2009 Primary Program: My Dilemma
How do you promote the family without hurting those who don’t have the “right” family?
This is what I’ve asked myself every day since we got the Primary theme for 2009, “My Eternal Family.”
Last year’s was “I am a Child of God”—I hopped right on that bandwagon because it’s always good to remind the kids that we are ALL children of God (Um, we have some racism ’round these parts.).
But, when we got next year’s program at our auxiliary training meeting last month, our presidency looked at each other. Our most vulnerable kids, i.e. the kids who we worry most about being happy and successful in school, come from tough situations. Mom and/or Dad aren’t around. Yet, I see these families—single mothers, single fathers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles go to great lengths to provide their kids with a stable life, a loving family.
The Church wants us to teach these kids that they should aspire to marrying in the temple and having children. What does that tell the kid who’s family doesn’t look like the cover of this year’s program? (A mom, dad, and three kids looking at a picture of a temple.)
Even as I think, “I’ll use my old standby, the Internet, to supplement with pictures of other families,” I search and find very little by way of images of a non-traditional family.
Just as we worked hard to teach these kids that ALL people are children of God last year, this year, I want to teach these kids that God loves ALL families. Because those kids (the boy with his dad in jail, the girls who are being raised by their grandmother)? They didn’t choose that life, that family. Will I hurt them when I teach about the ideal the Church says they should aspire to?
And the other kids—my kids, the bishop’s kids, that perfect family in our ward with 6 kids, well, they didn’t do anything to deserve their life either. I want them to know that they’re darn lucky, not exceptionally righteous.
So, how do I teach these kids to aspire to a traditional family model without somehow implying that their nontraditional family isn’t ok?