At the beginning of the memorable musical Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, the protagonist, introduces his story by saying: “In our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn’t easy. You may ask, why do we stay up here if it’s so dangerous? We stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word—tradition! Because of our traditions, we’ve kept our balance for many, many years. … Because of our traditions, everyone knows who he is and what God expects him to do.”
Righteous Family Traditions
L. Tom Perry said, “In my boyhood home it was evident that Father and Mother loved each other and loved each of their children. They were unselfish in devoting the best part of their lives to the family. As a family we always had three meals a day together. The traditional-type home that I knew is less and less common today. The experiences gained from these family traditions taught us basic principles.
Respect For Our Bodies
‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are’
(1 Corinthians 3: 16-17 in the Bible) The Lord sets a high standard for us to consider our bodies a temple.
Proper Priorities On Worldly Toys
We live in an interesting world. The desire for worldly toys seems to be overpowering. Developed nations are becoming so secular in their beliefs and actions that they reason a human being has total autonomy. They believe we do not have to give an account to anyone or anything except to ourselves and, to a limited extent, to the society in which we live. The scriptures warn us, ‘They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall’ (Doctrine and Covenants 1: 16)
Societies in which this secular lifestyle takes root have a deep spiritual and moral price to pay. The pursuit of so-called individual freedoms without regard to laws the Lord has established to govern His children on earth will result in the curse of extreme worldliness and selfishness, the decline of public and private morality, and the defiance of authority. There must be places that offer spiritual refuge, renewal, hope, and peace.
Developing a Good Character
A good character is something you must make for yourself. It cannot be inherited from parents. It cannot be created by having extraordinary advantages. It isn’t a gift of birth, wealth, talent, or station. It is the result of your own endeavor. It is the reward that comes by living good principles and manifesting a virtuous and honorable life.
Studying the Scriptures
The scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He lives and is our Redeemer and Savior. We should follow Him and show our love for Him by remembering Him and humbly keeping His commandments.
Personal, sincere involvement in the scriptures produces faith, hope, and solutions to our daily challenges. Frequently reading, pondering, and applying the lessons of the scriptures, combined with prayer, become an irreplaceable part of gaining and sustaining a strong, vibrant testimony.
With that noble quality of trust comes the reputation of one who is honest and possesses integrity. These are character traits that will ensure a long and successful career. The greatest asset you can put into your bank is the reputation of being a person of trust.
Form Traditions That Will:
- Keep our wonderful physical bodies pure and holy as temples of God.
- Place preeminence on spiritual learning and knowledge from God.
- Use the foundation of eternal gospel truths to establish standards and values.
- Encourage learning from the eternal truths contained in the holy scriptures.”
Some of the article was taken from the remarks of L. Tom Perry “The Tradition of a Balanced Righteous Life” August, 2011 in the Ensign Magazine.