Personal Online Journal

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Farmers, Atheletes and Musicians

On the way home from our Priesthood Campout, my sons and I listened to Farm Wisdom for City Folks.  It is one of the best talks I have heard.  My dad grew up on a farm and orchard.  His dad supplemented their income from the farm.  When my dad graduated from BYU in the late 60s he got a job in Phoenix.  We lived there for about 10 years.  One of my dad's concerns was that he raise his children well.  One of the main reasons he moved west to the suburb of Peoria was he could get a couple of acres of irrigated land.  He wanted to make sure his children knew how to work.  And that they would grow to love it.

Some of my best memories with my dad were when we were working.  I was pretty little when we built the house in Peoria.  My dad spent at least a year going into work extra early so he would have time to go out to the property and work on something or another.  He did get contractors to dig the basement, and many other large items.  But Dad helped a lot with the electrical system, all of the drywall, taping and painting and I am sure much more.

The younger brothers and I built the work shed he has.  We would pour a little slab of concrete at a time.  I remember using the electric drill to put in hundred of screws to put up the siding and the roof.  Our family vacations were also work.  I think camping is a way to make work fun.  Coming off of our priesthood camp out, I tell you that it is work.  From the planning, packing, setting up camp, breaking it down and all the hiking around.  I remember when mowing the grass turned from being a chore to having a measure of satisfaction in a job well done.  There were many times that I looked forward to mowing.

John Bytheway mentioned talking to a mission president.  He said that if all his missionaries would be farmers, athletes or musicians, 70% of his problems would go away.  He said that each of these pursuits cultivate a certain character in people.  The law of the harvest is in effect.  You cannot plant seed at the beginning of September and expect a harvest by dumping hundreds of gallons of water on it and waiting a few days to harvest.  The same goes for dedicated athletes and musicians.  You have to dedicate yourself to them and incrementally get better and stronger and more skilled.  You have to learn to continue on when you don't feel the progress happening.

President Benson said it this way.
I have often said that one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.

A second aspect that stood out to me was that we are amusing ourselves to death.  That we are moving generally from a work ethic to an entertainment and welfare ethic.  While I think that it is possible that this is a general trend in our society, there are many, examples that I see of a work ethic and honor in craftsmanship around me.  There are so many that are willing to put in the effort needed to be honorable producers and not just consumers.