- Those who choose to serve the Lord will always listen attentively and specifically to the Prophet. In modern Israel, serving the Lord means carefully following the Prophets.
He says that following the Savior will lead us to having happiness and contentment in our lives:
- With faith in the Savior and obedience to the commandments, our lives can be full of satisfaction and joy.
Elder Andersen tells the story of living in Florida and a small bug called a Mole Cricket was seen on his lawn. He was sure that he had sprayed for bugs weeks prior and didn't see the harm. Weeks later, his lawn was ruined by these little bugs that can only be seen at night and do their damaging work under the ground on the roots of his lawn. He compares these small little bugs to the small things in our lives that cause us to have struggles in our families, our homes, and with our faith in Christ. He gives us some clear direction that will allow us to not let these little things hurt our lives:
- With the influences of evil that surround our children, can we even imagine sending them out in the morning without kneeling and humbly asking together for the Lord’s protection? Or closing the day without kneeling together and acknowledging our accountability before Him and our thankfulness for His blessings? Brothers and sisters, we need to have family prayer.
- Certainly there are times when getting the family together to read the scriptures does not stack up as a spiritual experience worthy of a journal entry. But we must not be deterred. There are special times when the spirit of a son or daughter is just right and the power of these great scriptures goes down into their heart like fire. As we honor our Heavenly Father in our homes, He will honor our efforts.
We all struggle with Family Home Evening but the promises given to us from the First Presidency are amazing
- “If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influence and temptations which beset them” (in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [1965–75], 4:339).
Elder Andersen reminds us that it is never too late to start over, to recommit ourselves, and lead our families in righteousness.
- For you and me, the disciples of Christ, these moments of building faith in the lives of our children must be strengthened. We will at times fall short as parents. I know I do. But we must begin again. The Lord sees our righteous efforts and will open the blessings of heaven as we give our families our highest priority.
Elder Andersen encourages us to always be willing to learn and return to the things we know are right:
- Let us always be listening and learning in humility and faith, anxious to repent should it be necessary.
As a father, I have learned that things I did with my first child, seem to be a struggle with my later children. Life gets in the way, time is more hectic to handle, priorities are clouded by the busy lives of juggling multiple people. But Elder Andersen reminds me that some basic things are necessary. Family Prayer, Scripture Study, and Family Home Evening are necessary no matter how hard they are to pull off. My family is very good at having family prayer, but we struggle with setting aside time for family night, and have failed many times on having family scripture study. But his encouragement reminds me that I need to try again. I need to recommit myself to these basic tasks. If I do, the blessings of the Lord will be with my family to support our righteous efforts.