The Book of Mormon: Title page
There isn't much on the title page. Moroni wrote the title page which is mostly a simple description of the peoples of this record. I was impressed by the line at the end which reads "And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men", referring to the book as a whole. It just got me thinking about the many mistakes I make and have made. I don't mean to dwell on the negative, but as a husband and father I seem to make the same mistakes over and over. When I realize what I am doing I resolve to do better, but I don't always go through the proper steps of making it better. I need to be more humble in my repentance and talk to my wife and children about my mistakes just like Moroni does here.
In my opinion Moroni is saying that there are no mistakes in the gospel of Jesus Christ, but men are required to carry it out, men make mistakes, and this book is subject to the same mistakes that men always make. Perhaps a similar discussion could be had with my children.
Would it be appropriate to have this conversation with my kids? Should I sit them down every once in a while and tell them I love them, but I know that I am making mistakes, and I need their love, patience, and support to be a better father. Should I go as far as asking them what I do that they don't like? I know that I could apologize more. I don't think it is healthy to try and give them the perception that I think I am perfect. I also don't think it is healthy to maintain unquestionable infallibility in parenting. I daresay that yes, this conversation needs to happen more. I need to not only admit to them when I am making mistakes but also apologize and ask for their help.
What might this do for my children? I think this will show them how to repent, how to face their mistakes, and how to make changes. Now I am not saying that the kids are going to run the show, and I am not going to apologize for things that I do that they don't like that are really for their benefit. Kids obviously don't like to clean their room but that is not something to apologize for. Kids do need to understand how to appropriately deal with their mistakes, and I think for our next family home evening, this will be our topic of conversation.
As a husband, my wife knows more intimately than anyone what my mistakes are. I think the same kind of conversation that I can have with my kids will be healthy for our marriage. Similar to what Moroni said about the Book of Mormon our marriage is a place for inspiration. My wife should know that first and foremost I love her, and that any mistakes I make are "of men". She is my greatest ally in helping me be a better person, but if I don't apologize and actively try and rid my bad habits then she can only do so much. My wife needs to hear this more.
All this from one statement in the title page. I am already feeling more inspired and reflective on my scripture study, and who knows how long this will take if I write 5 paragraphs for every thought. But it isn't about how long it is. It is about being a better husband, father, and person, and that is something I will be working on forever.