P.S. What is your Dream? Eternal Roles and Responsibilities

Friday, 22 October 2010

Nicole Clark | University Relations | 22 October 2010

BYU-Hawaii had the unique opportunity to hear from not only President Steven Wheelwright but also his daughter Melinda Brown and granddaughters Candace and Rachel. 

Candace and Rachel introduced their mother and grandfather.  They said that when President Wheelwright grows up he wants to be a cowboy as well as acknowledging his love for whipped cream and his 18 grandchildren. Mindy is the second child of President and Sister Wheelwright and she graduated from BYU-Provo in economics, which, according to her daughters, she now uses to help them pay their tithing.


Both President Wheelwright and his daughter spoke because they felt it would be best to have two perspectives from a male and female and older and younger person.

Sister Brown said while introducing the topic of their message, “What is your dream? I suspect that the vast majority of us would answer similarly, that our dream is to have a happy family.”

“The world's priorities are changing: Adults are placing career, success, and wealth ahead of family; governments are instituting anti-family public policies; and media flood the airwaves and Internet with selfish, hedonistic messages." Referring to these anti-family trends, Sister Brown has noted that if it's anti-family, it's anti-Christ. "Since marriage and family are central to the Savior's plan, anyone or anything that works to destroy these undermines His plan and is ‘anti-Christ,’” Said President Wheelwright.

“So what are The Basics that we should be intentionally learning in order to be prepared to create a happy family? We have prayerfully contemplated and studied that question and have distilled our thoughts down to a simple diagram comprised of seven principles and practices that will help each of us achieve our dream of forming a happy family,” said Sister Brown.

The first three principles are commitment, sacrifice, and selflessness. 

“Pursuing your dream of a happy family will require that kind of vision and that kind of persistence because I can promise you there will be hard days in your marriage and in your child-rearing. When the going gets tough, the committed get tougher. Right now, learn to be committed by living the Honor Code completely. Develop your commitment by following through with what you've said you'll do, in your schoolwork, your church callings, and with your friends. Choose to intentionally commit to the things that matter most to you, and when you are married, your total commitment will already be a habit,” said President Wheelwright.

He introduced the next three principles when he said, “With those three core principles as integral parts of your character, three basic practices will give you tangible experiences to better prepare you for your eternal roles and responsibilities of marriage and parenting. These are willpower, respect, and service.”

“In family life, a respectful attitude towards your spouse and children will require your commitment and selflessness. Respect challenges you to think more of another than of yourself, even when you are tired or having a bad day or feeling increased stress…If you are still single, hopefully you are actively seeking dating experiences to give you practice in respecting those of the opposite sex, their different ways of doing things, their different ways of thinking, and their different ways of communicating. On good days, these natural differences between men and women may lead you to agree that opposites attract. On hard days, just remember that there must be opposition in all things!” joked President Wheelwright. 

President Wheelwright continued, “The third pattern we suggest you practice and make a habit is serving others. Successful marriage and childrearing require countless acts of service, from both husband and wife. My father, happily married to my mother for over 70 years, used to say that ‘having a 50/50 marriage never works; only a 100% marriage can succeed!’ In other words, if each of you think of the other, help the other, and serve the other 100% of the time, you will be happy.”

“The final piece, the underlying divine principle that will help us succeed in these eternal roles and responsibilities, [slide 22] is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His divine plan of happiness. The Lord always desires to help us, but we must turn to Him for that help. We do not have to do this alone,” said Sister Brown. 

 To conclude, President Wheelwright said, “If you patiently strive to stay committed to this goal, willing to sacrifice and invest in your future, selflessly living the gospel and increasing your faith, these blessings will one day be yours. Actively seek out opportunities to practice your willpower, and learn to respect and serve others. The sooner you hone these skills, the more effective you will be as a husband or wife, a father or mother.”

To read a full transcript of their devotional address, click here.
Photos by Monique Saenz.