Wednesday, September 5, 2012

By Small and Simple Things

"The family is ordained of God...Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.

I love  The Family: A Proclamation to the World  and everything it stands for!  It's powerful, it's true, it teaches us what families have always been and should be. The paragraph above, I love especially because it teaches us timeless principles we need to have in our families, in order to be happy and successful.

We are reminded  that the family is ordained of God and that our families are our greatest blessing.


  All of my warmest memories are associated with  family. 

Favorite childhood memory:   I had to go back really far, and I saw myself sitting on the couch next to my Dad.  I was maybe 3 or 4 years old.  If you wonder what 3 and 4 year olds think about...I looked over at my Dad  and noticed how the couch cushion sunk down around where he sat...and with all the wishes of 4 year-old girl, I couldn't wait until I was BIG enough to make the couch cushion sink down when I sat.  I love my Dad and have always wanted to be just like he was.  And I am proud to announce, the couch cushion now goes WAAAAY down when I sit!

Food memories...the good, the bad, and the ugly...are also associated with home and my family. Ironically, or not, all of my siblings and I share the same food memories.  We all unanimously detest acorn squash and beets, and remember being forced to eat them as children.We were told that eating these foods would do amazing things to our hair,  eyes, and our growing abilities. We also love the same meal of meatball and scones made classic by our mother. We think of this meal...and we all melt and think of Mom and home. I  can't think of a family meal where we weren't sitting with all of our feet under the same table.  These are warm memories that I cherish.  I have always felt that the greatest way a mother nurtures her family is through food and family meals together.

Memories of  vacations and time together: ...there's many, but the top memory would have to be the year  when we were all grown up and came back home for Christmas.  I was still a single college student, but my older brothers were young marrieds with small children.  As soon as the little ones were all asleep, we "adults" stayed up and video-taped an impromptu version of "A Christmas Carol" complete with costumes and commercials.  We were crazy nuts. However, this has become a family classic that all the grand-kids and big kids love to watch. 

Working together was also time well spent.  We always had Saturday jobs, lots of work outdoors clearing rocks out of our yard, weeding the garden, laying sod for our Dad's landscaping business, as well as cleaning bathrooms and bedrooms.  When straightening up the house, my mother made up the word "razmatazz" which is a quick 15-minute-everyone-help clean-up that we still use in my family  today.  We sometimes forget that not all families use this word.

Memories of faith...were behind everything we lived. Reading scriptures, Family Home Evening, kneeling in prayer before school, attending Church, and preparing for missions and temple marriages.  Watching my parents quietly live the gospel and serve in the church, were all small and simple things for which great things came to pass. Alma 37:6

Elder Oaks in his talk Good, Better, Best, gave us guidelines that parallel the teachings found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  He said,
"The First Presidency has called on parents “to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles. … The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place … in … this God-given responsibility.” The First Presidency has declared that “however worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform.”

"The Family Is Ordained of God and Central to the Creator's Plan for Eternal Destiny of His Children...Happiness in Family Life is Most Likely to be Achieved When Founded Upon The Teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." The Family: A Proclamation to the World