A few weeks ago I was weary (ok – I’m always weary)… and I asked Jimmy if he ever tires of work.
uhhh, you don’t?
Do you ever get tired?
But not of work?
“If you don’t like work, you’re not going to like the celestial kingdom.”
Well… I like the accomplishment of a job well done, but I’m just so tired.
I’d be fine with work, especially in the celestial kingdom, as long as I have boundless energy.
whine, whine, sigh…
So, my mind has been laboring (ha-ha) on the topic of Work. In theory, I’m all about work and teaching the kids to work hard. But in reality, I spend a lot of effort trying to think of FUN things to do instead of hard work… like Saturday morning family activities in the mountains, etc. I think I feel discouraged because the work is never done. If the work is never done – then let’s play instead. Oops! Work first, play later… remember Heather. Yeah, we can get the work under control… but a job is rarely done (ie… laundry/dishes). BUT – my goal is to find JOY in laboring and in creating the life the Lord wants us to have here as a family.
The rest of the ‘green’ words in this post are quotes from J. RICHARD CLARKE, APRIL 1982 – THE VALUE OF WORK. These are my favorite parts:
Work is a blessing from God. It is a fundamental principle of salvation, both spiritual and temporal. When Adam was driven from his garden home, he was told that his bread must be produced by his physical toil, by the sweat of his brow. Note carefully the words: “Cursed shall be the ground for thy sake” (Moses 4:23; italics added), that is, for his good or benefit. It would not be easy to master the earth; but that was his challenge and his blessing, as it is ours.
We are cocreators with God. He gave us the capacity to do the work he left undone, to harness the energy, mine the ore, transform the treasures of the earth for our good. But most important, the Lord knew that from the crucible of work emerges the hard core of character.
In this commitment, our prophets have led by example. It is said that President Wilford Woodruff loved work. “To him it was a blessing, a privilege. … His toil in the canyons, his sweat in the harvest field, … were all important parts in divine economy. …
“To sweat, was a divine command as much so as to pray.” (Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors)
We have a moral obligation to exercise our personal capabilities of mind, muscle, and spirit in a way that will return to the Lord, our families, and our society the fruits of our best efforts. To do less is to live our lives unfulfilled. It is to deny ourselves and those dependent upon us opportunity and advantage. We work to earn a living, it is true; but as we toil, let us also remember that we are building a life. Our work determines what that life will be.
Work is honorable. It is good therapy for most problems. It is the antidote for worry. It is the equalizer for deficiency of native endowment. Work makes it possible for the average to approach genius. What we may lack in aptitude, we can make up for in performance.
As recommended by Korsaren: “If you are poor, work. … If you are happy, work. Idleness gives room for doubts and fears. If disappointments come, keep right on working. If sorrow overwhelms you, … work. … When faith falters and reason fails, just work. When dreams are shattered and hope seems dead, work. Work as if your life were in peril. It really is. No matter what ails you, work. Work faithfully. … Work is the greatest remedy available for both mental and physical afflictions.” (The Forbes Scrapbook of Thoughts on the Business of Life, 1968)
To teach our children to work is a primary duty of parenthood. Our children have experienced unprecedented prosperity created by parents who have worked hard to provide what they themselves did not have as youngsters. If we are to save our children temporally and spiritually, we must train them to work. THEY MUST LEARN BY ExAMPLE THAT WORK IS NOT DRUDGERY, BUT A BLESSING. Fortunate is the young man or woman who has learned how to work. Wise is the parent who requires children to learn responsibility and to meet acceptable performance standards.
Now, what about our leisure time? How we use our leisure is equally as important to our joy as our occupational pursuits. Proper use of leisure requires discriminating judgment. Our leisure provides opportunity for renewal of spirit, mind, and body. It is a time for worship, for family, for service, for study, for wholesome recreation. It brings HARMONY into our life.
Leisure is not idleness. The Lord condemns idleness. He said, “Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent” (D&C 60:13.) Idleness in any form produces boredom, conflict, and unhappiness. It creates a vacancy of worth, a seedbed for mischief and evil. It is the enemy of progress and salvation.
In the broader sense, work is the means to achieve happiness, prosperity, and salvation. When work and duty and joy are comingled, then man is at his best. Tagore wrote,
Work was instituted from the beginning as the means by which the children of God were to fulfill their earthly stewardship. Work is our divine heritage. Elder Stephen L Richards taught: “Work with faith is a cardinal point of our theological doctrine and our future state—our heaven, is envisioned in terms of eternal progression through constant labor.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1939, pp. 65, 68.)