21 And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;
22 That ye may not be cursed with a sore cursing; and also, that ye may not incur the displeasure of a just God upon you, unto the destruction, yea, the eternal destruction of both soul and body.
23 Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust.
At the end of his life, Lehi gave some final words of counsel to his sons. In the passage above, he speaks to Laman and Lemuel, who have fallen well short of his expectations for them. Even though he acknowledges their failings and his own fears for their future, he emphizes the positive outcome he hopes for them and encourages them to live worthy of it. The phrase that sticks with me after reading this passage is, “Arise from the dust…and be men.” His focus was on inspiring the right kind of behavior, not dwelling on the negative behavior he saw.
Today, I will follow Lehi’s example in my interactions with my children. When I am disappointed with them, rather than focusing on their shortcomings, I will focus on the outcomes I hope for them and the behavior which will help them to achieve those outcomes. I will spend my time and energy inspiring successful actions rather than condemning failure.