The Good in Knowing What You Don't Want to Know

I've decided that I like knowing how many calories are in that cheeseburger that I'm thinking about ordering at a restaurant.  Restaurants are now required to list the amount of calories in every item on the menu.  At first this kind of disturbed me, because it kind of ruined it when I saw the price that I would have to pay -- in calories.   The knowing took the fun out of eating that cheeseburger.  To be completely honest, I'd prefer not to think about how unhealthy such a choice would be and the consequences of that choice -- and instead just enjoy my cheeseburger.

Life, with its many choices, is kind of like that.  The truth is, the more information we know about how a specific choice could likely affect us, the better decision we tend to make.  The problems begin when we choose to not think about consequences before we act.  Teenagers tend to do this -- a lot.  That's why they tend to have so many problems.   And of course, the rest of us are not immune to this behavior either.

In the raising of my five children, I had one in particular, who was determined for a season, to live life ignoring that there are consequences for choices.  I barely survived.  For most of us, at least I think, we generally accept this principle and in making a negative choice, pretty much accept that we're walking on thin ice, so to speak.  Not my child.  Later, as a responsible adult, this child confessed to me that a conscience choice was made, at the time, to completely disregard and ignore all possible consequences to behavior.  The theory followed -- that if considered, the choice to have "fun" in the moment would not have been made.   And fun was the objective.

At first thought, we might be surprised at such a blatant decision.  At the time, I was.  But then again, am I not doing the same thing when I order that cheeseburger, knowing full well that I will most likely gain weight?  In a strange kind of way, this process of learning through our choices, good or bad, causes me to feel gratitude.  The point being, that through our own choices, we come to learn what is good and what is not good.  Another wonderful result of this process, and probably the most important of all, is that eventually, we learn to trust God.

Eve, expressed similar feelings about what her and Adam had learned, through their life's experiences in choice making...

"Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient." (Moses 5:11)

Returning to my child...  When very small, I taught the principle of agency with clarity.  Perhaps a little too well.  This child had a clear understanding that the right to make personal choices was God-given -- not mom given.  As a young mother, I recognized how empowering this was to this particular child -- who on occasion, used this knowledge against me.  I was often reminded that choice belonged to the child.  Little did I fully understand at the time, but that the consequences of those choices, of which involved much learning for all of us -- would ultimately be what brought that wayward child running straight back into the arms of God!

Learning to exercise our faith, and trust God, is a sign of spiritual maturity.  There is nothing blind about it.  God's ways are proven.  If we desire happiness in our lives, then we must make choices that result in happiness.  It is impossible to have joy and happiness in this life, if our choices are contrary to God's commandments.  We may experience temporary "fun" and even enjoy what we are doing for a time, but the natural consequences of poor choices will always find there way into our lives --- regardless of immediate distortions of what happiness is.

As we learn to trust God, we are more inclined to listen and follow His Prophets.   As members of His Church, Mormons accept the inspired and loving counsel from living prophets.  Their messages are timely for our day and are meant to lead us in the path of righteousness.

Mormon Messages newest video, features strong counsel about the consequences of pornography, from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul

Watch Your Step   



  1. Thanks for taking the time to share these thoughts. This was exactly what I needed to hear today about an almost opposite topic but of which the principle of choice applies perfectly. You don't know who I am but the Holy Ghost does and I'm grateful to have been guided by him today.

  2. @Lisa -

    I'm so glad this was helpful to you. And you're right, eternal principles can be applied in all circumstances -- and that' precisely how we know that they come from God!

    Very nice to meet you:)

  3. I was searching out different ways to teach my children about gospel topics & found your blog jumping from blog to blog... You have a wonderful way of teaching & expressing yourself. You are doing a fantastic job of teaching about the church & I am sure you have been a great missionary through your blog. Thank you for your example!

  4. @Bren -

    Thank you. That is so nice of you to say. I'm glad you found me. Have fun teaching your children! The time you spend teaching them the principles of the gospel is the best gift you can give them.

  5. Yes, ignorance is not bliss! :) Because claiming ignorance will not get one out of the consequences!

  6. just from reading this post I can tell you are an amazing mother and a wonderful example to your children! It's women like you that make me want to be a stay at home mom to my kids one day and teach them principles to live by at an early age. Thank you for the inspiration! :)

  7. @Jacky -

    That is very kind of you to say. Thank you. I too, hope that you are able to be the kind of mother who can influence your children through the principles you teach them and the example that you are.

    I raised my children at a time when being a SAHM was more common. More and more LDS women today either choose to work outside of the home, or because of financial reasons must work. Personally, I considered being able to be a SAHM a luxury. I knew it even then.

    I trust that whatever circumstances a righteous mother raises her children within, they will be taught the principles of the gospel in ways that will help them make good choices.

  8. It's a difficult world in which we live, which preaches the gospel of nihilism. Unfortunately, such a world is very seductive in many ways and can blind even the most intelligent among us.

    More power to you and your efforts in continuing to raise and influence the next generation to make correct choices.

  9. @Euripides -

    Thank you. And well said. That there are absolutes and consequences to our actions, imho, is the key to finding long-term happiness in this life. It is a lie to believe otherwise, and unfortunately the young are the most vulnerable prey for such contrary philosophies. :(


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