A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream that echoed what I was feeling in my awake hours, just in a different way. In the dream, my kids and I were all in bed and I heard the smoke alarm go off. It was loud and constant and I immediately jumped out of bed. I ran to my children’s rooms to make sure they were out of bed and coming downstairs and outside, as I’m sure they would due to the piercing warning of the alarm. Two of my three children were up and worried, but my other child remained in bed, still sleeping. I told the two who were awake to go outside and we’d be out soon.
I tried waking my daughter, but she barely moved. She finally responded to my pleadings to get up with, “I don’t hear anything. I’m tired.” I couldn’t believe she couldn’t hear it. I knew my other children had so it wasn’t my imagination and the sound continued on. “I’m fine here in bed. Leave me here. There is no fire.” I was panicked because she would not move and did not feel the urgency and reality that I did.
Then I woke up.
This is my child who in real life does not like rules and who thinks they are lame.
There are many alarms in this life, like the Holy Ghost, words of the prophet, scriptures, guidance from our parents and other loved ones. Sometimes we can’t see the fire, but if we heed the warnings that come, we won’t be burned.
But it isn’t enough that the alarm is going off. In order to avoid the danger,
--We must hear it.
--We must believe there is danger.
--We must act.
If we do not do our part to stay close to our Father in Heaven and be worthy of the Spirit, we are often too far removed to hear the warnings. Even if we hear a warning, maybe from a loving parent or friend who wants to help, if we do not believe that there is danger, the warnings mean nothing to us. And if we do hear the warning and believe there is danger, if we do not act and move away from the danger, fortifying ourselves, the warnings are no use to us.
Agency is an integral part of our Heavenly Father’s plan. We must each choose how we will respond to the alarms and dangers in our lives. No one can pull us to safety. It is my responsibility as a parent to teach my children all that I believe our Heavenly Father expects of them and the paths that will lead to happiness and freedom instead of bondage and sadness.
I’m grateful for the alarms that have guided me away from dangers. I will continue to try to warn my own children from dangers they perhaps can’t see yet, and pray to hear more warnings now and in the future.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:81 “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.”