Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Thinking - A Ball Point Pen is a Ball Point Pen

A psychologist held up a ball point pen to the small group and asked, "What is this?"

He was expectant of an answer and didn't continue until someone said, "A pen."  

He clicked it a few times, making the point go in and out of the casing.  Finally he said, "That's right.  It's nothing but a ball point pen.  But, if I told you enough times and with enough conviction that it was a snake, especially if I had power or authority over you, many of you would eventually begin to doubt that it was just a pen. And," clicking and moving the pen as he talked, "if you had a bad experience with the pen, perhaps it jabbed or flipped you, you would believe even easier that it was a snake."

I've often thought of his assertion that if you hold a position of authority or influence and tell people something long enough, with enough conviction, eventually many will come to doubt that thing which they so clearly knew.  

I've seen it happen in our society over the last forty years.  I remember nearly twenty years ago when Gordon B. Hinckley read, "The Family:  A Proclamation to the World" to the women of the Relief Society.  It is a document defining the family and what it takes to have healthy families.  The closing paragraph invites, "We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

We had been told it was a momentous document before he read it, and I was fairly disappointed after I heard it.  I thought, "That's it?  But everybody already knows what a family is.  I thought this would be something new."

How short-sighted I was.  I had no idea that within a few years our nation would add to the argument of what is considered a living human being, the definition of a family and what constitutes a marriage.  While there are many configurations of a home in our society (some homes have a father and mother, some have only one or the other; other homes have children while some have none), a home or a lifestyle is not synonymous with a family.  The family is central to the Creator's plan and He defined it and no matter what mankind calls it or how he legislates it or what judgments the courts make concerning it, we are ultimately bound by the Creator's definition and laws of the family.

Skeptics will scoff, but that doesn't matter.  I know a family is ordained of God and that marriage between a man and woman is critical to His plan.  No matter how many ways society tries to change the structure of the family it cannot, for it is not ours to change.  Every eternal law has a consequence affixed to it.  We choose the consequence by the choice we make and if we choose to preserve the sanctity of the family we will reap blessings.   Anything we do that undermines the family will also have consequences.  A ball point pen is a ball point pen.


Jill said...

So interesting and true. I still think it's interesting that they introduced the proclamation at the women's meeting and not at General Conference.

Michelle said...

Thank you for this. So well-written.

Cali said...

I've thought about this a lot too... especially as my family is growing. You articulated this so well. Thank you for continuing to teach me.

Becky said...


Ande said...

This was so well written and thought out. Thanks for sharing it Mom.