The boys have read a series of books called 'Knights of Right' which is a bit like a time travel series about 2 boys who go back in time to King Arthur's era. They both really enjoyed it. It teaches values, as well as how to cope with temptation and peer pressure. We used this book as a starting point for our own 'Knights of Right' evenings which we hold every Tuesday.
We chose 'Knights' as a role model for our sons for several reasons.
1. They are a natural hero and emulate certain qualities which we want our sons to develop such as courage and bravery.
2. CS Lewis in "The Necessity of Chivalry" quotes Malory's 'Le Morte d'Arthur' of Sir Lancelot
"Thou wert the meekest man that ever ate in hall among ladies; and thou wert he sternest knight to thy mortal foe that ever put spear to rest."He discusses the disparate strands of manhood fierceness/firmness/strength/power and gentleness/compassion/kindness - can find healthy synthesis in the person of the knight and the code of chivalry. Society usually defines a man as either or, yet man needs to develop both sides of his character and to govern when to express these characteristics to truly become a knight.
We want our boys to know they must stand for truth and righteousness and if that meant show strength or power for the defence of someone helpless, then so be it. They also need their masculine firmness to inspire and lead. On the other hand they need to be compassionate and kind to their family and those in need, be sympathetic and recognise needs in others. There are many, many such examples of knights in the scriptures and church history.
3. We want our boys to grow up to be honourable priesthood holders and great men who know and understand their divine missions and fulfill them.
4. They need a guide to measure their heros and mentors by. The code of chivalry is a great guide to do this.
We made a pledge of allegiance. Allegiance is another important aspect of our family culture. There are 4 main allegiances one may have: God, others, self and evil. As a family it is important that we teach our children allegiance to God comes before allegiance to self or others.
This is the Knights of Right pledge of allegiance and Code of Chivalry:
Knights of Right Pledge
I pledge my allegiance to God and Promise to always abide by the Knights of Right Code of chivalry.
Code of Chivalry
- Stand for TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS
- PROTECT the weak & vulnerable
- DEFEND FREEDOM
- Have INTEGRITY
- Be COMPASSIONATE & KIND
- LEAD by SERVING
- Keep moving forward with FAITH
- Be COURAGEOUS
- RESPECT and HONOUR women, girls and children
- Be CLEAN
- Strive for EXCELLENCE
- Cultivate SELF-DISCIPLINE
- DARE to do RIGHT
- LIVE for the HONOUR & GLORY of GOD
For our first ever activity, we learnt about the training of a knight, and how they begin as pages, progressing on to squires and then knights. We also learnt about the code of chivalry and these two aspects of man discussed by CS Lewis in his essay 'The Necessity of Chivalry'. We discussed examples of knights from the scriptures such as Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and Paul. These are great men who exemplify firmness and power as well as compassion and meekness. As an activity, the boys made their code of chivalry appear old fashioned by staining it with tea water and then burning around the edges.
The boys are currently in the process of making their own swords. When they have done this they will be officially made into pages as they begin their journey to manhood.
For their second activity, as we are focusing on 'Stand for truth and righteousness, they learnt about the life of Joseph F. Smith and how he had the courage to stand up to some mob members when they were asking if he was a Mormon. I love his response
"Yes, siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through.'
-What would I give to hear my boys say the same in that situation.
Last week as it was the Priesthood restoration commemoration, the boys learnt about the Priesthood restoration. They continued working on their swords, but this time got out the power tools. The thing I think they are really enjoying, is having time with mum and dad without the other children, and they get to have dessert!
Tonight, we had another amazing Knights of Right evening. Tane took the boys though an account of the Battle of Waterloo, and discussed the moves of Napolean, Wellington and the Prussians. Afterwards I read a quote from Howard W. Hunters Books - That we Might have Joy.
The final and decisive battle of the Napoleonic Wars was fought on June 18, 1815, near Brussels, Belgium, in the village of Waterloo. What is now known as the Battle of Waterloo ranks as a great turning point in modern history and brought about drastic changes in political boundaries and the power balance in Europe. At a critical moment in this great battle between the forces of the French emperor, Napoleon, and the allied forces under the command of the British general Arthur Wellesley, better known as the Duke of Wellington, an anxious officer dashed into the office of the duke with the message that unless the troops were immediately withdrawn, they must yield before the larger French army.The duke ordered, “Stand firm!”“But we shall all perish,” replied the officer.“Stand firm!” again was the answer of the duke.Then we discussed Helaman 5:12 and 3 Nephi 6:14. The boys had a chance to discuss the qualities we need to develop if we need to stand for truth and righteousness.
Keep the COMMANDMENTS
& Build our firm foundation on CHRIST.