phone you need to dock your phones at night. You had better be vigilant if you give them electronics. That is where they are introduced to pornography.
Computer time, Ipad time, Cell phone time, TV time…all this stuff are privileges to be earned. It’s not their right because they spend 5 hours in school that they can come home and do nothing.
As your children grow up in high school they are involved in a lot of activities. Do we not have them do jobs? It will change. The picture of their home jobs will change. They should always have home responsibilities. Cooking. They can cook a meal…on a weekend. They can work on Saturdays even if they are in a sport. Cleaning up their bedroom is not hard work.
Sports are hard! It requires a lot of their time and body. They are hard. They will come home and need to rest that night. You have to remember that a sport is self-centered. Who are they thinking about? Me…you take me, I need this, I want this.
They need to do some hard things for free. Your children better go on all the scout food drives. They need to go to the all the service projects. They need to go to the activities that are not fun.
Work with your children to have self-starting businesses. Go around after Christmas and offer to haul off Christmas trees for $5.
As you pray about it and want it you will find a way to do it.
Class member: I have a hard question for you. If you raise your kids the same way and you are divorced or separated how would you do it the same if your husband doesn’t do it.
Your responsibility as a mother is to train them. They will appreciate it later. You do have it hard. You can only control what you can control. Work should be as fun as possible.
Play music while you work. Do it with them. Don’t make them go do it. Make it fun! Don’t make it drudgery and a prison camp. We want them to learn to love to work. Part of the fun is when they see the completed job and they feel good.
When my kids were in school we were coming down the road. There was a house that was stone and big. We passed his street and his yard was covered. They said Let’s pull over and rake his leaves. When they bring up the idea and they want to do it then you stop and go do it. That is the time.
They need to work past comfort!
In a subdivision what can you do to help them work past comfort….Garden, yards, cleaning a garage, basement, raking yards, shoveling yards, vacuuming around baseboards, clean window tracks in house, paint a bedroom, clean the oven, clean the microwave.
Give your kids some money and they make a menu…you take them to a grocery store to stay in their budget. They each have a night to cook. Some only want to do dessert. They have to make that work.
Class member: Hard things mean people work when it’s 100 degrees. Those things you give them help them have the confidence to do it on their own.
Mom’s are critical when kids are little. Then it becomes critical to have Dad’s involved. They need to build shelves. The confidence it builds in kids is wonderful. Don’t hold back because they aren’t perfect at it. How are they going to learn?
Class member: Play to your kids strengths. Find something they do enjoy and encourage that.
They also have to do the stuff they don’t like. Have them work in teams.
Class member: My little one talks about how things are too hard. I find myself telling him that it’s hard, but it’s not too hard.
Teach them “We can do hard things!” Teach them about Nephi building a boat. Leaving Jerusalem. Not only can we, but we will do hard things.
Class member: My husband grew up on a farm. We lived in a subdivision so we created jobs for our kids to do. Everyone picked the fruit. Everyone peeled it. If you think about not hiring anyone or buying anyone. We found ways in the subdivision…you can make up things in the home.
Can something…not because it’s cheaper, but you are teaching industry.
Boyd K. Packer…We need to teach our youth to stop trying to live in luxury. They need to learn how to ‘use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without’.
We need to start teaching them to live within your means, but not luxury. They need to work hard. You have to create experiences that they can work hard.
Only when it’s beyond your comfort zone does it become a ‘gift’.
Class member: When my husband was out of work a lady and her kids made our family pajama’s because she wanted them to learn to sew.
It doesn’t have to be a member of your church. It can be serving at the soup kitchen. It doesn’t have to be a gift you buy and give to someone. Think of some kind of service.
If your children are earning money don’t give them money without a responsibility. Children need to have access to money that they have earned and then they need to learn to budget. It’s not a journal of how you spent it. It’s pre-deciding how we are spending it. Your budget creates spending within their means.
“This year we will work hard together too. We will create memories and strengthen relationships as we accomplish difficult things together. We will hold our boys accountable for their efforts in our family, in school, in sports, in music, in hobbies and in their church duties. We will no longer ask our kids if they had fun, because frankly, we don’t care. They can choose to make every experience fun if they want to…it’s up to them and absolutely possible. But we will no longer worry about creating fun for them or shielding them from hardships, unpleasantness, or heaven forbid…boredom! We want them to reap more than fun from this existence. We want them to be fulfilled. We want them to reach their potential. We want them to be excellent.
We will change our questions and our focus and instead ask, “Did you learn something? Did you feel productive? Did you work hard? Did you try your best? Were you a good friend? Did you try something new? Did you push yourself? Did you make some one’s day better? Did you add value? Did you create something? Did you grow? Did you discover something? Did you change the world today, even in a small way? Because when you can answer yes to any of those questions, that’s when life gets really FUN.”