When I was asked to cover Home and Family for YourLDSNeighborhood, I was a little intimidated – Muriel, the previous blogger, had done such an outstanding job I knew I couldn’t fill her shoes. At the same time, I was honored, as I realized what a blessing it would be to focus my thoughts on my home and my family for several quality moments each week and to think about what they really mean to me.
As I push my dirty dishes to the back of my mind and concentrate on the essential, eternal parts of having a home and a family, I’m reminded of the theme we’ve seen presented in our visiting teaching messages for the last several months. These messages have taken us right back to the basics of the gospel, to where it all began and what comprises the root and core of our Heavenly Father’s plan for us and the reasons why we’re here. That core is the family.
Our Heavenly Father is truly that—our Father. This is not just a term of endearment or respect; it is a literal, absolute fact. He is the Father of our spirits. He watches over us just as our own earthly parents watch over us, and He is always concerned about our welfare and our progression. We are like children who have gone off to college. We can’t see our parents any longer, but they are always there for us and they are just a phone call, or prayer, away.
As we marry and form families of our own, we are participating in our Heavenly Father’s plan. We are bringing down more spirits who will also learn to listen for their Father’s voice throughout their lives, and we are learning what it means to be one. A family is successful as each member puts their wants to the side and focuses on the overall best good for the family, and these are principles we must learn in order to form a Zion society. As parents walk the floors with sick children, as Johnny breaks the last cookie in half to share with Jane, and as Billy lets Steve play with his truck, they learn one step at a time what it means to be one.
If you picture an apple, the core runs right down the center. The fruit extends out from the core and the skin covers and protects it all. Our families are the core of everything we do. We go to work to support our families. We cook and clean to provide a healthy environment for our families. Everything we do ties back in to our families, and this is how our Heavenly Father intended it. The pattern of the family is eternal. There is no eternal progression, no heaven, no exaltation, without family.
I’ve set a goal to keep my family more central in my thoughts and more cherished as I move from day to day, to focus less on the housework and more on the things I can teach them and the love we can share. A family is more than just soccer games, muddy shoes, sticky fingers, and spilled Kool-Aid. A family is forever.
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