Saturday, May 24, 2014

"I do not know the meaning of all things" 1 Ne 11:17

Before Nephi was shown the vision that his father saw he was asked a few questions. Some questions that Nephi had an answer for, and some questions that he did not. One of the questions that he was asked has made me think and ponder on multiple occasions.

"Knowest thou the condescension of God?" -1 Ne 11:16- 

What has confused me about this phrase is the juxtaposition of the words condescension and God. the word condescension has a negative tone to me, as it is usually used to describe someone's prideful actions, and God has a positive and loving connotation to me, so initially the phrase does not make sense to me. But if you think of the position of God as a perfect being who interacts with imperfect humans that he loves, it is a condescension. So in other words, I think the question is saying "Why do you think God interacts with souls that are imperfect, what does God do for his imperfect children".
Having made sense of that phrase Nephi's response is what strikes me as an important lesson for me as a father. 

"I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless I do not know the meaning of all things" -1 Ne 11:17-

Nephi expresses his imperfect knowledge while addressing a fundamental truth; that he knows his Father in Heaven loves him. I feel that God, in many instances, has given me a taste of his love for me in blessing me with children. I have a relationship with my children, and my father, that is similar to my relationship with my Father in Heaven. Although I am far from perfect, I definitely have more experience and insights on life than my children, and I want to pass on my knowledge to my children so they can have the best chances of happiness. I know that much of my advice will go unnoticed and unappreciated by my children, but what I think will be most beneficial and important for my children is to know that I love them. With limited understanding kids often don't see the importance of rules, traditions, or simple instructions, but they can always understand that their father loves them.

So how are my kids going to know that I love them? How can I do better in showing and expressing love? These are the simplest and first ideas that come to mind.

Say "I love you" in a meaningful way
Play with them
Go on outings
One-on-one interaction
Serve and help others together
Talk to them as an equal
Explain why 
Have patience

Anything you can think of?


  1. Cool post man. I liked reading it. I also need to work on showing more love to my kids. One thing that I've learned is really excellent for kids is praising them for their effort. There's some very telling research on this. So, instead of telling Allie, "You are such a smart girl" I try to say "You tried so hard on that drawing and did a great job!"

    I think specific praise related to effort also conveys our interest in the specific aspects of their lives. I'm definitely going to praise Luke for his dancing skillz when I see him next.

    1. Good idea! I think I get lazy in my praise sometimes. Thoughtful praise shows love.

  2. I think having healthy expectations and being consistent with following up with discipline and consequences is another way to have and demonstrate love. It doesn't always feel or seem like love from their perspective but we need structure just as much as we need nurture.

  3. Great point Allen! Perhaps we could even be more loving in our discipline? Practicing discipline with patience, encouragement, and love is something I struggle with, but I think would be much more effective, help build self-esteem, and provide more connection between father and child.