Sunday, January 10, 2010

More on George... and GREAT advice on life and relationships!

So, I've been studying the Ten Commandments recently and reading articles about each one. I naively thought that I was very successful in following the majority of the commandments... and I am when I read them word for word, literally. But, recently I was challenged to REALLY study each one and see how I can apply and EXTEND its meaning into my life.

For instance, one commandment is: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:4). Yep - got that one covered. No graven images in my room! But, digging deeper, I can see how idolatry may take many forms. I do not bow before graven images or statues, but need to examine my life and see if I, at times, instead replace the living God with other idols, such as money, material possessions, ideas, or prestige. In their lives, “their treasure is their god”—a god that “shall perish with them” (2 Nephi 9:30). For me, a new application and something to think about...

Back to George and the reason for the post! Today I ran across an article from one of the former prophets of our church entitled "Honor." The intended audience was the youth of the church at that time, but I know its message applies to me to!

In the article he referenced George Washington. My new fascination of studying the life of this man was again renewed today by reading this quote from The Making of George Washington by William H. Wilbur (1973).

“At a very early age George was required to memorize the Ten Commandments. His mother found time to see to this.

...“August [George’s father] did his part by explaining the meaning of the Ten Commandments. He made it crystal clear that a member of the Washington family does not lie, does not steal, does not cheat. The lesson was well learned; Washington’s whole life exemplified these precepts” (Wilbur, p. 71). I think this is very admirable and I agree that his life exemplified this. I imagine his father sitting him down and not beating around the bush by covering "gray areas." "This is it", he must have said. "It's black and white. No if's and's or but's!"

Later in the book, a chapter entitled “Age Fifteen” has a fabulous statement on the relationship of young men with women. Counsel given to young George by his brother Lawrence:

“The Lord gave most of us a wonderful body, George. He gave you a particularly remarkable one. EVERY part of it was devised and created by the Lord for a particular purpose. He made you different from a woman so that later you could find a fine woman, make her your wife, and produce children. Real happiness can be found only in family life with a good woman. …

“If the woman you choose is not a person of high moral standards, is not true to you, your life will be a miserable one. I believe it is equally true that a woman cannot find happiness with a man who is not true to her...."

He then goes on to give some dating advice to young George with the point of reminding him to seek for a pure and virtuous young woman and one who holds her standards high... and then it ends with this quote which I also LOVE!

“If you find it hard to keep your thoughts in line, go out and run a mile, a longer distance if necessary. Or go out and do some strenuous physical work. …

“Be the master of your body; be the Captain of your ship!” (Wilbur, pp. 135–37).

The power of exercise or even strenuous work can do miracles for our thoughts! Even ones that are just negative. I've discovered in my life that if I am in a bad mood, if I do something physical for even 20 minutes, I find that my perspective completely changes! And, it's a lot better than the option I still (unfortunately) choose at times - drinking a diet coke instead! Caffeine can change my outlook on life as well, but I'd rather have the exercise and I know the Lord and my body would too!!


HaH said...

I'm glad to hear you don't have any graven images in your room. But I like the concept of digging deeper into the Ten Commandments. And I think I want to learn a little more about George Washington too!

GN said...
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