This morning he collected his reward, then during breakfast he asked Chelsie if he could have a bath. A little suspicious, she asked him if he had wet himself, and he replied "no". Okay, fine, have a bath.
After he was out and dry, he bravely made the long march up to mom and confessed "Mom, I don't want to feel bad anymore. I peed."
While we are disappointed that he lied (for which he is being punished), we have lauded his eventual honesty. He told me how sad his heart felt while he was bathing.
Just last week in our studies, we were reading the chapters where Alma sits each of his sons down for a father-son chat. To his son Corianton, Alma taught that "wickedness never was happiness." (Alma 41:10). We had a discussion about that principle--how your heart can't be fully at peace when things are amiss in your life, especially when wicked actions are being consciously perpetrated.
I made sure to remind him that we aren't a church of guilt and manipulation, but pointed to Alma's final plea to Corianton "And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance." (Alma 42:29)
When Christ admonishes us to become as a little child, he means exactly what Liam exemplified today.
So: What wickedness am I allowing to corrupt my happiness? What wickedness are you allowing? Why do we train ourselves to struggle through a self-inflicted torture chamber? I've heard that human nature would only have us change ourselves when the pain of the problem becomes worse than the pain of the solution.
Examining my 34-year old heart, I've been down roads both high and low. There is baggage and cobwebs and skeletons. Within those halls of my heart also exists my virtues and talents, my hopes and joys. Yet focusing solely on the good does not without additional effort eliminate the bad which I am consciously allowing to remain. To acknowledge it all at once--taking on the monuments and the minutiae of our carnal past--is, I believe, self-defeating. So we take steps, then strides.
As we begin our purge, we can learn much from the parable of The Lost Coin. Tucked away in Luke 15 between two "more famous" parables (The Lost Sheep and The Prodigal Son), we read two paltry verses:
8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
Interpretations abound. I have typically heard taught that the woman represents Jesus Christ (or the Father), and the lost silver represents us. After all, the Lost Sheep represents you and me; the Prodigal Son represents you and me. That interpretation is certainly acceptable and doctrinally sound: we are precious and worth seeking, if we would allow ourselves to be found.
I prefer this interpretation: The woman who loses her piece of silver is me. She is you. She has lost her coin through overt sin, or gradual apathy toward this-or-that commandment, or, to use Alma's general statement, she was simply wicked, and therefore lost her full measure of happiness. In the process of the search, what is the first thing she does?
Why--she lights a candle! Now that candle, to me, represents Jesus Christ. He is my light, just as he says. Now that she can see clearly, she recognizes a need to do some housekeeping, sweeping the house, dusting the cobwebs, reorganizing the pantry, and so on. I'm sure many of us have experienced the "cleaning fever"--where we start one cleaning project, and by day's end, we've overhauled four rooms and part of the garage--right?
It is through this process--requiring much effort and action-- that she finds her silver! I've already compared the piece of silver to happiness--and that stands pat. But let me put it a different way: she says to her friends "Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost." Let's read it like this: "Rejoice with me; for I have found the peace which I had lost."
I won't spend time belaboring the missionary lesson present in this parable. Perhaps in another blog entry. But do think about it, though, if you would.
And so my four-year old has shown me the way. My little child has led me. This is but one fruit of family scripture study. It is also a fruit of Liam's nocturnal enuresis.