08 February 2009

Another Exciting Installment

This week I have another word to add to Rit's already started Vocabulary section:
Didoes - [ˈdī-(ˌ)dō]
1 : a mischievous or capricious act : prank, antic —often used in the phrase cut didoes
: something that is frivolous or showy

In Hannah's letter to Marmee: "Mr. Laurie is as full of didoes as usual, and turns the house upside down frequent; but he heartens up the girls, and so I let em hev full swing."

I also was struck by the wisdom in Marmee's counsel to the girls in Chapter 16. "Don't grieve and fret when I am gone, or think that you can comfort yourselves by being idle and trying to forget. Go on with your work as usual, for work is a blessed solace. Hope and keep busy; and whatever happens, remember that you never can be fatherless." (p. 170, chapter 16).

It reminded me of a story of President Hinckley, as told by Elder Uchtdorf in a talk titled Happiness, Your Heritage:
President Gordon B. Hinckley believed in the healing power of service. After the death of his wife, he provided a great example to the Church in the way he immersed himself in work and in serving others. It is told that President Hinckley remarked to one woman who had recently lost her husband, "Work will cure your grief. Serve others."

I also like that Marmee instructed the girls to "Hope". That is so important; inspired advice. The opposite of hope is despair, and despairing can be such a damaging thing. There's another quote by Elder Uchtdorf (hehe.. forgive the frequent quoting, I'm teaching a lesson on one of his talks in a couple weeks and so his words are fresh in my mind) where he talks about the dangers of allowing despair to take hold in our lives:
Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul and deadens the heart... Hope on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances (The Infinite Power of Hope).

So yes, wise advice and, initially, well followed. But as Ritsumei pointed out, the girls started strong but slowly and imperceptibly lessened their efforts over time. The author sums it up beautifully: "...And, when the first excitement was over, [they] felt that they had done well, and deserved praise. So they did; but their mistake was in ceasing to do well... (pg. 178, Chapter 17)"

I agree with Ritsumei's comment on the previous post:
"It seems to be a truism about people; we only work hard when there's problems right on top of us."
I think that is something that the Lord knows very well about us fallible human types. That is why we have repeated counsel to "pray always", without ceasing and with diligence, "lest that wicked one have power over you (D&C 93:49)". I'm sure this trial will stick with the March girls their entire lives and will indeed make them even stronger women; more resolute in their efforts to be good.

1 comment:

Ritsumei said...

Oh, that's wonderful! I wanted to post a quote about work, but I couldn't find one that suited me. All the stuff that I was finding was about missionary work, not work work, and it just didn't suit. Yours is wonderful. I must remember these things the next time I have a grief!