I think one of my all time favorite guests that Glenn Beck has on his program is Rabbi Daniel Lapin. When Glenn was still on Fox the Rabbi and he had an amazing discussion about the Tower of Babel. Recently they had another amazing discussion about the worship of Ba’al. You can check it out here. Rabbi Lapin is such a wise and gentle soul and has such a great understanding of reality and truth. From what I understood the worship of Ba’al basically comes down to choosing the baser tendencies we have and denying ourselves of our higher divine natures. One example cited was the increasingly more deprave spiral of pornography. Our society is pretty messed up when you consider that pornography is protected against censorship but religion is considered offensive. Rabbi Lapin also discussed that one of the signs of choosing Ba’al is the inappropriate elimination of excrement. They discussed several historical examples and then recent examples such as the Occupy Wall Street people urinating in public places and pooping on police cars and such. Its pretty vile and yet its important to acknowledge that it is indeed happening. Listening to Rabbi Lapin talk I had one of those lightbulb over the head moments. Most of the children that I work with who have attachment/bonding issues have had major problems with excrement and urination. It’s one of the more unpleasant parts of trying to parent these kids. More recently I read the story discussing the way Greeks live now including how it is not uncommon to find people discreetly going through the garbage looking for food. This too was a familiar story for me. I’ve worked with kids who in survival mode would have to eat out of the garbage and even drink out of the toilet because of severe neglect from their untrustworthy parents. It dawns on me that one of the main issues in the debasement of our society in this country is indeed the lack of familial bonds.
When there is a lack of familial bond that makes it nearly impossible to have appropriate bonds with others outside of the family. These kids I work with have attachment issues because the bonds they initially formed were broken usually by someone they trusted. They then go into survival mode because forming another bond becomes a threat (because of the pain they’ve already experienced). My work is all about helping families bond. There are several key principles that help kids bond with their parents. The more I’ve learned about these principles and their effectiveness the more I’ve realized that the same principles apply in our ability to bond with God. So, here is a little bit of a rundown of what we work with to help parents and kids bond, and also how it relates to our relationship with God.
As a therapist I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of families that are struggling with issues of attachment/bond. Relationship is key to leading a happy, healthy life. We need one another. The bonds that should be most dear to us are in our families. The relationship I’ve been working most with, and learning about is between parent and child. The more I’ve learned about it the more I’ve realized that the principles that increase bond in a family relationship also works to strengthen our bond with God.
Coming in to mortality necessitated a separation from Our Heavenly Father. This was important in order for us to be tested and to grow. As God knew we needed a separation He also knew, and prepared for it, that we would need a way back to Him. The way back is called The Atonement of Jesus Christ. Our Savior made it possible to be, as the word implies, at one again with God. Our most important relationship is with God. It is essential to take the necessary steps to come unto Christ so that we can return to His presence.
An important concept and principle is that trust comes before love. Think of that parent child relationship. An infant has to implicitly trust in their parents to see to every need. If that doesn’t happen that can create problems for the rest of that individuals life if those trust issues are not resolved. Fortunately we know that God is everlastingly and in all situations trustworthy. He knows our needs and we are well in His hands, as long as we trust Him. When we learn then we learn to love. Think of those moments when an infant makes eye contact and connects with their parents and when they first genuinely smile. That’s bond, that’s love but they first had to know they could trust you to meet their needs.
So, how do we build trust between parent and child, and of course with God? Obedience is necessary in doing so. Children who learn to obey their parents, learn to trust that their parents make good decisions for them. We must learn to obey God, and as we do we find that He does indeed know our needs and will lead us to growth and happiness. Obedience to His commandments lead us to true happiness and freedom.
Consider another important aspect, what the Atonement makes possible for us. If we do it in the name of Jesus Christ, that means He made it possible. We know communication is essential to relationship. How sacred is prayer. God has blessed us with the opportunity to connect with Him. We pray to Him in the name of Jesus Christ. It is humbling to know we can communicate with Our Heavenly Father.
Once we demonstrate trust through obedience, we can fully commit to trust by making and keeping promises. A child shows their love to a parent by being trustworthy themselves by following through with the commitments they have made. Consider then the importance of our promises, covenants, with God and with each other. A baptismal covenant for instance is incredibly important, and bonds us with God. In my faith our baptism is followed by receiving the Gift of The Holy Ghost. We are promised the constant companionship of The Spirit as we live worthily. Keeping that promise increases our connection with God.
The crowning covenant in life we make is in marriage. In that we promise not only to God, but to another person to be faithful and trustworthy. How magnificent that is, that relationship with God and then with our spouse and the children born within that covenant are made eternal and lasting. It is again made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
There are many more ways to look at this topic but I’ll limit it to one more, the attachment and bonding that can come from pain and healing. An experience I’ve reflected on often is with my nephew Austin. He spent most of the first month of his life in the hospital. It was a scary time for our family, his parents especially. Austin, who was obviously in discomfort and pain, had his own hospital room complete with hospital bed. His parents, and then grandparents and aunts (including me) and uncles all took turns climbing onto the bed and holding that little guy. There was very little time in which someone wasn’t holding him. That was nearly 2 years ago. Austin is healthy and doing just fine. He also loves to be held. He has a strong connection with any of us that were there for him. He doesn’t remember the pain, but he does remember the bond.
So often we hear from the leftists view that we must avoid pain. The reality is that pain is a part of life. But, pain can actually serve to bring us together, it can be a catalyst for bond. We find healing in our connection. There’s a reason we hug someone who is in pain, physical and/or emotional, connecting with them helps to heal.
This is also true in our relationship with God. The Savior Jesus Christ is the Master Healer. The healing power of His Atonement is real. I have felt that in my own life. I’ve experienced being in His hands, and I’ve experienced being in His arms. I don’t remember or dwell upon the pain, but I will forever remember the bond I have with Him.
Bond with The Savior in turn bonds us to Our Heavenly Father. He has given us the gift to be in families, it is so important to bond with them. The only thing I can imagine that would be better than one day being in the presence of my Savior is being in His presence with the people that I love.
Of all the things that need to change in our country and society increasing the strength of the bonds we should hold dear and strive to build and maintain should be one of the primary steps. Seek to love those around you especially your family. Seek God and His commandments. Seek to make and keep sacred covenants. Seek to share this message with others. We need each other and the more we realize that and truly seek it the closer to healing, and the bond that comes with it, we can come.