Jack was the youngest of twelve brothers. As the youngest and most favored of their parents his older brothers hated him. His parents doted on him, giving him expensive clothes and electronic games which really caused a rift between brothers. While on a family vacation, Jack’s brothers hog tied his legs and arms, gagged him and left him in the cab of a running 18 wheeler where he ended up 100 miles away. The brothers came back to tell his parents that Jack was kidnapped right before their eyes. Does this story sound familiar?
We learn lessons about life from many places. This story is taken from Genesis about Joseph and the coat of many colors. All eleven of his older brothers were very jealous of his relationship with their father and wanted to get rid of him. How can we relate those bible stories into modern lessons for our families?
In the case of Joseph, we can learn how to deal with jealousy and envy between siblings and friends. How do we teach our children to deal with unkind or unfair people? As parents we can gleen these lessons which teach us much. Joseph’s brothers certainly didn’t show any kindness toward him with their jealousy. But what if we are terribly jealous of someone’s good fortune or success? How do we deal with it?
Jealousy shows a sign of insecurity or fear. Siblings having to deal with parents’ favoritism want their parents’ approval. Showing forth more love and kindness or doing service for that person might help.
From an LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) General Conference talk in October of 2008, Church leader Joseph B. Wirthlin said this: “I love the scriptures because they show examples of great and noble men and women such as Abraham, Sarah, Enoch, Moses, Joseph, Emma and Brigham. Each of them experienced adversity and sorrow that tried, fortified and refined their characters.”
Years earlier from Joseph in Genesis we learn how Jacob is another great example of how to deal with unkindness. We know that he was promised Rachel to be his wife by her father, Laban and served him seven years. When the time came to marry Rachel, Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah, Rachel’s older sister. Jacob promises to work another seven years for his father-in-law to have Rachel and was married to both and worked another seven years. His patience and long suffering paid off as he fulfilled Laban’s wishes and got what he wanted.
From our suffering in trials we can take a tip from those who have come before us. There are so many wonderful examples of greatness right at our fingertips. I love the story of Esther and how she overcomes prejudice from Haman and saves her people from destruction.
Moses is also another good example of dealing with trials. After being raised in the Pharaoh’s house he fulfills his destiny by helping his people escape the slavery of the Pharaoh. That was no small feat and with the help of God, he succeeded.
For those who know The Book of Mormon, the story of the Stripling 2,000 Warriors telling their military leader Heleman about the testimony of their mothers is so inspiring. Imagine 2,000 young men all between the ages of 16 and 22 all fighting for their freedoms and knew it was the right thing to do because their mothers had taught them. It is a great example of how mothers have such a great influence on their children for good.
I belong to a writer’s group who has monthly meetings and this past Thursday night was our October meeting. We are all online so we meet in a chat room and “talk” to each other. One of our newest members had shared the spiritual thought which was so appropriate for what I am writing about today I wanted to include these words.
From another LDS General Conference in October of 1999, Jeffry R. Holland says for those who are discouraged or down trodden:
“Don’t you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”
As we read the scriptures every day for encouraging words and inspiration we can know that if we trust in God and keep trying regardless of the opposition, we will succeed. We will see the light at the end of the tunnel and overcome our challenges. The scriptures are our life manual and God is our life line to happiness and success.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.