Monday, October 5, 2009

A most wonderful idea

I can't go back in time with parenting.
But if I could I would follow President Monson's advice in conference yesterday.

He talked about a man named Jack McConnell, MD. This man grew up as one of 7 children of a Methodist minister and a stay at home Mom. Their circumstances were very humble. He recounted his childhood where everyday, as the family sat around the dinner table his father would ask each one in turn, "What did you do for someone else today?"

The children were determined to do a good turn everyday so they could report back to their father they had helped someone. Dr. McConnell called this exercise "his father's most valuable legacy." For that expectation and those words inspired him and his siblings to help others throughout their lives. As they grew and matured their motivation for providing service changed to an inner desire to help others.

If I could go back in time I would put a plaque right above our dinner table that would read: "What did you do for someone else today?"
And every night I would ask my sons this question.

President Monson also recited a poem he had memorized from years ago:

"I have wept in the night
For the shortness of sight

That to somebody's need made me blind.

But I never have yet

Felt a twinge of regret

For being a little too kind."

And this I loved too, President Monson said, "Unless we lose ourselves in the service of others, there is little purpose to our own lives."


Anonymous said...

ok, lets be realistic, that would have been a disaster at the dinner table. I doubt you would have recieved any straight answers from Brock or I.


Grandmotherfairy said...

I loved President Monson's address also...we are so blessed that we can listen to such wonderful counsel in our homes. Thank you for posting the poem President Monson used...I hope my old mind can memorize that one:)

grandmapeg said...

I was so impressed with this talk of Pres. Monson's and I thought the same thing, that I wished I could go back in time and do this very thing with my children. Of course, I know yours and my children serve others in little and big ways, so I think they turned out pretty well. Thanks for sharing this important message that everybody can apply in their own lives, every day.

Eileen said...

What a wonderful way to bring up a family!
Thanks for sharing this, Jill.

It's too late for my own kids, but I'm going to try this with Jayden.
All the best,

darlene said...

Love it!

Jill said...

This message is for my dear son Logan: You are probably right about the answers you would have given...but you know what? You have always lived a life of service...since you were very little. It was you who would run to help people in stores when they would drop things, it was you who would get on top of the counter at the store and load my groceries for me, it was you who literally saved Tyler's life when he escaped the house at age 2 and was just about ready to ride into heavy traffic with his trike, it was you who would comfort your little brothers when they got hurt and you never showed any jealousy towards them. It was you who insisted on getting to school early nearly every morning in 2nd grade so you could help your teacher set up for the day. It was you who would often mop my kitchen floor as a surprise to me. My list could go on and on. And look at your now. You have a wife and 7 children who adore you.

tyler said...

I somehow missed most of what President Monson said. I always look forward to the conference Ensign for this very reason.

MTC administration showed something cool yesterday at a meeting. I posted about it in my blog:

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

I loved this talk too. What a great thing to ask yourself everyday.

Jill, you made me cry when I read what you wrote about Logan.

Logan said...

thats very nice of you mom, but you failed to mention the nice crisp one dollar bill you would give me for every kind act of service.


Jill said...

Yeah right Logan

Lisa said...

I laughed at Logan's comment!

Anyhow...thanks for this post since my GC was completely disrupted all weekend by a bad connection, etc. So...I'm committed to watch this over & over again until I "get it."

All the pics of your family is so NEAT. I just love to watch them grow & progress through their lives via your blog!