Saturday, November 14, 2009

Like Dragons

I spent some of yesterday boxing up any remnants of family life that needed to be put away until they could make me less sad. I think I may have boxed up my set of scriptures because last night, I could only find the set J had used on his mission. Instead of picking up where I left off before (because come on, like I remember exactly where I was?) I browsed through it reading his notes in the margin and reading the scriptures that he marked either for class or because they had touched him in some way. Last night I focused in on this particular scripture since he had both highlighted it and underlined a section of it (the parts he underlined as well are in red):

And it came to pass that the people of Limhi began to drive the Lamanites before them; yet they were not half so numerous as the Lamanites. But they fought for their lives, and for their wives, and for their children; therefore they exerted themselves and like dragons did they fight.
Mosiah 19:20-11

I loved the imagery of fighting like dragons even when outnumbered because they were fighting for the lives of their families. It's like Braveheart Book of Mormon style :-). I could tell he also liked the imagery at the time and I imagined him telling himself that he too would fight like a dragon to protect his wife and children from any threat.

We are always told to liken the scriptures to ourselves and it was surprising how relevant this particular scripture seemed to today. In a way it felt like a warning. The fathers of today do not need to fight marauding Lamanite armies. Although fathers are still responsible for the physical safety of their families (one of the daddy duties I feel far less equipped to 'take over' every time I have to grab the baseball bat and investigate a suspicious noise, which so far has always turned out to be Jack the cat). What are even more threatening to their families today are the forces that would take them away from it. Families are traditionally set up in a patriarchal order and and fathers are charged to provide and be an example thier kids can emulate.

Satan is becoming very, very good at getting past that first line of defense.

The invading army of today can't be beaten with clubs or bows. It comes in the enticing form of alcohol, drugs, pornography, pride, selfishness, addictions of every kind or that pretty/handsome co-worker or friend you are spending a little too much time with, while Satan cleverly whispers thoughts in your ear about how they are superior to your spouse. Everyday, fathers are falling. Fathers who should be fighting like Dragons to keep their homes and wives and children safe against 'armies' that most definitely outnumber them. Is it daunting? Absolutely. But the men of Limhi WON in the face of terrible odds because their focus was on letting no harm whatsoever come to those they love most. That is a strength in itself. Not only are fathers falling, many of them are joining the army of destruction and selfishness and are so entangled they don't even know they switched sides and in many ways are fighting against their own families. Every person is endowed with the option to fight or flee, but too many are losing faith in the weapons they once trusted.

Fathers lead the family and should consider themselves the first line of defense knowing they have precious souls counting on them to be strong. I believe that is why Satan often strikes there. The amount of single mothers are climbing every year and every time a father leaves his family without fighting like a dragon for them, he statistically increases the chances that his children will also see divorce as a way to avoid working hard for something. Anytime a mother has to take on the father duty as well, their own divine role is often put on the back burner as basic needs have to met and the rent has to be paid. Just by lack of time, it is that much harder to give their children the guidance and time they need and were designed for. Before you know it the family is in 'danger'.

I thought about the wives mentioned in the scripture. Surely they also knew their men were outnumbered and that they needed to have a plan B. Were they going to run? Hide the children? Try to fight? Each of them must have been so grateful for the man who was out there willing to stand between them and destruction so they could comfort and care for the children. Wives, do we take for granted the many battles our men fight daily to remain a worthwhile leader in the home? Or do we only notice when they lose one?

I married a man who once ranked among the most honorable warriors out there. I felt so safe and it has been devastating to see my hero fall. Even when I know he was up against terrible odds, I also believed he could ultimately defeat them. I still think he could at any point but it is up to him to find his own strength now (or not). No one can really fight another persons battles. That's agency for you

In the meantime, I am the second line of defense for my family and I don't actually know what my plan B is. This is a role I genuinely never expected to have to take on. My future has never been so foggy. All I do know that the effort will require fighting like a dragon and that I too have a choice.

Hear me roar!


  1. I think you are very brave!!! I have enjoyed reading your blog and I know there are a lot of women out there going through similar situations. Your children are blessed to have such a beautiful, strong and committed mother. Keep your head up :)

  2. This is truly an Ensign article. You have a gift. This was like an article in today's paper about the attack on the Bro Nelson?,wife and others at the mission homein Mozamabique a year ago. The intent was to kill and kidnap. She described how the robbers casually disarmed the outside help and .without notice casually entered, looking like others. As her talk went on she likened it to how Satan enters so easily.The Mission mom took action, ran and called for help. This essay paralleled her talk. You are definately on the right track...just keep going forward.

  3. Amen Luv. Amen! I needed so much to hear this. We have a 13 year old right now so hurt by the past, and you've helped me find my guidance. Fight like a dragon. Now I hardly feel guilty about blocking his moms' phone number, I think I can be strong enough not just to comfort him, but to fight for him. You inspire me so much.

  4. I agree- you have always had a gift of writing and this is beautiful. I will make sure to appreciate the battles won more instead of just focusing on battles lost with DMP- this was inspirational.

  5. I was referred to your blog by your friend Amanda Montague after she heard my husband left me too. I have 2 boys and a new baby daughter that I am learning to be a single mother to. You are courageous and your words bring me peace. Thank you.

  6. You have to send this to the Ensign or somewhere. This is a great analogy that we all need to read and feel. God bless your strength and wisdom. You are awesome!