Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why I Love Family Life

[A friend asked me to write about what I love about "family life" and this is my response.]

I have had the blessing of being part of a good family since the day I was born.  How my heart aches and wishes for that same opportunity for every infant coming into this world: to have loving parents and siblings who are seeking to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Where ever there is righteous living there is peace, love and joy.  Where ever there is self-centered living there is strife, anger and pain.  But I also know the atonement of Christ is real and through that power he will heal any and all who come to Him with full purpose of heart.

This being said, I don't believe there exists a "perfect family" anywhere out there.  We are on this earth to learn, grow and have experiences to teach us what our Heavenly Father knows we need to learn.  The Lord Jesus Christ was the only person to walk the earth who was completely perfect.  So we are either moving closer to that goal of becoming like our Savior or we are moving farther away.  Having a family that is striving with all its might to follow His example is an invaluable strength and gift to have in this journey of life!

I love family life because I can't think of any other way to refine my character faster and help me grow.  Is it an easy, painless process?  Of course not! Since when was anything truly worthwhile easy? But through working, living, struggling, laughing, praying, and studying daily as a family we can all progress closer to our Heavenly Father. And we learn the principle of MERCY is among the first to master in order to find joy in our family life: "For, if ye forgive men their trespasses your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; But if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."   3 Nephi 13:14-15

Where else do you have more opportunities to "trespass" or "to be trespassed" than in family life? :) It is such an intimate and personal environment that there seem to be many chances for either giving or taking offense.  But there are also many more opportunities to love, to forgive, to bless, and to serve! It's simply not possible to live a truly satisfying, happy life by seeking our personal interests and wants all or even most of the time!  Self-centered life-styles simply go against eternal laws as our Lord taught:  "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Matthew 10:39

Another one of sweetest blessings we gain, especially as parents, is through service in the home to little children.  I've noticed that many in the world prefer not to do the work it takes to care for babies and small children.  After all, where's the glory? Where's the monetary compensation?  Or perhaps even, where's my sleep?! :) And the "work" is quite constant and demanding!  But it is among the most precious work we can do for all of these very reasons.  Another powerful, unchanging principle from the Savior:  "As ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40 

If we truly love the Lord with are our might, mind and strength we will rejoice in the opportunity to serve him in this capacity.  We will gradually be able to forget ourselves more and more and thereby be able to have more joy if our life.  But, you might be asking: Who will then take care of ME?!  I testify that as we put our whole heart and mind into serving Christ, He will take care of us FAR BETTER than we can ever take care of ourselves!  I have seen this over and over again as my husband and I have brought each of our ten children into this world and as we are trying to do our best to raise them.  We are still far from perfect, of course, but as I mentioned earlier, we must live by the glorious principle of MERCY and GRACE daily. A favorite quote relating to this principle from The Book of Mormon:

 "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."  (2 Nephi 25:23)

A FAMILY, with each member seeking to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, is like a lovely symphony or beautiful piece of artwork to be enjoyed by all who seek after things that are virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy. Articles of Faith 1:13 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is the gospel in a nutshell. The family is the absolute best place to learn all the Christ-like attributes you are talking about. I thought I knew it all until I starting having kids. I then discovered I knew nothing about patience, charity, forgiveness, and all the other principles I need, and I only have three children!!! You're right, I've found the only lasting joy in the end is the time and effort we invest in our kids. Everyone talks about "saving" their children, when actually it is our kids that save us.


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