Monday, December 15, 2014

Revisiting: Counsel from my Dad

My dad always had good advice.  After some hospital time a while back, I asked him to send this letter to our family.

It is still good counsel.

Everybody has their own joys and sorrows, their own challenges.  I have had some hope that in spite of the day-to-day struggles, we could endure as long and through our own hardships, as my Dad.

9 Mar 2009
Bill Cobabe

This is the message to the family that I promised yesterday in response to Jim's request.

Dear Family,

I do not know how may of you will read this.  I think it is important that I use this medium to speak to you.  When I talked to Jim last night I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he requested that I talk to my family and try to stop the bitter fighting that is going on via the internet.  King Benjamin (in Mosiah 4) counseled the saints to see that their children do not fight and quarrel one with another.  This is my attempt to do so.

The role of patriarch in a family is not really well defined in the scriptures.  Just because I have lived longer than any of you does not necessarily make me any wiser than you.  I guess my authority in this regard is whatever each one of you grant to me.  I regard your faith and trust as a sacred and precious gem.  I do not take it lightly.  I have lost some sleep and spent much time in prayer and I now pray that the Lord will bless me with the words I need.

In the past few days there have been bitter thoughts and words published in family blogs.  I have to think this is grievous to the Lord and gives great comfort and joy to Satan, who is the enemy to all of us.  There have been accusations and vicious attacks from many sides.   Cruel words which can never be recalled have been spoken without regard to the consequences.  I call upon each one of you to cease and desist right now!

None of us is perfect.  This is a goal we're supposed to be striving for, but will likely not achieve in this life.  To aid us in our quest the Savior has given us some clearly defined guidelines.  I'm sorry I don't have my scriptures with me, but I will try to recall some of them.  Maybe some of you can add to my list.

1.  First of all we are supposed to love each other.  "As I have loved you, love one another." (John 14)
2.  He foreknew we would fail in our attempts to live as we should and has provided a means for us to avoid the consequences of our failure.
3.  He paid dearly in Gethsemane and on the cross for our mistakes. (D&C 19)
4.  His love for us in infinite and without any qualifications.  He grants pardon -- which only He can do.  He forgives us.  Though our sins may be as scarlet, they may be as the driven snow. (Isaiah 2)
5.  Our responsibility is to forsake our sins and repent.  He promises us if we do so He will remember our sins no more. (D&C 58)
6.  He tells us that we must forgive one another of all offenses.  He says he will forgive whom he will forgive, but we are required to forgive all men (women too). (D&C 64)
7.  His brand of forgiveness is that he forgets -- I will remember your sins no more.  He tells us that if we do not forgive in the same manner that we are guilty of a greater offense than the offender. (D&C 58, D&C 64)
8.   He tells us that we are to suspend judgement ".. let the Lord judge between me and thee." (D&C 64)

Well, I guess that's enough of that.  As I said, maybe you can add to the list.  But now I want to take another direction -- the internet.  It is a modern day miracle and can be a blessing in our lives.  So much information, so much knowledge, so much good.  Also so much trash, so much ugliness, and so much evil.  The Lord blesses us with great tools to further His designs, and Satan manages to turn these tools against us.  We must be ever watchful. 

Please, I implore you, don't use this great means to accomplish the work of the devil.  Watch carefully what you write.  Guard your children carefully.  Many of them have or will have their own computers.  Perhaps some of these precious little ones have already been exposed to pornography or other evils.  I don't know enough about it to advise you how to block it, but it is imperative that you make every effort to do so.

Please believe that I love each of you.  I pray often for all of you by name; sometimes that takes a long time.  I want you to enjoy happiness and the Lord's peace in your lives.  You are my greatest source of joy -- all of you.

Finally, I testify to you that the principles that we are taught by our Savior, and by his holy prophets, are true.  His gospel is true.  He is the Only Begotten Son of our Eternal Father.  He created the heavens and earth as a place for Father's children to grow and learn -- to become as He is -- and we can do this.  He has given us the church organization and the scriptures and ordinances and inspired prophets and leaders to help us.  And he has given us a sacred charge to nurture his children in example and precept, that they too may become more like Him.

I pray that we may all succeed in our mission in life and enjoy the eternal life that awaits those who persevere in righteousness.


To follow this counsel is more than I have ever hoped for.  But I know that we have to try, and keep trying to the end.  Beautiful blessings will be fulfilled for those who keep their sacred promises.  This is what I pray for daily.

No comments: