Because we have a service group here and have had family all week, I post the card I sent S this week for her birthday.
This is one of your most important birthdays. You will arrive at the age of accountability. When you choose to get baptized, you promise to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ, always remember Him, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end. That means you aren't ashamed to be known as His follower and do the best you can to follow His example.
Have you ever heard someone say this? "It's my life; I can do what I want?' This is both true and false. Free agency allows us to choose, but all choices have consequences. Choices affect everyone in a person's family, their friends, their future spouse and children, their ability to support their family someday, and their progression in the next life. Choosing the right gives the best possible outcome.
Very little is said about Jesus' childhood and youth in the scriptures, however, the apostle Luke thought it would be important for all children learn about Jesus' early life. God inspires apostles and prophets to teach the things He wants His people to learn. Children who read the scriptures can learn to understand their duty as children. "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Luke 2:52
Let's break down this commandment. Increase=to grow or become more. Wisdom=acting with good judgment to avoid evil and choose the right. How can you fulfill your duty to increase in wisdom? Study the scriptures and pray daily with your family and privately.
Stature=attaining full height and good health. Daniel of the Old Testament is a good example of this. "He was chosen to attend the special school of the King, which included meat and wine and dainties. He and his 3 friends begged an experiment. For ten days, they ate nothing but pulse (whole grains, beans, and vegetables) and drank nothing but water. At the end of the trial, they looked better and appeared healthier than all the others, so they were allowed to continue. At the end of three years, they were brought before the king; among all the students none were found like Daniel and his three friends. In all matters of wisdom and understanding, the king found them ten times better than his wise men. A great parallel with a promise is given in our Word of Wisdom. "All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them," Doctrine and Covenants 89:1821. Each of these promises was fulfilled in behalf of Daniel and his friends," Paraphrased from N. Eldon Tanner, April 1979. To be like Daniel, don't tease your parents for junk, but ask for and eat good food, drink lots of water, play outside instead of sitting around, and use your brain instead of watching TV.
Favor=kind disposition, good manners, proper habits, and happy countenance. Of course you know what it means to be well behaved; that's good favor. How is finding favor with God the best way to find favor with man? People like people who are well behaved. Jesus taught us to love others, be nice and patient, or in other words to be well behaved. Jesus also taught us to love our neighbors. Your family members are your most important neighbors. When we throw tantrums or fight with people in our family, we don't find favor with man or God. "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another," 3 Nephi 11:29.
The other commandment given directly to children supports the first. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth," Ephesians 6:1-3. Parents know what is best for children, because they have more experience. Obeying helps you be safe.
Many of these commandments are difficult. However, you can depend on your parents and Heavenly Father to help you accomplish difficult things. When they ask you to play outside, eat good food, be good, or study hard, the commandment really comes from Heavenly Father. Nephi and Lehi explain this. "...the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall return to Jerusalem....behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord. Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured...I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them...when my father had heard these words he was exceedingly glad, for he knew that I had been blessed of the Lord." 1 Nephi 3:1-8.
I suppose this birthday card is different than others you receive. S, we believe there is nothing more important than our earthly missions. That is why Heavenly Father sent us here. No, you don't have to be crazy perfect, but keep in mind the commandments to children as you go about living life: pray, study scriptures, love learning, eat properly, obey your parents, be kind, avoid contention, smile, be happy, and stand up for Jesus. CU Soon! LYL! P&G