Zion is Joyous: How to Build Relationships After Leaving Babylon with Wholesome Recreation

Leaving Babylon involves withdrawing from things we used to enjoy which we have found are not the Lord’s way. In this article I will briefly mention some of those things which we may want to leave behind. But after leaving them, then what? How do we find joy together as friends and family, without dabbling in fallen culture? Here are some ideas…

Sections:

ARTISTIC CREATION

DANCE

SPORTS

OUTDOORS

LEARNING

VISITING

WORK & SERVICE

MUSIC

TREATS

DATING

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

ARTISTIC CREATION:
Children (& adults) love to create.
-wood working
-painting, sculpture
-cooking
-sewing
-origami

-Legos, blocks, Knex, trains, ball-rollercoasters, wooden ships/planes…
-Elder Scott would paint.

DANCE:
-Ballet
-Irish
-Folk
-English country swing
-some forms of eastern & country swing
-(remember to leave behind costumes & methods that do not invite the spirit, or that provoke lust)

-Brigham Young loved to dance

SPORTS:
-wrestling. Joseph Smith loved to wrestle, and often asked even strangers if they wanted to wrestle him. This is a good winter indoor sport – throw down some mats in the living room
-sparring & target sports such as sword fencing, paintball/airsoft/nerf, HEMA (historical European martial arts), AMA (Asian martial arts), target shooting.

(But don’t kill animals for sport, President Kimball says this is a sin if not needed for food.)
-(not so much watching sports. Prophets have rebuked us becoming lazy unskilled spectators via TV. Further, we don’t want to feed into a culture of Sabbath breaking etc.)
-(I place strong cautions against skateboarding. Though fun, it is particularly saturated in evil rude rebellious culture. You must chose where to draw the line in cultural connections to various activities. When in doubt, do without.)

OUTDOORS:
-hike near your home. Elder McConkie said great men climb mountains.
-walks around town with family or friends. This is also the quintessential traditional method of courting. It’s free and allows for great conversation.
-camping. This is hands down the largest reported family fun event when compared to all other family recreation events when youth rate their favorite family activities.
-(do not skip church and other Sabbath worship to have more time camping etc. Many prophets have discouraged this. Even traveling large distances on the Sabbath often leads to shopping, working, and taking worship lightly, sending a message to youth that fun is more important than God.)

LEARNING:
-Friends over for food & conversation about the signs of the times, etc. When Bruce McConkie and Joseph Fielding Smith got together, they didn’t discuss politics or the weather, they basked in talking about the doctrines of the kingdom.
-car rides can be great times to teach
-You’de be surprised at how fun learning can be, even for kids. A deep gospel conversation can thrill them and keep them asking questions for hours.
-Hugh Nibley says we all have a full time job learning the history of our world.
-hands on sciences can be great fun
-create a reading culture. Fill your home with books. Let your children observe you reading jot only fluff books, but deep books. Like the Ben Carson family, let the wonder if reading lift your family to an entirely different way of life.
-Brigham Young spoke of how in the millennium, as there will be no free loaders and we will all share in the work, we will get all the days work done in only 2-3 hours, and can spend the rest of our time doing what we were really sent to this Earth to do, namely learning. Brigham also said 8 hours to sleep, 8 to work, 8 to play. By play we can easily reason he referred to, at least in large part, learning. He also spoke of how he would love to study chemistry.
-The Bruce McConkie family wasn’t an entertainment-based family. Bruce didn’t know anything about sports and didn’t teach his children sports. Though they did hike (Bruce said great men climb mountains) and sing etc., much of their leisure time was spent learning & preaching the gospel.

VISITING
-tell stories
-read aloud, particularly classics & other books which teach morals or skills.
-read silently, but still together
-healthy snacking
-tell about your day, the future, etc.
-look at family pictures & family videos.
-(don’t need a movie every time we settle in for free time. If that’s your go-to recreation, you are living far beneath your privileges)
-(I strongly recommend against card games. Many prophets have spoken against these time filler trivial wasters of life.)
-(I do not recommend spending inordinate time and money on recreation. President Packer said no one owes children entertainment.)
-(I recommend children not having cell phones, or at least very limited use educational large tablets not connected to Wi-Fi or data. Not only spiritually dangerous, phones waste inordinate amounts of time)
-(I recommend no video games. There are simply many better ways to enjoy life, socialize, learn, problem solve, etc. VGs are overly stimulating and will thereby keep your child from turning to healthy recreation such as reading & instruments. It’s like the rat who chooses the cocaine instead of the food constantly until it starves to death.)

WORK & SERVICE:
-JustServe.org and app to focus on the needs of others
-meeting neighbors
-helping neighbors; get tools for the little kids so they can feel involved
-gardening. It has been said that there is in dirt an enzyme that produces dopamine in the brain
-ministering assignments
-Vocational training can be very fun; fun experimenting/tinkering can be what inspires/leads to discovery of what one is interested in for a vocation.
-in the McConkie home, when father came home from work and his children were just sitting around, the first thing he would say to them would be, “isn’t there something you could be doing to help mother?”
-President Kimball said a life full of leisure and free time is unnatural and unhealthy.

MUSIC:
-in the spirit of Zion being independent, learn to make your own music. The confidence and deep abiding joy that come from learning piano (usually the foundation) and other instruments cannot be overstated. Learning instruments also helps youth orient themselves toward classical symphonic music.
-uplifting genres include classical, symphonic, folk, choral, Celtic, opera, etc.
-gone are the days when families would sit around the front room or the fireplace and sing songs together. Bring them back!
-Presidents of the Church have said in regard to music, there is so much good, don’t bother with the bad. Easy access to beautiful music is one of the most powerful tools from the Lord in these last days. (And easy access to evil music is one of the most powerful tools of the Devil in these last days.)
-(I highly advise against pop, alternative, rock (even soft rock), & rap. Studies have been conducted wherein these have been shown to correlate with unchaste behavior.)

TREATS:
-Banana cashew vanilla extract ice cream
-berry smoothies
-popcorn with yeast, cinnamon, etc.
-apples with peanut butter
-see Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book on how to feed kids right
-(partake not in the plagues of fast food, junk food, etc. It’s tempting to justify using these to build relationships, but such is Babylon logic. Junk food is a gateway to other drugs, getting a person in the habit of overstimulating dopamine & insulin.)

DATING: (weekly for couples & mature singles over 16)
-Walks are the way it was don’t for millennia. It works great. It’s free, its conversation stimulating. It releases endorphins, which you then associate with the person you walk with.
-(avoid movies, they don’t build relationships nearly as well as conversation & interactive activities.)
-picnic. Way cheaper than restaurants.
-(avoid any places where there will be bad influences or unsettling unholy music)

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY:
-President Monson said every boy needs a dog.
-learning to care for and even train animals can be an excellent & fun way to teach behavioral psychology & relationship skills.
-horses, though somewhat expensive, teach many things, and also double as a transportation preparedness.
-with caring for animals youth easily step into the world of biology, anatomy, & physiology, which can then lead them to microbiology, chemistry, etc.
-though we avoid eating meat as directed in the D&C, raising farm animals is fun, educational, and helps with preparedness.
-hunting for meat can be educational preparedness when the youth understand that we eat meat only sparingly in time of need.

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