We had Stake Conference yesterday and today and at the Saturday session my stake president* told this story:
There was a man who was a missionary in Africa. Where he was serving there were lots of rivers with swift currents, but very few bridges. The people there taught him the safest way to cross the river.
First, you get the biggest rock you can; the bigger, the better. Then you heft the rock onto your shoulder. Then you can wade out into the river. When the currents are swiftest, the weight of the rock will keep you grounded and stop you from being swept down stream.
Pres. Stoddard concluded with this, "We need the weight of responsibility to keep ourselves from being swept away in the current life."
Doesn't this have so many applications? I thought especially of giving our kids enough responsibility. Even if the responsibility we give them feels weighty, it just means that the kids will be less likely to be swept into the current of what's popular rather than what's right.
(*Mormon 101: A bishop is in charge of a ward this is equal to a pastor or reverend being in charge of a congregation. A stake president is in charge of many wards--in my stake that's 13 wards/branches.)