It’s voting day. We are all familiar with the choices. Whether you got what you wanted or things turned out much differently in the end than you possibly imagined, I have got to tell you about my voting experience. It is probably not what you are thinking.
My wife and I got up early that morning. We had a lot planned around us. My grandson was coming over early on this day. We frequently get to spend time together with our grandson, but it just so happened that grandma (my wife) was busy that day, so I was on my own. My grandson is six-months-old.
How hard could it be? Right.
First, a call came in and went fairly well until Merv started to make it known that he was finished with the bouncer and ready for bigger, better things. So juggling the phone in one hand and the little guy in the other, I took him into the kitchen, placed him in the high chair, and suited him up for breakfast. He was eager and already had his bottle, so now he was ready for something more substantial. I selected pears.
Mom had conveniently placed a spoon in the diaper bag, so I was set. I put a little monster bib on him and marveled at how cute he was and secretly how well I was doing. When I gave him the first spoonful, he eagerly ate it with a twinkle in his eye and clapped his hands together. I cleverly thought out loud “Wow. I wish I could make all my children that happy with a simple bottle of pears.”
Admittedly, I was in my element. I mean the cutest little guy was cooing in the high chair with a darling outfit, hair combed, face washed, eating sweet pears. He actually laughed while gumming his food. I thought how I have really learned a lot as a father, and now I am able to navigate the challenges of child-rearing even better as a grandfather. He was happy, clean, safe, and satisfied—I got this.
Then my aim wasn’t spot on and a little drop of pear puree fell to the tray. No matter. I will clean that up in a minute. Gratefully, he was hungry and ate well. Literally, he smiled and cooed. I could only think what a great job I was doing, but somehow minutes later, despite my best efforts, portions of the meal were on his clothes, in his hair, and scattered around the floor.
Before I knew it, the tray was dripping with sticky pears and became a playground where he could slide this hands and arms, and he did. Pretty soon his hair was sticking straight up, his eyes were open in astonishment, and pears were foremost on his cheeks, arms, hands, and in his hair, on his clothes, the floor, and me. The only option left was warm soapy water and a washcloth to wash his arms and face, clean his head, wash his hair, rinse the tray and high chair, then mop the floor.
When the pear stickiness was all gone, he lay down and went to sleep. By that time the battleground state of the kitchen had been repaired, and we escaped to the office, where he slept. I marveled to watch his little chest rise and fall as he breathed sweetly and cooed while dreaming of comfort, family, home, and food….For a few minutes.
Our Presidential election is over. But the work isn’t done. Now the people have spoken, and at least for the time being I feel vindicated. We have hope in a president and a nation, but the decision and system are not without consequence. Our task going forward is to make this work. Be the best we can be. Share our hope. And always rely on the hand of God.
When Moroni reinforced the lands of the Nephites, he and his people built many new strongholds and fortified others by digging up heaps of earth round about the cities and throughout all the land, which were possessed by the Nephites. He didn’t wait for the political leader to solve his problems. He caused that works of timbers and a frame of pickets be built strong and high upon the heaps of earth round about. His was a good example. We can read in Alma what happened next:
4 And he caused towers to be erected that overlooked those works of pickets, and he caused places of security to be built upon those towers, that the stones and the arrows of the Lamanites could not hurt them.
5 And they were prepared that they could cast stones from the top thereof, according to their pleasure and their strength, and slay him who should attempt to approach near the walls of the city.
6 Thus Moroni did prepare strongholds against the coming of their enemies, round about every city in all the land. Alma 50:4-6
And we must do exactly the same thing by preparing our strongholds, our homes, families, and children. Protecting them from enemies of our day including self-doubt, depression, sin, greed, love of money, and pride.
Every day is voting day. We vote with our hands and our hearts, with our time and attention, with our money, focus, attitudes, and even our grand-babies. Yes. I am voting for my sweet little sticky pear boy.
And you are voting as well. Either you can choose to tear down or build up, to be a good example or a bad, a detriment or a benefit. You decide your response. But you don’t get to choose the consequences of your choices. They will naturally result.
Believe there is good in the world.
Be the good.
Vengeance is mine, and I will repay; and because this people repented not after I had delivered them, behold, they shall be cut off from the face of the earth. Mormon 3:15
The LOVE of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart.
“Because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations.”
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.