Thursday, June 6, 2013

Going back for the ladies

So after getting the plates, Lehi receives another vision and they need to go back....but this time you didn't hear any complaints from Laman and Lemuel because they were going back to persuade Ishmael and his family to come with them, and Ishmael had daughters that they could marry. Even though this positive motivation led to an easy departure and they were successful in convincing Ishmael and his family to come with them, Laman and Lemuel were still able to stir up a few people into rebellion against Nephi. Now that Laman and Lemuel had what they wanted they decided they wanted to go back to Jerusalem. I guess they were sick of living in the wilderness taking orders from their younger brother and father. This time Nephi had to use paersuasive negative motivation to keep them from going back to Jerusalem. First, he reminded them that they had seen an angel, and had miraculously taken the brass plates. Then he gave them some positive motivation by explaining that the Lord had promised them a "land of promise". Finally he reminded them that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed, the people wanted to imprison his father (Lehi), and ultimately they would be destroyed with Jerusalem if they returned.

So how do you think they took it? Well, they decided to bind him up and leave him for dead in the wilderness, and only stopped when others begged for them to stop.

Ok, so that was a little bit of a long summary, but I wanted to point out that Laman, Lemuel, and Nephi for that matter were all motivated in different ways. I feel like I am constantly trying to motivate my children to choose the right. I have heard countless strategies for teaching children to behave, including both positive and negative rewards or punishments. I have tried many different strategies as well, and some of them work, some of them don't. But I think we need to realize that our children are still children and we can expect them to know what to do and how to react to every situation, and they are not going to make the right decision all the time. They are going to need constant reminding of positive experiences and both positive and negative consequences, and sometimes they are going to need a bit of pleading. The hardest part is not getting frustrated and angry and maintaining a patient attitude.

I think it also helps to be reminded that the simple indiscretions of my children are not much different from my own mistakes. I am constantly making the same mistakes despite the positive and negative associations with my opportunities to do better or worse. I know those around me have had to exercise their share of patience as I have struggled through making the right choices. And I know that my Heavenly Father has given me a continual stream of second chances as I have made mistakes despite constant reminders of the blessings of choosing the right.

No comments:

Post a Comment