Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Family Home Evening Builds Unity

These are some quotes by President James E. Faust from the June 2003 Ensign. He speaks of how we need to build unity in our families by having consistent and planned family home evenings. If you're like me, you'll read this, feel bad, repent, and then resolve to do better. :)

Go to this link for the full talk.

Family Home Evening Builds Unity

May I suggest ways to strengthen our commitment to God and build unity and love during our family home evenings:


1. Pray. The source of our enormous individual and family strength is no mystery. It is an endowment from God. We need not consume addicting chemicals found in drugs and alcohol to make us capable of meeting life’s problems. We need only draw constantly from the divine power source through humble prayer.


It often takes a seemingly superhuman effort to get everyone together for family home evening. You may not always feel like praying when you finally do get together, but it will pay great dividends if you persevere.


2. Sing or listen to sacred music. Church hymns and children’s songs can invite the Holy Spirit into family home evening. The Lord has said that “the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads” (D&C 25:12).


3. Study the scriptures. All of us need the strength that comes from reading the scriptures. Parents must obtain a knowledge of the standard works to teach them to their children. Those who lead family home evening discussions should be adequately prepared to use the scriptures in the lesson. A child who has been taught from the scriptures has a priceless legacy. We are all fortified when we become acquainted with the heroic figures and stories of the scriptures, such as Daniel in the lions’ den, David and Goliath, Nephi, Helaman and the stripling warriors, and all the others.


4. Work together and serve others. Children need to learn to work. Every household has routine daily chores for which children can be responsible. Meaningful service can be given during family home evenings through well-planned home or community work projects.


5. Focus on developing discipline and obedience. If parents do not discipline their children and teach them to obey, society may have to discipline them in ways neither the parents nor the children will like. If adults do not discipline themselves, setting the proper example for others, the consequences can be devastating for themselves and society. Without discipline and obedience in the home and in our personal lives, unity within a family collapses.


6. Place a high priority on loyalty to each other. The dictionary defines the word loyal as being “faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due.” If family members are not loyal to each other, they cannot be loyal to themselves.


7. Build self-worth. One of the main problems in society today is that we spend less and less time together. Some, even when they are together, spend an extraordinary amount of time in front of the television, which robs them of personal time for reinforcing feelings of self-worth. Family home evenings give individuals and families important time to talk and listen as parents and children, brothers and sisters, spouses, and friends. Time together is precious—time needed to encourage and to show how to do things. Less time together can result in loneliness, which may produce feelings of being unsupported, untreasured, and inadequate.


8. Develop traditions. Some of the great strength of families can be found in the traditions they have established. Traditions can include making special occasions of the blessing of children, baptisms, ordinations to the priesthood, or birthdays. Traditional activities such as fishing trips or skits on Christmas Eve can help create fond memories of times together. Weekly family home evenings can also be a time for traditions. Home evening groups of any kind can likewise establish traditions by the activities they choose to continue on a regular basis and the way they celebrate special occasions and accomplishments.


9. Do everything in the spirit of love. Elder LeGrand Richards (1886–1983) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a tender relationship with his father. Said he: “I walked into my father’s apartment when he was just about 90 … , and as I opened the door, he stood up and walked toward me and took me in his arms and hugged me and kissed me. He always did that. … Taking me in his arms and calling me by my kid name, he said, ‘Grandy, my boy, I love you.’ ”



I wonder if having unplanned and infrequent family home evenings will be enough to fortify ourselves and our children with sufficient moral strength to meet the complexities of our day. Infrequent family scripture study may be inadequate to arm ourselves and our children with the virtue necessary to withstand the moral decay of the environment in which we live. Where in the world will we learn chastity, integrity, honesty, and basic human decency if not at home? These values will, of course, be reinforced at church, but teaching them in family home evening can be particularly consistent and effective. To combat the world’s evil influences, we need the strength that comes from family home evening.
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2 comments:

  1. Well said. Thanks for sharing Kristi. It helps the motivation to keep going and be better about family home evening.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks Kristi! I love this info.

    ReplyDelete

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