- Crisis or transition of any kind reminds us of what matters most. In the routine of life, we often take our families—our parents and children and siblings—for granted. But in times of danger and need and change, there is no question that what we care about most is our families! It will be even more so when we leave this life and enter into the spirit world. Surely the first people we will seek to find there will be father, mother, spouse, children, and siblings.
He says our main purpose on earth is to build an eternal family.
- I believe the mission statement for mortality might be “to build an eternal family.”
He concerns of parents for their children is universal, or should I say eternal. All parents have the same desires for their children to grow up and be responsible members of society.
- Friends of mine who just returned from speaking to families and parents on several continents reported to me that the hopes and concerns of parents are remarkably similar throughout the earth.
The family unit is eternal. We had an eternal family with God before this life, and we can have an eternal family unit after this life if we are worthy of it.
- In the Church, our belief in the overriding importance of families is rooted in restored doctrine. We know of the sanctity of families in both directions of our eternal existence. We know that before this life we lived with our Heavenly Father as part of His family, and we know that family relationships can endure beyond death.
- If we live and act upon this knowledge, we will attract the world to us. Parents who place a high priority on their families will gravitate to the Church because it offers the family structure, values, doctrine, and eternal perspective that they seek and cannot find elsewhere.
True happiness comes from our families.
- Nothing is more critically connected to happiness—both our own and that of our children—than how well we love and support one another within the family.
Elder Ballard says that we will someday be released from our church callings, but we will never be released from our family responsibilities.
- The Church is the kingdom of God on earth, but in the kingdom of heaven, families will be both the source of our eternal progress and joy and the order of our Heavenly Father. As we are often reminded, we will be released one day from our Church callings; but if we are worthy, we will never be released from our family relationships.
He offers three suggestions on how to preserve and strengthen our homes and families in a world pulling so hard in opposite directions.
- Be consistent in holding daily family prayer and weekly family home evenings.
- Teach the gospel and basic values in your home.
- Create meaningful family bonds that give your children an identity stronger than what they can find with their peer group or at school or anyplace else.
Elder Ballard emphasizes the need for extended family in our lives and the influence they can have in making a difference in the lives of our children.
- Our most basic institution of family desperately needs help and support from the extended family and the public institutions that surround us. Brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins can make a powerful difference in the lives of children. Remember that the expression of love and encouragement from an extended family member will often provide the right influence and help a child at a critical time.
Elder Ballard concludes with saying that families are the foundation of all societal issues. We can fix all the issues of our society by strengthening the family unit.
- It is important to remember that all larger units of society depend on the smallest and most fundamental unit, the family. No matter who or what we are, we help ourselves when we help families.
It is true that when crisis hits in our lives, the most basic instinct is to pull our families closer to us. Our families provide us strength, encouragement, support, and love when we need it the most. Parents are blessed with children to love and support but with that comes a responsibility to raise their children with integrity and to be a good member of society. The world is placing less and less emphasis on the family but we know as a church that if we will focus on strengthening the family, the issues of the world will be able to be managed and our families will have the strength and support to become eternal.