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[Comments] (5) when commandments conflict: Susie and I discussed at length yesterday the state of the economy. My brother was asked to take a 15% pay cut at his job, and is already needing assistance to make ends meet. We've also seen people in our ward have to move because they apparently bought more house than was prudent. Yet every week in church we are taught to be self-sufficient. The Mormon pioneers lived in "Deseret" meaning honeybee, meaning industry. We are constantly told to have a food storage, a savings account, to avoid most kinds of debt, etc.

Yet we are also commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. We have been "advised" (not commanded, as far as I am concerned) to be careful in delaying marriage and our child-bearing years.

So. How does one achieve self-sufficiency when one is encouraged to marry in his/her early twenties and have children before a career is started? Don't these two ideas conflict?

But that's my gospel, as I understand it. The great balancing act.

Other conundrums include:

1. Being advised to spend as much time with family, but also being given demanding church callings. Meeting after redundant meeting.

2. Being advised to sacrifice work progression for family, but still maintaining that self-sufficiency. I mean, how many times, realistically, can I tell the boss to do it himself so I can go home early, without getting canned?

3. Following the word of wisdom. I mean, this one's two-fold. Workout time is away from family, but is it not essential? And how can I stay fit when the state of UT is obsessed with ice cream?

4. Quality vs quantity. Mormons are commonly known for being "advised" (again, not commanded) to carefully consider not limiting family size. But we are also commanded to spent quality time with our children, and still make time for a spouse in there! How does that work, when one also works, serves as a Bishop, volunteers at the cannery once a month, attends the temple regularly, home teaches, etc?

Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for my family, I sacrifice sleep to have it all. I NEVER sleep past 8, and am normally up by 6:30. I try and workout and work late at night/early in the morning so that when Maggie wakes up I'm ready to play with her. I try and come home before 7 to spend time with her before bed, even if it means going back to work at 8 pm. But this solution doesn't work for everyone; even I can only handle it 6 months of the year I'm crazy busy.

I told my sister, who plans to work after she has kids, that this is the only way I've figured out to not feel guilty for neglecting my family and still meeting my obligations to the best of my ability. She cringed. But we do what me must, when commandments conflict.


Posted by Kristen at Sun Mar 01 2009 16:11

Definitely a good after-dinner conversation. The balancing act is very tough, and takes a lifetime of practice.

Posted by Sumana Harihareswara at Sun Mar 01 2009 17:59

Only the people who take these duties seriously and treat them with the respect and consideration they deserve even think about these issues at this level. Thank you for sharing with us.

Posted by Mom and+Dad at Sun Mar 01 2009 19:45

These are all good questions and the best answers are what you said, "Do what you have to and do the best you can." Every family has to figure it out on their own.

Posted by Joe Walch at Sun Mar 01 2009 20:30

I don't know. Life's full of sacrifice and trials. I look forward to the future possibilities with children and hope for the best. We've been preparing for the worst, though, and that has saved our hides this year.

Posted by Susie at Mon Mar 02 2009 19:30

It seems like a lot of people don't take the commandment to be self-sufficient seriously. Maybe that's why we hear so much about it at church.

You do such a good job balancing everything and making time for us. Maggie and I appreciate it!

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