Ashley was one of a few kids selected from each school in the district to receive a special award for her good character and to be recognized publicly for her work ethic and good behavior.
If you know us, you know we take the Sabbath Day seriously. We try not to do anything that makes it feel like any regular-old-day. We are happy to visit with friends because that's a wonderful thing to do on Sundays, but we generally don't do play grounds or wild-and-crazy birthday parties or athletic events.
So it was a conundrum.
Part of what makes Ashley's character so good is her desire and willingness to follow the commandments.
I gave Ashley several things to read about keeping the Sabbath Day holy (like page 38 in this magazine), told her to pray about it, and that we'd support her in whatever she chose. She took the decision seriously.
The next day she decided to not go to the event.
Ashley came home confused, and said she felt like maybe she should go, since people would be there waiting for her to come out onto the court for her award. Chris said we needed to also think about supporting the people in the community who celebrate people with good character, and also let the people like the principal and teachers who love and respect Ashley know that we appreciate their recognition of our child.
It's interesting how much we all learned from this:
1. It wasn't worth sacrificing something we strongly believe in for a few moments of glory or fun.
2. The spirit can tell us when we've made a wrong choice, even if it's too late and we've already done the thing. This is going to help all of us make different choices in the future.
3. It's good for us to not take the commandments lightly. If there's going to be an exception to the rule, it needs to be studied out and prayed about -- the kids could each feel that, as this decision was being made over the past week or two.
4. We can't judge others who don't hold the same beliefs as us, or don't do the same things we do (one of the boys wondered why other people could go to the game without feeling kind of bad inside). We just have to do what feels right to us.
I'm writing this down for our blog book so that someday when the kids look back and say, "Remember that one time when we went to a basketball game on Sunday?" that they'll also remember it was a big decision for the whole family. I hope they remember how it made us ponder what is important to us, and reaffirm to each other as a family what we really believe.
We are SO proud of Ashley, the way she works hard at being a good student, a good example, and a good person.