Todays priesthood lesson was on The Three Rs of Choice. Brother Holmes shared an experience that caused me to reflect on the power of choosing verses being strongly compelled to do things. K-5 of my education was very hard academically and socially. I have blocked most of it from my memory. I was having a difficult time with everything from reading to math. I stayed after school regularly, to practice my times tables. Not by choice. After 2 years of being forced to stay after, I still did not know my times tables. In fact, I don't know them very well today. Probably spite still lingering to my own harm. I struggled with other things as well. Reading, spelling, history. My parents knew very early that I (most people?) would generally make the right choices on my own, and do a much better job of it, if it was my idea. The condition to that was I needed to know what was expected and most importantly, understand why it was best for me and or those around me. My wise parents, decided to support me in my education choices what ever they were from that time forward. I remember several times when my parents called or visited the school staff to support me in changing my education plan after we talked about why it would be good or bad for me. Once I was being educated by choice, everything started to change for me. I still had a lot of painful things socially, mainly due to other kids that were forced to be at school, but even social aspects were better. My scores improved. I began to excel in most every topic. I finely believed that my parents and some of my educators had my best interests at heart. I changed to early morning seminary instead of release time, so that I could fit in more school classes. I read books on the way to and from school. Eventually, I found my self with a lack of challenge, and started summer school at SUU when I was 16. At SUU, the social challenges began to melt away because most everyone was choosing their own path. Knowing the people closest to me were there to support me right or wrong, I found freedom to truly become the best I could be in each of my chosen endeavors. Many of my choices were not the best, but I had the support of those closest to me.
That is what our loving father in heaven wants for us. We are free to chose in all things, but true freedom comes from taking note of the best intended guidelines we can find. When we seek these guidelines, ponder them, and chose to follow them, we find more an more happiness in life.