We had our first four children in three years. It was a feat that few can accomplish. We had twins which doubled things up pretty fast. I remember waiting for the birth of our twins, and realizing how out numbered my husband and I would be with our little family and knowing that above all, we needed to have order.
Prior to their births, I prayed many times that the Lord would show me how to have a family with order. I knew my sanity and happiness depended on it. I started training myself to be more orderly, and started teaching my children some basic principles.
My first realization from the Lord was to teach obedience. Obedience comes in steps or layers, especially when they are very young. They can't be expected to do step 3 if they haven't mastered step 1. If they do, and you allow it, the order is lost, and no principles are taught.
For example, one of our first steps when they were little bitty, was to stay in our own yard to play. This was very important to me, that they learn to obey this first instruction. I felt if they can't obey the first rule to stay in our own yard to play, then they can't go to a friends house to play. That was one of the first obedience steps that we had in our home.
Another obedience step as they got older was that they have to contribute to the family. They are expected to keep their room clean and do other house jobs. If those things aren't done, then they can't enjoy other privileges like going and playing with friends. It has just become a basic order of obedience in our family.
Obedience may seem or feel redundant to some. It is following the little things. It is about not excusing ourselves from the rules no matter who they come from. There is a measure of sacrifice that goes with it. Both from the parents to stand by it and to teach it, and for the youth or children to follow it.
We have learned as a family, that obedience is the first law of heaven, and with it brings great happiness, peace, and blessings.
There were two great talks this past General Conference on obedience. One was from Elder L. Tom Perry Obedience to Law is Liberty and the other from President Monson Obedience Brings Blessings. I would encourage you to read these two talks. They are excellent.
Obedience is an eternal principle of God. With it comes strength and great blessings.
“The happiness of the Latter-day Saints, the peace of the Latter-day Saints, the progress of the Latter-day Saints, the prosperity of the Latter-day Saints, and the eternal salvation and exaltation of this people lie in walking in obedience to the counsels of … God.”"Obedience is a hallmark of prophets; it has provided strength and knowledge to them throughout the ages. It is essential for us to realize that we, as well, are entitled to this source of strength and knowledge. It is readily available to each of us today as we obey God’s commandments"
"...the great test of this life is obedience. “We will prove them herewith,” said the Lord, “to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.”-Obedience Brings Blessings.
I especially love the middle quote that we can have what the prophets have--- through obedience. Obedience is the hallmark of their lives and we are also entitled to that same strength and that same knowledge. We are all God's children, and He wants us to be obedient. I really love that.
"In Doctrine and Covenants 130 we read:“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—“And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:20–21).Surely there could not be any doctrine more strongly expressed in the scriptures than the Lord’s unchanging commandments and their connection to our happiness and well-being as individuals, as families, and as a society. There are moral absolutes. Disobedience to the Lord’s commandments will always deprive us of His blessings. These things do not change.In a world where the moral compass of society is faltering, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ never wavers, nor should its stakes and wards, its families, or its individual members. We must not pick and choose which commandments we think are important to keep but acknowledge all of God’s commandments. We must stand firm and steadfast, having perfect confidence in the Lord’s consistency and perfect trust in His promises.May we ever be a light on the hill, an example in keeping the commandments, which have never changed and will never change.- Obedience to Law is Liberty
Have a great day!