Friday, August 29, 2014

Protect the Family

This month, we talked a great deal on family. What a great thing to discuss—especially in a world where the belief of and strive for traditional family unit is dwindling.

Family and marriage is a very important matter to me. I know I can rely on my family who raised me to love me unconditionally. I know that the family I was married into loves and supports me and my husband. I know my ward family (ward family is a term members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints use to refer to the members who live within the same parameters that are created by our church leaders) cares about my temporal and spiritual needs and does their best in lifting me up. I know my Heavenly Father loves me and I know that my elder brother, Jesus Christ, lived a perfect life and atoned for my sins so that I can repent and live with them again. I know my husband loves, supports and cares for me during the happy and sad times, fun and hard times, and the best and worst times. Family is my strength, my support, my confidence and my love. Although these are great reasons why family is important to me, I wish to explain why family is important to everyone on this earth.

“The fulness of eternal salvation is a family affair,” said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “The gospel plan originated in the council of an eternal family, it is implemented through our earthly families, and has its destiny in our eternal families.”

“Birth into a family was the way God chose to send His spirit children to earth. Marriage and family relationships are the central means He has prepared to achieve His purposes.”

"The family is the primary support structure in God’s plan to help us resist evil, overcome weakness, and work out our salvation. For this reason we should do all we can to strengthen the family in these days of confusion and opposition."

“Because of the importance of the family to the eternal plan of happiness,” said Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Satan makes a major effort to destroy the sanctity of the family, demean the importance of the role of men and women, encourage moral uncleanliness and violations of the sacred law of chastity, and to discourage parents from placing the bearing and rearing of children as one of their highest priorities.”

According to God’s plan, we cannot obtain the highest degree of happiness in Heaven without our family. God gave us our agency (our right to decide for ourselves from right and wrong) so that through our own will, we can choose to become like Him one day. He has given us the sacred duty to bring His children to earth and to teach them about Him and how to make it back. To God, family comes before your degree, work, extra-curricular, passions, and skill-honing.

I am not perfect. I have put my school, work, and Netflix (a passion of mine) before my family before. I will probably make a mistake and do it again. But God is merciful and he works with me little by little. In order for me to be a better family member, I have taken action by attending an institute class on “building an eternal marriage” and I have started my Personal Progress (a program directed to the young women of the church but can be completed by any age woman) again in hopes to becoming a better person who values family over worldly possessions.

What have you done to strengthen your family? Did it work? If not, why?

What are some of your steps in building an eternal family?

What are some ideas you can do today to help someone in your family draw closer to God? 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We believe in Children

"We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force."

At a family reunion someone asked my husband and me if we wanted to have children one day. We answered with a yes. That same person in shock said, "why?" He looked around at the multiple nieces and nephews running around, the chaos that was so obvious to him and shook his head in disgust. He could not fathom this desire to raise children. We need to change the worldly view on having and raising children. I have seen children bless the lives of their parents, and have seen countless times the love parents have for their children and how they begin to understand the love God has for us through their children. What purpose do we have here on earth without that echoing commandment first given to Adam and Eve. Multiply and replenish the world. At that family reunion I saw many 4 generations there, with such joy and love in their lives it made me certain this is what I wanted for myself.

"Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling…it is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Family Scripture Study

The Lord has commanded members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to regularly attend church, as doing so leads to a joyful life, full of fellowship and learning. In addition, we're taught that we have the opportunity and duty to obtain an even larger quantity of spiritual knowledge in the home. This places a great responsibility upon families, and more especially upon parents. Consequently, a parent might ask, "how do I find the time to provide my children with so much learning?" The answer is consistency.
Houses are not built in a day, but rather brick by brick. Likewise, strong families are a result of consistent effort over time. In the April 2013 General Conference, Apostle Richard G. Scott said, "I’m sure you can identify the fundamental principles that center your home on the Savior. The prophetic counsel to have daily personal and family prayer, daily personal and family scripture study, and weekly family home evening are the essential, weight-bearing beams in the construction of a Christ-centered home." He later goes on to say, "Remember: little things lead to big things. Seemingly insignificant indiscretions or neglect can lead to big problems. More importantly, simple, consistent, good habits lead to a life full of bountiful blessings."
The Lord's instruction for parents to be primary facilitators in their children's quest for truth can best be achieved by small and consistent steps. The frequency for family scripture study should be daily, but the Lord has not set a specific time frame as to how long. My wife and I have found that for us personally, 15 minutes of couple scripture study each day is sufficient toward strengthening our marriage and we are excited to share this tradition with our future children.

What blessings can, or have, come to your family as a result of studying the scriptures together?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Eternal Families

One of the most important things about the family is that it is not a temporal unit but an eternal one. This is one of the reasons that the LDS church sees the family unit differently than the world sometimes sees it. We believe that not only can families truly be together forever through sealing ordinances but also that it is only through eternal family relationships that we can reach our highest potential. Robert D. Hales explains: “While our individual salvation is based on our individual obedience, it is equally important that we understand that we are each an important and integral part of a family and the highest blessings can be received only within an eternal family.” This is why the family relationship is the most vital to protect and is also why the family is under constant attack by the adversary. Because Satan desires that we be miserable like he is, Satan does not want us to be with our families forever or to achieve our ultimate goal of becoming like Heavenly Father and inheriting all that He has. As the Family: A Proclamation to the World states: “The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” The importance of family cannot be overstated and while not everyone has an ideal family situation or the relationships right now that they would desire, we can remember that we come from an eternal family and our Heavenly Father loves us immensely and will always be there for us as we strive to build and strengthen our families.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Family Home Evening

Family Home Evening or FHE is time set aside for our families.  We spend time with our families in order to develop a closer relationship with them.  It is also a time to learn about our Heavenly Father and about the gospel.
It is often hard to prioritize Family Home Evening over homework, "the game", dates, or other good and productive activities.  Sometimes it may be impossible to gather everyone together and spend an hour or two together a week.  Thomas S. Monson, our Prophet, said this,"We cannot afford to neglect this heaven-inspired program.  It can bring spiritual growth to each member of the family, helping him or her to withstand the temptations which are everywhere.  The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest."

For me, homework is what keeps me from setting time aside to have a Family Home Evening.  I can always justify and tell myself that I don't have time to do FHE because I wouldn't finish my homework if I do that.  But I know that things will workout if I just do what he asks. 1 Nephi 3:7  This short message from President Monson has inspired me to make it a priority to have a Family Home Evening with just me and my wife every week.  Whether it's going for a walk, or sharing a lesson from the scriptures, making an effort to spend time with our families will be a blessing to us all.

With the following link you can read about others favorite Family Home Evening memories including one about a Dad who is away in the Air force and still makes time through video chat to have a Family Home Evening Every week. Family Home Evening

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Family: The most important part of your life!!

It is of utmost importance to strengthen our families right now, at this time when we all know Satan is trying his best to destroy “the fundamental unit of society”. So if Satan is trying his best, then nothing less than our best will suffice to overcome all he throws in our path to sway us. We must be constantly and consistently striving to strengthen the family. When Christ was among the Nephites He counseled them to “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.”

In my home, above all of mine and my siblings baby pictures, is a quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Behold your little ones. Love them, teach them, respect them, pray with them and for them.” Parents are responsible for raising their children correctly, for teaching them gospel truths and doctrine, and giving them a firm foundation, otherwise “the sin be upon the heads of the parents.” We will be held accountable before God for the way we have taught our children. Alma said to his son, “Command thy children to do good” and Mosiah told his people, “teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another and to serve one another.” Elder Ballard said, “What matters most is what lasts longest, and our families are for eternity.”

I'm not a parent so I would hardly be an expert or authority on parenting, but I do know this: God is our Father, and the Father of millions at that. He is a perfect parent. If you were to ask anyone for help with raising and loving your children, in whatever circumstance, He is the Expert to ask. He knows your heart, and He knows the hearts of your children, because they are His children too, and always have been.

Elder Hales said “If the example we have received from our parents was not good, it is our responsibility to break the cycle... Each person can learn a better way and in so doing bless the lives of family members now and teach correct traditions for the generations that follow. I testify that this is true because I am a living witness and proof his words. I have experienced firsthand the blessings that come to “the generations that follow”, and I am forever indebted to those not far before me who chose to be those cycle breakers. They bring with them stories of charity, forgiveness, and strength that astound me, and have shaped my testimony. Next to God, your family is the most important part of your life, whether it's the one you're in or the one you make.

God expects much of us because of our decision to be part of a family. So if your family relationships are suffering, fix them. I testify that they are never too broken for Christ to save. If you've been unkind in the past, be kind from now on, and pray for the charity Christ exhibited so perfectly. If you haven't made your family the top priority in your life, make it your top priority from this day on. I promise you that if your family will follow Christ, you will never have to choose between your family, and the gospel. But even if your family doesn't follow Christ now, you can choose to yourself.

                                                                               -This article was written by Sarah, a youth in the Ward

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Family - Our Sacred Responsibility

On September 23, 1995, in a general Relief Society Meeting, President Gordon B. Hinckley, the 15th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” This proclamation has become the Church’s definitive statement on the family. It states, “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In those sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.”

I am thankful for the wisdom and guidance of the leaders for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know this proclamation was truly inspired and was a revelation given to our Church leaders by God. My family is the most important thing to me and I have a testimony that the words in this proclamation are true. How grateful I am to have this proclamation to help me be the best spouse and parent I can be. Life can be confusing and hard at times, but we are given direction and we are taught in the ways of our loving Father in Heaven.

*If you would like to read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” in its entirety, please visit

A God of Miracles

What miracles have happened in your life today?  God is aware of us. He loves us. One of the greatest miracles made possible thr...