Confession and Clarity (dramatic subtitle: How the Bachelor has changed my life)

I watched the premier of The Bachelor the other night.  I wouldn’t even mention it except that I commented something about it on Kristina’s post, and have since been publicly mocked for watching it … and rightfully so.  DeNae said something to the effect of “Stephanie watched the Bachelor?  Now I’ve heard everything.  Bring on the Second Coming!”  (I paraphrased a little.)

In my defense, it was kind of accidental.  I had put my kids down to bed and turned on the TV to keep me busy while I folded laundry.  I happened upon the Bachelor at some part where he was being interviewed about his intentions, and he seemed nice and genuine enough (“I believe in lasting love, I’m ready to be a husband and a father, blah, blah, blah, etc.) so I kept watching.  (Pay attention ladies, this is how Satan works his magic.)  Anyway, then these 25 ladies showed up, and it was all downhill.  They came pouring out of limousines with predator eyes and dresses that were all bought at “Pamela Anderson’s Prom Shop.”  It was kind of like witnessing the destruction of the Twin Towers– you feel shocked and horrified, but can’t take your eyes off the TV.  I believe the producers searched far and wide to find twenty-five women whose most-prized possession is their breasts, and their least-prized possession is their dignity.  Enough said.

So, yeah.  I watched it.  And I couldn’t stop thinking about it all that night.  Or in the shower the next morning.  Or driving to the doctor.  Geesh, those women need help.  Plus it only took Mister Nice-Guy about 10 minutes into the program to fall straight into the “forget about forever– this is all about who turns me on the most right now” mode.  I kind of want to lock my children up in our house (with the TV unplugged) until they’re well past puberty.

And then yesterday, I received a copy of a talk I had requested by Sister Julie Beck.  (I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I love her talks.)  This talk is an address she gave recently to all the Seminary and Institutes of Religion teachers.  It is the BEST. TALK. EVER.  And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  So many great points.  Things I’d never thought of before, but make so much sense.  It totally gave me a new perspective on what I want to teach my children and what I want the young women I work with at church to know.  Unlike the Bachelor (that I couldn’t get out of my mind because it was so wrong), it was just so right. It just oozed TRUTH.

I know I give you links to talks and articles and stuff all the time, but you should REALLY read Sister Beck’s declarations about the theology of the family and our sacred, eternal roles as parents and teachers of the next generation.  It’s so good.  I’ve never tried to link to a .pdf before, so I’m hoping that if you click on this link, you can download the talk.  If you want to read it and can’t get it to work, email me — dd.stephanie [at] gmail [dot] com– and I’ll send it to you as an attachment.

2009-beck-teaching-the-doctrine-of-the-family__eng

So, rest assured (I’m talking to you, DeNae) that I’ve watched my first and last episode of The Bachelor.  Those people on TV and all the watchers who buy into those philosophies and lifestyles just have it all wrong; they have no insight into the power they have as women, or how mighty a relationship blessed by God can be.  I couldn’t be more grateful for a husband who’s my partner in a real “reality” relationship and the opportunity to teach my kids that they can have the real deal for themselves, even when the rest of the world is putting up billboards and neon signs telling them it’s impossible, even stupid.

“I would have you live in your homes, in
your families, in your marriages so your
students have the hope of eternal life from
watching you. Your objective is to live the kind
of a home life that your students want to have
—have that kind of a family. They won’t get
that message from many other places. Live it
and teach it with so much clarity that what you
teach will cut through all the noise they are
hearing and pierce their hearts and touch them.
You don’t need to compete in volume; you
don’t need to compete in the number of words;
you just need to be very clear in your examples.
You are the ideal for them. . . .”

“Your role in this is to teach them so they don’t
misunderstand, to be very clear on key points
of doctrine, which you find in the proclamation
on the family. This is prominent in your
teaching, prominent in your classrooms,
prominent in what they’re learning. You are
preparing them for the blessings of Abraham in
everything you are teaching. You are preparing
them for the temple. You are seeking to send
forth from every classroom an Isaac and a
Rebekah. You’re living so they have confidence
in you, and through your example they know
they can form eternal families.”   –  Julie Beck