Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Cease to be idle..."

I  have no tolerance for laziness in myself and in my family members.  I should have been born in another time period when people had to work day in and day out just to live.  We have too many conveniences these days that have made us very prone to laziness.  Being idle is actually contrary to the teachings of the gospel.  In Doctrine and Covenants 88:124, it says, "Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated."  This is actually a seminary scripture, one of those scriptures that students of our LDS seminaries are instructed to memorize.  My seminary class in Texas called this scripture the seminary scripture because it talks about not sleeping "longer than is needful" and we had early morning seminary.

I have always believed that work is a necessary part of life. It really, really bothers me when people are lazy simply because they can be (the people I'm thinking of, though, are mostly people that I am around every day, like members of my own family, although it does bother me to some degree to see random people in society acting with such laziness, especially teenagers).  There is always work to be done, but they think, "it's my day off, I can be lazy."  True, we are allowed a day off from our labor, but that is the Sabbath, during which we are admonished to still remain productive.  I recall my parents teaching that even on Sundays, the day of rest, we shouldn't just spend the entire day sleeping.  It is unproductive.  Taking a nap is fine, but sleeping all day is just lazy.

This is also why it's wise to "retire to thy bed early", so that we can get enough sleep to feel rested and not be so tired the next day that we are wanting to sleep in.  Growing up, I had a curfew of 10 p.m. on weeknights, even in the summer months.  That meant I needed to be home then, but I usually tried to be in bed by then as well.  Because I'm a person who learned very early in life that I do not function well with a lack of sleep, I had no trouble keeping to this curfew.  There were occasions where I was allowed to stay out later, but I always regretted it the next day when I still had to be up early the next day.

I take this scripture to heart and very sincerely try to live it.  There are occasional days where I succumb to laziness and I always feel bad later because I allowed myself to be so indulgent and unproductive.  This is probably why I prefer to have my children do chores, piano practicing and schoolwork when they first get up in the morning on summer days.  "Work first, play later" has always been one of my mantras.  I do try to spread out the work so that I do have time for play because I also believe what Brigham Young said about dividing our time wisely between work, recreation and sleep (wish I could find the exact quote, but I can't seem to find it).  However, I've found that often when you indulge first in recreation with the intention of working later, the work rarely gets done, or if it does, it doesn't get done to the quality that it should. 

*image from Google images  

I rather enjoy being productive.  I enjoy seeing the fruits of my labors.  I enjoy feeling as if I've accomplished something, even if all I've accomplished is keeping my house clean, getting my family fed, and maintaining some order while doing it.  I hope to instill this value of work into my children.

1 comment:

Kestrel said...

Sigh. I guess I have to start behaving myself and not being lazy. But i'm so good at laziness - I've practiced my whole life!

I've found that if I get started with chores/working in the morning, then I am much more productive than if I get on my computer or watch TV first thing.


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