as a high school teenager, i never thought i would ever admit this. like every high schooler, i had the mentality of "my parents are old fogeys. they have no clue what they're talking about. they don't know anything! life is so different now."
okay... i was wrong. (wow, i admitted it.)
of course, i don't pretend to be some old wise one now, but i'm really starting to realize just how smart my parents were. the things they taught me were valuable. their testimonies are strong. the rules and boundaries they set were solely to protect me from the evils of the world.
mom and dad, thank you. no, those words aren't even enough. i must also include i'm sorry. i'm sorry for not listening to your council as much as i should have. i'm sorry for disobeying the rules and making life harder than it needed to be. thank you for being "strict." (never thought i would say that, did ya?) as i look back on the mistakes i made in high school, i can see that your strict rules helped me from making some even dumber mistakes. thank you for loving me enough to enforce these rules and lead me out of danger. i could have avoided more heartache if i had realized this earlier.
to whitney, parker, and jaren: please listen to mom and dad. they know best. they really do! they can see what our immature eyes cannot. they have lived life and made their own mistakes, and the rules they set are to help you from making some of your own. i promise they are only doing it because they love you immensely. as the oldest of the family, i just want to challenge you to not break their rules. it will save you a lot of grief. i love you and want you to be as happy as you possibly can be. and i've learned for myself that happiness comes from living the gospel and doing what's right.
as brigham young said, "true independence and freedom can only exist in doing what's right."