To be a decent person. To be happy. Those are the two main things most people say when asked what they want for their child.
We then proceed to raise our children in such a way that constantly challenges the possibility of those two elements, at every juncture of our society. For better or worse, we raise our children to measure decency and happiness by standards of a world of consumerism run amok and competition built into every aspect of living. Double standards, duplicity, and deceit are so much a part of our daily lives we have lost all awareness of there existence and the insidious nature of how they erode the soul.
What most people really want for their children is for them to be successful in their own world. If they can eke out some happiness, and also manage to be reasonably decent in the doing, those are bonuses, but not requisites. So we raise our children with the tools and expectations of success. And those tools become paramount. Whether we mask them with other names or not is irrelevant. They are the tools for success in the world the parent identifies with. Everything from how we dress to how we look at sexuality to what classes we take and what sports we enjoy. We shape and mold our children in the image we want, or wanted, for ourselves.
Although physically located dead in the middle of America, the FLDS have maintained a culture that has not evolved in the same way as the rest of us. When they state a desire to raise their children as decent people, with the hope that they are happy it is a literal statement. It is unencumbered by the accoutrements of gearing for success in today’s larger world. That is an entirely foreign concept for most of us. We hear and interpret their words with our filters. We interpret what we hear with our subliminal understanding of what something means, and our own standards firmly in place in our thinking. Because the words are the same, we cannot seem to set aside our meaning for those words.
To the FLDS parent, there is a fundamental and unquestionable belief that with decency and happiness comes success. Not the other way around. If you are decent you will be happy. If you are happy, you will be successful. And all three words are defined very differently for everyday life than we commonly define them;
Decent = learning, understanding, believing, and following God’s word. Living in righteousness. Being kind, fair, loving, generous, non-judgmental, and all of the things knowing God’s word commands.
Happiness = The knowledge that you dedicate every day to achieving being a decent person. It allows you, no matter how difficult the work has been, to feel good. To feel your spirit fill with happiness.
Success = Walking in righteousness, that has come from working hard, everyday to live decently. And understanding that it is lifelong work to remain successful.
To begin to understand the FLDS culture, you have to shed away all your built in beliefs of what those three words mean and see them as defined this way. And see them as the primary guidance that each and every member of the FLDS community lives and measures their life by. Not by possessions, money, social standing, career choice, or anything else. And it is by these definitions their children are raised.
I want to share this beautiful, short video with everyone, if the link posts properly...
Amazing grace in Rome
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