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My heart is heavy this afternoon because I keep thinking of some unsettling information I picked up on last night. It had to do with family strife that, in my estimation, borders on mental and physical cruelty. If we can’t love our own children, step children included, how can we presume to call ourselves Christians? Yes, I know that children (spouses too sometimes) can try our very souls, but at those moments, we need to ask ourselves the sometimes over-trivialized question of WWJD. I don’t think He’d berate, criticize, humiliate, belittle, or beat another person just because the other person wasn’t living up to His expectations (if that’s the case, we’d all have welts and bruises!).

In the LDS religion, as in all other Christian faiths, we’re taught to follow the Savior’s example and to “love one another.” To me, that loving feeling starts in our own homes. 

I was thinking of all of these things a little while ago when I logged on to my daughter’s blog and read what she had written about an incident that happened in her home yesterday. Peeking around the corner to make sure everything was okay, she heard 4-year-old Brooke saying these words to her baby brother: “You are so adorable! I love you so much! I love you when you are crazy! I love you when you are crying! I love you when you are whining! I love you when you are stinky! I love you when you are chewing on your hand! I love you all the time, no matter what!”

Brooke’s sweet example of not only sibling love but also of unconditional love touched her mother’s heart…and her grandmother’s too! Why can’t we all profess that kind of love and acceptance to our family members? What’s the value in being cruel? Don’t people understand how distancing that can be? Don’t they understand how damaging to a child’s psyche that can be? Don’t they care?

Why am I writing this? I wouldn’t say I’m exactly on a crusade, but I will say that those of us who are aware of these types of physical, emotional, and mental abuse need to speak up. Unless we do, then we too will be holding the Lord’s name in vain.

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