The kids and I all sat on the floor around our Passover feast of a rotisseire chicken (lamb was too complicated), radishes (horseradishes were too hot), salty water and spinach (I forgot the parsley), and toasted naan bread (which still contained some yeast, but looked pretty flat to us and we all liked it).
We got to the part in the Haggadah reading of the plagues. In order to make it personal I mentioned, "So, Skyler would have been dead in the morning if we didn't put blood on our doorposts."
"Would you have put blood on the door?" He asked, worried.
"Of course!" We assured him.
I was struck with a sudden connection I hadn't seen before in the story.
"What is coming up this weekend?"
After a few guessing tries (Spring Break, Grandma's Birthday, Easter) the kids found the answer I was looking for, General Conference.
"What if President Monson asked us to put lamb's blood on our doors?" Everyone quickly agreed they would do it.
I asked if they thought he would. We discussed what other things he might be warning us about and asking us to do that might be just as important as marking our doorposts with blood.
On Easter, we watched the Exodus movie. We had to frequently tell Skyler to close his eyes (and he'll probably be sleeping in our room for months) and assure the kids that God didn't look like a boy of 10, but when the lamb's blood on the doorpost part came, we realized we had been wrong. It wasn't the youngest boy, it was the oldest.
Davis looked up in fear. "Would you have put blood on the doors?"
"We would have smeared as much blood as we possibly could all over those door posts and over door to make sure you were safe." I assured him and tucked him in closer to me as we watched the destroying darkness come over Egypt, taking all the first born sons.
We had just finished watching General Conference. What plagues had we been warned about? What measures had we been counseled to give? Would it have been easier to follow one night of smearing blood on posts, than to buckle down and commit to daily family prayer, scripture study and weekly family home evening? Was I, as a mother, taking the prophet's counsel as seriously as the Hebrews had taken Moses' counsel that night?
On Friday Tim told me of another acquaintance of ours that was finalizing her divorce, after her husband's fifteen year battle with pornography. Then he listed a handful of other couples we had known at that time that had also divorced, as a result of pornography addiction. I doubt any of us would have to reach far to feel the affects or pornography on our own family, or our friends and family's families. I've heard it called a modern plague before, and as I sat their snuggled with my family in our dark theater room watching the darkness come into every home, except those who had followed Moses' strange command, I thought the label of a plague wasn't far off.
Tim watched the Priesthood session from home.
Soon after it had started, jokingly I said, "Have they talked about pornography yet?"
We kinda laughed when not more than ten minutes in or so it had been addressed.
This post felt more epic in my mind. Perhaps it was that deep connection that I personally made and the honest evaluation of asking myself, "Am I taking the modern prophet's counsel as seriously as if Moses had asked me to paint my doorposts in order for my son not to die that very night?"
My answer was not yes. If the prophet has given us, and continually is giving us, ways to protect our families from all sorts of modern plagues (I certainly noticed themes of protecting the traditional family, religious freedoms, and testimony during this weekend's General Conference) are we taking is seriously?
This morning, I remembered some resources on pornography a friend I had met at a retreat had shared on her website. I watched her presentation and at the end she asks what you have felt prompted to do. What I felt prompted to do, was record and share this post (to also order the suggested books, and to actually read Good Pictures, Bad Pictures--which I ordered months ago with my kids) and to look seriously at other counsel given at General Conference this weekend.
AND just for good measure, I must record my favorite talk by Wilford W. Andersen (on hearing the music of the gospel, not merely dancing the steps), that after watching it once, I put it back to the beginning of the talk just to watch it again. Beautiful!!!