Monday, March 07, 2016

Keeping Evil Abrupt

This week I read this quotation of Elder James E. Faust in the Sunday School manual: "...we tend to accept evil as long as it is not a shock that is thrust on us abruptly. We are inclined to accept something morally wrong if it is only a shade more wrong than something we are already accepting" [Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual, Lesson 10].

As our oldest kids advance into their early teen years (Crazy Jane is 13.5 and Articulate Joe is nearly 12), I am aware of the large divide between our kids' thoughts and behaviors and those of their age peers in America. My cousin has a daughter less than one month older than our daughter, and that girl seems like she's 25 years old.

I've been thinking about what makes the difference. I think part of the difference is that our kids don't have any peers in their lives who are pushing the sexualization envelope, and they definitely don't spend all day in a building of 1,000 such peers. They do have peers, but they are other homeschooled kids. My daughter spends time with a group of 13-year-olds who act and behave like 13-year-olds, not like college freshmen. Of all the things homeschooling does for us, one of the biggest is it helps us maintain the abruptness of evil.

President Thomas S. Monson is fond of quoting Alexander Pope:

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien

As to be hated needs but to be seen;

Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,

we first endure, then pity, then embrace.

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