Thursday, June 19, 2014
What Do Our Church Leaders Say About Homeschool?
A good friend just asked a sincere question; what our Church leaders (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) say about homeschool. I was happy she asked me. This is what they say. They do not say one way or another. They want you and I to decide what we want to do and then they plead with us to pray for inspiration. The most they have ever said is that it is the sole responsibility of the parent to educate their child, however, they will not ever say how you are to be responsible for it. Only you, your spouse and the Lord with the Spirit can decide.
The Ensign of May 2010 is chalk full of good advice for teaching children. It was this general conference that helped to heal me from all the torment I was getting from my loved ones for my choices. However, nowhere in this General Conference did our leaders point out to me or you whether homeschooling or public-schooling is best. Nowhere! That answer is not for them to tell us. They tell us to work out our thoughts, ponder them and to pray.
How do we pray for an answer like this? The Bible dictionary discusses prayer and in the last part of it it states how specific we are supposed to be. My prayers have become extremely specific and then so have my answers. It is incredible to see how the Lord is just waiting for us to ask specific questions and communicate our specific desires before he will do any thing to help us. The responsibility is all on us!
This brings me to another interesting thing I have discovered: asking questions of God. Think about the long time between the Savior’s death, which caused the eventual destruction of the Primitive Church, and the Restoration. During that time, no one was asking God questions. They thought that they knew everything that the Lord had revealed and they continued on that path until the Reformation when Calvin and Luther began to ask questions--only they didn’t ask questions of God, they only asked questions among themselves and their associates. Thus, God did not answer his people throughout that long dark period we know as the “dark ages” nor did he answer questions from the Reformers because no one, not even they asked Him! The queries of the Reformation gradually opened the gates to the Restoration when a little boy of 14, living in a world that finally asked questions once again--asked a question, not of men, but of God. Few had done that for over 1500 years!
I must pause and exclaim that this is huge! What kind of power does our Heavenly Father give to sincere questions? All the power there is! Look at this for instance, after Joseph asked his question and got an answer, he forgot to ask a question for three years. He heard nothing from God. Nothing. Then one night, he thought about the first vision again and prayed asking God if he were to be doing something about the knowledge he received those three years prior. That night the Angel Moroni came to visit him three times and the next day twice. From there on out, whenever Joseph received word from God it was because he inquired of the Lord--he asked a question.
Skip ahead to the time I was twelve and was babysitting a family in Lawrence Kansas, when an announcement came, interrupting a TV family movie we were all watching. President Spencer W. Kimball had just announced to the world that all worthy males, regardless of race, could hold the priesthood. This was huge! Not long after, we heard that the prophet had gone before the Lord with a question and the Lord had revealed to him what we all learned that eventful night. I ask again: How much power does our Heavenly Father place on the act of a single question? He places all his power there. He is waiting for us to ask, he is waiting for us to find the boldness within to ask the pivotal questions of our lives and of our responsibilities. He will not send anything unless we ask. The scriptures give the process by which we get our answers: "Ask and ye shall receive,” "Ask, and it shall be given unto you." I have never read a scripture that says, "Ye shall receive before you ask or even if you do not ask." That would be silly!
So, in summary, the prophets and apostles tell us that only we, the parents, have the responsibility to educate our children. Then, they, the General Authorities, will NOT tell us how, but the next step is to ask God! We ask the question and He will surely give us the answer as sure as He gave an answer to each and every one of his children on this earth, including Joseph Smith.
That is the formula! And to add in our friendly on-going discussion—we must never fall prey to that worldly conveyor belt that goes along and fits parts onto us and our children without our clear conscience and without our “thinking” caps on. We all fall prey to this when we get too comfortable in what we are doing…this is the test! And to pass the test, we must pray for our INDIVIDUAL answer. Sometimes that answer will be that a child ought to be in the public school system, sometimes not. Our answers are all about the questions we ask.