Sunday, March 20, 2011

Family is the Answer

 Last week I read a book about the terror threats we face at home and abroad, it was enlightening and terrifying at the same time.  That night I went to bed a little frightened and concerned wondering "What is the answer, how do we fight this irrational foe, what do we do, how can we protect ourselves?" I wrestled with this through the night and then the answer came to me, so simple, so quiet but as clear as the sun at noonday.


Family. That is it.
The decline of the family is the cause of the threat, what makes us vulnerable to it and the strength of the family is what will defeat it.

I am going to spend some time pondering these things and trying to explain what I mean.  I hope to make this a regular feature.

Today, I would like to touch on how is not very astonishing it is that something so very routine as Family can be the answer.

As Latter-day Saints and particularly as Latter-day Saint women we have been told from the time we were in Nursery about the importance of Family.

President Harold B. Lee said "The most you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes.”

President David O. McKay proclaimed "No other success can compensate for failure in the home”

We have all heard these quotations a million times and many of us have had them stitched, painted, engraved, printed and vinyl-ed on the walls of our homes.
It conjures up warm feelings about motherhood, raising righteous children, wiping snotty noses with a smile and figuring out how to make do with little for the privilege of not working outside the home. Most of all it reminds us not to neglect our families in the pursuit of other more worldly gains.

But I think this sentiment means more than we as LDS initially took it to mean.  Now, as I look at the state of the world, the country and the family I think it means more.  It always meant more but we too far away from the peril to be able to see it yet.
The prophets have been preparing us for decades.  The Church first instituted the Family Home Evening program in 1915, nearly a century ago!

Recently, the family has been more prominent in the focus of church teachings.  I have said this before but in 1995 when the First Presidency issued The Family: A Proclamation to the World it seemed to me a bit superfluous.  "Of course family is important, of course parents have a responsibility to their children, of course fathers and marriage, of course fathers and mothers, of course equal partners."

16 years later I think it was such a prophetic statement that I am in awe.

By the time the Relief Society Declaration was issued in 1999 including "Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families and homes." and
"Strengthen home and family" was added to the Young Women Theme (in 2002?) the need for such statements was becoming apparent.

I am so grateful that I have known and was taught from an early age that Family was important.  I hope that that foundation will aid me as I attempt to discover how the simple word "family" will help save the world.
At first I thought that the simple answer of "Family" was surprising because it was so simple.  Now I see that it shouldn't be surprising at all.  We have been told.

There is a lovely new site, Sunday Society  dedicated to "the best of LDS women's history" I am pleased to be participating this week and hopefully every week in the Sunday Blog Hop.

P.S. I am so lucky to have such fun pictures of my family!


Misty said...

You do have a beautiful family--the photos are amazing! What a beautiful are Relief Society history in the making!

Samurai Mom said...

Thanks Misty. I hope that I can be worthy of that definition.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

When the Proclamation was first read I was one month away from giving birth to my first child. As the years progressed I could truly see the prophetic wisdom contained in that document. Who knew that just a few short years after that we would be called on in Nevada to make phone calls to voters to pass an amendment to our state constitution defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. And all the fights that have occurred throughout the country defending the true definition of marriage. Hopefully in future years the RS sisters will recognize our efforts in that fight!

Jessica said...

So true, Kylene! Loved this post...and the pictures of course. So glad you are in my family. Love you!

Afton said...

I posted a link to a Michael Pollen interview from The Globe and Mail on my facebook page about the war on food. It was pretty interesting but the last paragraph stopped me cold: "One of the earmarks of industrial eating is eating alone. Our eating has become very isolated and anti-social. And the industry has atomized us in our eating. The industry would rather we didn’t eat our meals at the table with other people. You can sell more food to people if you break them up into demographic target groups, and they’ve understood this for a long time."

In light of how many benefits sitting down to a family dinner has for the family, this worried me a lot.

Samurai Mom said...

Afton, you read my mind, I am planning a family food post. I will certainly use your link for research.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I love this post!!

Shay said...

Great post! It is so simple, but so true. Family really is so important, and I'm so thankful to have that knowledge.

By the way, I just found you through latter-day homeschooling... in case you were wondering. :) Your blog is great!