Our families provide a setting for much of the growth we experience in life.
In our families we love, serve, teach, and learn from each other. We share our joys and our sorrows. Family ties may bring us difficult challenges, but they also give us strength and some of our greatest happiness.
The family is central to God’s plan for His children. It is also the central unit of society and the means for bringing children into the world where they can be loved, provided for, and taught truth and righteousness (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”).
While we cannot choose the conditions of our birth, we can choose each day to make our families stronger and happier. It is possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
I would like to testify of the importance of family. I spend many a days looking for a family to teach the gospel too. Why a family? Because a family can support each other, a family can grow together, and remind each other of the promises they have made. They can find the Joy of Gospel of Jesus Christ together, and seeing that happen, seeing a family change for the better is a truly beautiful thing.
A happy family makes for a happy life.
What do the General Authorities have to say about dating?
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People who have lived through a disaster never say, “All I could think about during the earthquake was my bank account.” They almost always say, “All I could think about was my wife and children.” It shouldn’t require a disaster for us to know this truth. But too often, we let earning money, chasing pleasure, or even the needs of people outside our families divert our attention. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints families come first.
I testify that god organized us into families so that we can be happy and learn together. I encourage you to show your family the love you have for them through kind words, charitable actions, and service. As you do you will find a joy and peace in your life and with gain much experience needed to have a successful and happy life outside your family.
Fern attended high school in a small town. She was one of those nice but unnoticed girls who don’t become much but a face on a yearbook page and a name on the rolls. Her family was poor, and they lived out of town. She was not part of the “in crowd,” and the only time her name came up in a conversation of other students was in that mocking, sarcastic way that seems funny when you are young, insecure, and need to ridicule someone else to take the pressure off yourself. Her name became synonymous with anything dumb or out of style. If a thing was unacceptable or ridiculous, the students called it “Ferny.”
Young people can be so cruel.
It was an annual tradition in the school to recognize the student who showed the most school spirit and support for the athletic teams. When the assembly came to honor that student, as expected, they called out the name of one of the more popular girls in the school. She bounced up the aisle smiling and waving to all her friends. But then a miracle happened. As she took the stage, she said, “I can’t accept this award. Yes, I have loved the teams and cheered for them at every game. But Fern has come to every game, too. I came in a nice, warm car surrounded by my happy friends. She came alone and walked all the way—two and a half miles—sometimes in the rain or snow. She had to sit by herself, but I don’t know anyone who cheered with as much spirit as Fern. I would like to nominate her for the most enthusiastic student in the school.”
Fern was escorted to the stage to a spontaneous standing ovation from her fellow students.
Youth can be so kind.
– Robert L. Backman
Click photo for full talk.
A few months ago I had an opportunity to take a morning walk on a mountain trail with four of my grandchildren. We each brought a bag so we could collect treasures from nature. As we looked for pieces to put in our collection, we found many different colors, designs, and textures in the leaves and rocks. It was hard to choose. I soon noticed that the children’s bags were filling up. Each leaf the children selected was unique, but because it was late fall, most of the leaves had dark weathered spots, irregular shapes, or faded and discolored parts. Because of this, I was reluctant to add things to my bag. I was looking for a leaf that showed the brightest colors and had no flaws. If it wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t going to treasure it. But this meant that my bag had very little in it.
Later, as I thought about this experience, I realized that I had cheated myself of much delight and happiness that could have been mine. I didn’t appreciate the uniqueness of the objects because I was looking for what I had deemed perfection. My grandchildren had been wiser than I had been. They had savored the odd shapes and spots on the leaves. They giggled at and enjoyed the brittle crispness of the dying leaves, and they delighted in the soft, faded colors. They filled their bags with happy treasures to take home. We can fail to see and enjoy the unique happiness and beauty in each day if we are so focused on our desire for what we want instead of what the Lord has designed for us.
– COLEEN K. MENLOVE (Living Happily Ever After)
– Click photo to go to full talk.