Monday, December 15, 2014

Children are entitled...

"Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity." - The Family: A Proclamation
"Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's development and emotional maturity." - Pope Francis, Nov. 17, 2014

We recently had a stake conference where an apostle spoke to us (here in California).  One thing he talked about was the Prop 8 experience, and he mentioned what a heavy price many paid for their support of the Church and traditional family values.  And even though the law was eventually overturned, he said many other people of faith took notice of our stand an have since reached out to the Church - particularly the Catholic Church.  I know that in my stake we have since joined with them on other issues, and every year we participate and support their "March for Life" and they join with us for "Mormon Helping Hands."  It's nice to know that we are not the only ones who are willing to take a stand for the family, and I wonder if that had anything to do with President Eyring's participation in the recent Vatican summit on marriage last month.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Family Time

"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."
 While preparing to make Christmas photo books for grandparents, I waded through 20 years of family pictures. As I did so, I was reminded of some of the fun times we've had, and more often than not, it was the simple and inexpensive trips that turned out to be the most memorable, for both myself and my children.  Camping trips, beach days and visits to family are among our favorites. It's so important to learn and work and serve and have fun with your family!

Newport Beach Temple open house
Beach day at Surfrider Beach in Malibu!
Camping in Big Sur

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mormon ads

I just love the videos that the church puts out to lift and inspire us. When I was a kid I used to love to watch the "Mormon Ad" commercials, which usually focused on the family. Here are a couple of my favorites that remind us how important spending time with our families and supporting each other is...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Of all the titles...

 "The title father is sacred and eternal. It is significant that of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to Deity, He has asked us to address Him as Father." -Quorum of the Twelve Apostles 
The Proclamation teaches us that "the family is central" to our Heavenly Father's plan.  Our purpose here on earth is to become more like our Heavenly Father, and just as we have heavenly parents, we have the opportunity to be parents here on earth.  Being parents gives us a small opportunity to understand better how Heavenly Father feels about us, his children.  Not only should we take this responsibility seriously, but it is something we should appreciate and cherish.

I love this church video from Father's Day.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Defending our Faith

"This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before. If they don’t know the doctrine, they can’t defend it." -Sister Julie B. Beck

As a mother of four teenagers, I have come to tolerate and even love their strong, stubborn personalities. I didn't at first, but one day I realized how important they were for standing for what they a world of declining morals. Living in southern California, during the Prop 8 election, was not easy on them. My oldest son, who was in high school, was constantly being called out by fellow students and even teachers, because of his beliefs. It would have been easier to keep quiet, but that wouldn't have been Braiden. With kindness and compassion he let people know what he believed and why. He felt confident in his knowledge of gospel principles and had a strong testimony that these things were true.

We read in the proclamation, "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations." Although important, it is not enough to simply provide for the physical needs of our children. We must teach them to pray, to read the scriptures, to follow the commandments, to serve others, and to love the Lord. We must teach them the that they can defend it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Twenty-two and a half years

May 30, 1992 - Salt Lake Temple

Twenty-two and a half years ago I was married in the Salt Lake Temple.  I remember it being a very hectic and busy day...but wonderful. Many of the details are now a blur, but I do remember the man who sealed us was named Brother Kjar, and that he counseled us to always pray together each night.

Although I grew up in the church and was taught to have a goal of being married in the temple, I'm not sure even at that moment that I really understood just how important it was.  I look back now, at my children and the many moments of trial and joy that we've had, and I'm so grateful that no matter what, we were sealed together as an eternal family.  I know that it has made a great difference in our lives.  It hasn't made us perfect...not my husband and I, nor our children...but somehow we always knew that we were bound together, and it has helped over the rough times.  I look at my kids now, the oldest on a mission and the others teenagers, and I see what good kids they are. I know that the covenants we have made in the temple, have been a great influence.

In D&C 128 we read of the Priesthood power that, "...binds on earth and binds in heaven." I am grateful to live at a time where the fullness of the Gospel has been restored, and I pray that I will always live worthy of the blessings of the temple that bind my family together forever.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

In September 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” at a general meeting of the Relief Society. He prefaced the reading by saying:
“With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn. In furtherance of this we of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles now issue a proclamation to the Church and to the world as a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history” (“Stand Strong against the Wiles of the World,”Ensign, Nov. 1995, 100).