I recently read this article about the “Human Barbie” that gave her daughter a voucher for a boob job on her 7th birthday. Someone had posted it on Facebook, and I thought some of the comments were interesting. The sad part about the story is that although this sweet child may be leading a somewhat normal life, she is also being raised in an environment where she will never believe that she is good enough just the way she is. She will be living out her life in preparation for plastic surgery to “correct” her “imperfections”. I also read this article , “Sexy Superstars — Age Five?” and how wrong it is to sexualize and commercialize our sweet little children.
Words cannot express the emotions that are harrowed up by seeing the actions so uncharacteristic of little children when I hear about all the immorality plaguing our society – for all the images and ideals bombarding our world constantly! I can hardly hold back the tears when I think of the awful world my children have to grow up in.
Still, the comments were interesting. Someone said these children should be taken away from their parents. I have a problem with that too. Who’s to say people wouldn’t start saying that about anyone just because they don’t agree with how others are raising their children? How would you feel is someone said that to you because they didn’t agree with you? Yes, it can be argued that these children are enduring a level of emotional abuse, but it is still the parents’ right to raise their children how they like until a crime is committed.
(There is a lot I could say about how I feel about immorality but this post isn’t so much about that as it is about what to do about it).
We live in a sad, scary world where, on one hand, people are getting abortions while others are paying millions for fertility treatments, and orphanages are spilling over with helpless children. We live a world where people are stricken with poverty and disease while still others squander their wealth and health on drugs, and immorality. We live in a world where people are having sex at ever younger ages and where people are struggling with the gender they are born with and even work to change it. (Where do children get the idea that they need to do these things?) People in this world are starving and dying from diseases like anorexia nervosa with abundance all around them, while others starve because they have nothing, and still others glut themselves to disease and death! Maybe a little less dramatic, we live in a world where talentless “artists” are bombarding us with garbage that is influencing our moral values, while true talents go unnoticed and buried in the barrage of media. We are constantly living in a paradox of conflicting morals and choices! Maybe it can be argued that we just need stricter laws and harsher punishments, but whose judgements are we basing those laws on? I’m afraid this would only lead to more over-stuffed prisons than more law-abiding citizens.
As parents, it is our role to coach our children to become people guided by moral discipline “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—” (Doctrine & Covenants 121:41-42).
“The societies in which many of us live have for more than a generation failed to foster moral discipline. They have taught that truth is relative and that everyone decides for himself or herself what is right. Concepts such as sin and wrong have been condemned as “value judgments.” As the Lord describes it, “Every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god” (D&C 1:16).
“As a consequence, self-discipline has eroded and societies are left to try to maintain order and civility by compulsion. The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments. One columnist observed that “gentlemanly behavior [for example, once] protected women from coarse behavior. Today, we expect sexual harassment laws to restrain coarse behavior. …
“Policemen and laws can never replace customs, traditions and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we’ve become” (Moral Judgement, D. Todd Christofferson).
“Alma discovered this same principle, that “the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword” (Alma 31:5; emphasis added). Why? Because the sword focused only on punishing behavior—or [what people] do—while preaching the word changed people’s very nature—who they were or could become” (“What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?” Lynn G. Robbins).
Perhaps the tragedy is that fewer people are understanding their true identity as children of God. What does that mean to you? If you knew your parents were deity, what would you do differently in your life? If you knew your body were a temple where the Holy Spirit dwells, what would you change? Suddenly, tattoos are graffiti, piercings pierce your very soul, and inappropriate sexuality will mar the tender virtue you were born with.
“Moral discipline is learned at home. While we cannot control what others may or may not do, [we] can certainly stand with those who demonstrate virtue in their own lives and inculcate virtue in the rising generation”(Moral Judgement, D. Todd Christofferson).