Our sacrament meeting talks were about the family and what we can do to strengthen our families.
The first talk was by a young woman who comes from a large family. She is the oldest at 19 and her youngest sibling is 3. What touched me from her talk was the love she has for her parents and younger brothers and sisters. She mentioned in her talk how her younger brother's favorite book is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and how he will go to every person in the house and ask each one of them to read the book to him. Mostly he gets replies that they are busy. But one of her sisters always drops anything that she is doing and reads to him whenever he asks her. It was a very touching story. How un-selfish an act to stop whatever you are doing to read to a child.
I am the youngest of 7 children in my family and I can remember feeling loved by my parents and older brothers and sisters. My most fondest childhood memories are with family. I feel that because of those happy times, I am a better husband and father. Because I felt love in my parent's home, I desire to create that love in my home today. Part of my patriarchal blessing counsels me to appreciate and keep strong the bonds within my family because they will be important to me througout the eternities.
I've always taken the importance of family for granted. Knowing that family is important was always a given growing up. So in 1995, I was a bit non-plussed about the Proclamation on the Family. I really didn't understand the importance of that document at the time. As I look back, I think I didn't realize at the time how the family was under attack. It wasn't until I had my own family did I realize the importance of that document.
When people find out that we have 4 children, they are usually taken aback. The first question from their mouth is "are you done?" And I agree with a gentleman I spoke with yesterday who said that there was a time when a family of 4 children was considered average or below average. Now, 4 children is "big" by today's standards.
How the world's troubles would begin to vanish if everyone began to focus more on repairing and building a strong family. Would it hurt to drop what you are doing and read a book to your child? It might be fun to take your kids to the park or play toys with them. Why not pass something you love onto your children ... if you love to play chess, as I do, then spend time with your kids playing chess. Take your kids to the gym and play basketball. Go jump on the trampoline with them the next time you're outside. Teach them how to play catch or ride a bicycle. Say you're sorry if you lose your temper in front of them. Work with them ... help them to clean the kitchen or rake leaves. Read the scriptures and pray with them every day. Sit down with them and work on their homework together. Sing a song to them. Laugh with them. Tell them you love them ... very often. Hug them and kiss them on their cheeks. Let them hug and kiss you on your cheeks. Be the best Dad and Mom to your kids and they will grow up with a healthy sense of what a righteous family is all about.