Today, I would like to talk about something that I believe is a BIG Deal for most of us.
Especially this time of year when we are all reflecting on the life and sacrifices of the Savior.
And that topic is: MISTAKES!
Have you ever made a bad decision?
If so… When you look back on that mistake, was it avoidable?
Could you have made a better decision if only you had thought to seek out advice?
If not, then you are uniquely blessed.
If you are among those of us who have made terrible choices in our lives…
Then welcome to our club, it is a large one indeed.
Avoidable bad decisions happen to everyone,
And they keep happening to some.
I have put a lot of thought into this question because…
If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you will know that I have made some really big mistakes in my life that have caused a great deal of pain to my children.
I have had to learn how to deal with the regret and guilt that those kind of mistakes create.
The guilt and regret nearly destroyed me before I got a handle on it…
And without the Atonement of the Savior, I would NEVER have gotten a handle on it at all.
But as I have reflected on this question,
I also came to a realization about life…
Parents and teachers train us to apologize when causing harm and to give thanks when accepting help.
But nobody trains young people, when they have an important decision to make, to ask themselves if they have the knowledge and experience to handle it, and if not, who does and can help.
In school and in the home we are taught how to:
Save and budget.
How to cook and clean.
How to study.
Are we taught just how incredibly important choosing a life partner is?
How making sure that the person you marry has the qualities necessary to be the parent of YOUR children?
Do they share your ideas on such major issues as faith, money, love, and traditions?
The world is full of adult parents who are now raising young children.
Those parents have made terrible choices in their lives that have caused them tremendous pain,
and yet for diverse reasons of
and even biology,
They do not try to bring the knowledge and experience of their past to bear on their problems and challenges, in the service of raising children who are EQUIPPED with better decision making skills.
We hide our faults from our children out of some twisted need to appear perfect to them.
Maybe one reason for this failure is we all share a fear of appearing weak.
Another possible reason may be that schoolwork has trained us to do problems on our own without consulting anyone,
(because that is considered cheating.)
Still another reason, a modern one, is that people think that consulting books or the web are good enough.
Good books and web articles can convey principles and specific examples.
They cannot possibly address the great variety of people’s situations the way that having an actual conversation with an actual person can.
However, I believe that the main reason that people do not proactively seek advice from others is that they just don’t think of it;
It’s not a PRACTICED HABIT.
Even when people do take the initiative of seeking out advice, they often don’t do it well;
It’s not a PRACTICED SKILL.
For example, they might seek advice from only one person in order to avoid the confusion and stress that result from getting contradictory advice.
To become a skilled advice seeker,
And thus make better decisions,
It’s also helpful to understand that advice consists of much more than just merely obtaining solutions to a problem.
Let’s imagine that we are a mother who wishes to rejoin the workforce after a long absence…
She really needs to seek out advice from many different sources.
She needs to find a job that will use her talents and experience, while also being compatible with her life as a mother.
She needs to know how returning to work might affect her children and her spouse who are used to having her around all the time.
She needs to consider how this will change her routine at home, and double her responsibilities, and how other women have handled this with their families.
So you see…
Advice can reveal dimensions of a problem that you might not have considered.
Advice enables you to proceed with the confidence that you’ve considered the available options.
So, if it is obviously logical to seek out advice…
WHY are there so many members in the MISTAKE MAKING CLUB?
Today, I want to encourage you to be willing to be vulnerable.
Be vulnerable at home with your spouse and children.
Admit to them that you are not perfect, but that because of your mistakes, you have valuable life experience to share with them.
You never know, you just might save your child from a whole lot of hurt….
Be vulnerable at work.
Be willing to ask for help when you need it.
Be vulnerable with your friends.
Let them know how much you value their opinions.
Be vulnerable with God.
He went to the cross to take away your sins, so go to Him in faith and repent and allow the gift of the Easter Season to bless your life.