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HELPING FAMILIES TO ADOPT THE GOSPEL CULTURE “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” [Deut. 14:2] “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God…” [D&C 88:119] “Church programs strengthen individuals and families. Our success, individually and as a church, will largely be determined by how faithfully we focus on living the gospel in the home. Only as we see clearly the responsibilities of each individual and the role of families and homes can we properly understand that priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations, even wards and stakes, exist primarily to help members live the gospel in the home. Then we can understand that people are more important than programs, and that Church programs should always support and never detract from gospel-centered family activities.” [The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,, Pg.435] “The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of the home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.” [Pres. David O. McKay, “Family Home Evening Manual 1968-69] “We believe that the family is the basic unit of society. You can’t have a strong community without strong families. You can’t have a strong nation without strong families – the father, the mother, and the children as one unit working together. ..If we can just cultivate good, wholesome family life among our members, I don’t worry much about the future of this Church.” [Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, interview with Ignacio Carrion, El Pais, Mexico] “……There is a unique gospel culture, a set of values and expectations and practices common to all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” [Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Establishing a Gospel Culture, Liahona, June 2003] If you are a bishop or stake president, foremost to your goals as a Church leader being “a shepherd and a minister” is to have the gospel culture practiced in the home of every active family within your ward and stake. Indeed, the practice of the gospel culture must start in our homes. When we become members of the Church, we covenant to ‘take upon ourselves the name of the Savior, to always remember Him and keep His commandments.’ By accepting the gospel we ought to have experienced ‘a mighty change of heart’ (Alma 5:14). Thus, we are reborn – where our old ways are replaced with the ways of a ‘peculiar people.’ There should be a dramatic cultural change occurring in our families as we adopt the new habits and lifestyle of true Latter-day saints. This is the process of “perfecting the saints.”


Gospel Culture in our Families

This new culture requires our families to hold weekly Family Home Evening, daily family prayers, family devotionals, holding a family council, regular scripture study, holding a monthly fast, paying our tithes and fast offerings, attending our Sunday meetings, performing regular home and visiting teaching, attending temple activities, doing missionary work, preparing children for future missions, obeying the word of wisdom, magnifying our callings, etc. Our Heavenly Father has a plan for our spiritual and temporal growth in this life which will ultimately lead us to eternal life. We are free to choose whether we follow this plan or not but as a ‘holy people’ set apart by the Lord He has outlined a program of happiness for us. “There is no compulsion in one going to meetings or to praying or to having home evening, or to living the law of the Sabbath or any of the other laws of the Ten Commandments or the other scores of commandments, but the Lord seems to know what will make people supremely happy, and he has outlined a program which will develop and give growth to the people.” [Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 211] Indeed, adopting the gospel culture in our homes is not meant to place a heavy burden on us. The gospel culture is meant to help our families live happily despite life’s inevitable trials and afflictions. The work of applying the gospel culture in our homes is the price we pay for eternal family happiness. The Lord has revealed to us how to obtain eternal life: “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” [D&C 14:7] If you are a church leader, the important question to ask yourself is: “How can I adopt the gospel culture in my own family and then help other families (and individuals) adopt the gospel culture in their homes?” First, we identify what are the practices common to all members of the Church are. These are the values and expectations emanating from the gospel, covenants, and commandments. Leading by example, you commence the work of adopting the gospel culture in your own family. Second, we teach the gospel culture relentlessly. [Jacob 2:2] We are asking our members to accept a new way of life and discard the old traditions of their former life that runs in conflict with the gospel culture. It is not going to happen by accident nor will the process be easy. This requires repeatedly teaching correct principles by persuasion and longsuffering throughout your ministry. [D&C 121:41-42] We teach the doctrine, theory, and principles through effective lectures – line upon line, precept upon precept. [2 Ne. 28:30] We teach the gospel culture practices such as conducting family home evening or family council by lecture and demonstration. We need to teach the skills necessary for such practices applied in our homes. Third, we inspire and motivate our people to accept the new way of life. We facilitate the implementation of the gospel culture practices in their homes. We can stimulate enthusiasm by going through the process of “perfecting the saints” together. I will share with you some ideas how to unite your people towards this common goal. Fourth, we use the priesthood organization to follow-through and monitor progress. We support their efforts and help sustain them by consistently monitoring their progress through the home and visiting teachers. [D&C 20:47] Families should pray together, kneeling night and morning to offer thanks for blessings and prayers for common concerns. Families should worship together, participating in church services and family devotionals. Families should study and learn together. This should include group reading and discussion of the scriptures, and group consideration of other valuable subjects, such as practical knowledge necessary to function in a modern world. Families should work together….Families should also play together so that happy recreational experiences are associated with the activities of the family…. Families should counsel together, treating all matters of concern to the family and its members. Families should eat together. Mealtime is a natural time for the family to assemble and communicate…Families should join in recording family traditions and sacred experiences. [Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Parental Leadership in the Family,” Ensign, June 1985] Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

GOSPEL CULTURE FAMILY PRACTICES SABBATH DAY OBSERVANCE And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High; Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times; But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord. And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full. [D&C 59:9 -13] Sabbath day observance is one of the hallmarks of a Latter-day Saint. The Lord has designated the Sabbath as the day to rest from our temporal activities. While our neighbors hold their parties, picnics, open their stores and conduct business, we observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. This is one practice that truly sets us apart from the world. The Sabbath day is given throughout the generations of man for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between the Lord and his children forever. It is a day in which to worship and to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Lord. It is a day on which to surrender every worldly interest and to praise the Lord humbly, for humility is the beginning of exaltation. It is a day not for affliction and burden but for rest and righteous enjoyment. It is a day not for lavish banqueting, but a day of simple meals and spiritual feasting; but a day when maid might be relieved from the preparation. It is a day graciously given us by our Heavenly Father. It is a day when the office may be locked and business postponed, and troubles forgotten.. It is a day when bodies may rest, minds relax, and spirits grow. It is a day when songs may be sung, prayers offered, sermons preached, and testimonies borne, and when man may climb high, almost annihilating time, space, and distance between himself and his Creator. [The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Pg.215] Some activities that are appropriate for Sabbath day observance include among other things: preparing for lessons, talks and other assignments, reading the scriptures and other Church publications, attending Sunday worship services, writing journals, doing family history work, performing home and visiting teaching, visiting the sick, prayer and meditation, fasting, singing church hymns, conducting family councils, holding family home evening, holding interviews between parents and children, fellowshipping new members, building relationships between husband and wife. In other words, activities that feed the spirit, nourish the soul, and worship the Lord. Ideas on Sabbath Day Observance Prepare for the Sabbath. When I was a young boy my mother always reminded me to prepare for the Sabbath by making sure that my Sunday clothes were ready. I washed and ironed my clothes on Saturdays because she did not allow me to do that on Sundays. I carried that habit all the way to college when I was already away from home. Teach children to organize all the things they need for the Sabbath on Saturday. Go to Church together. What a sight to behold when father, mother, and children go to church together. There is always the tendency of family members going ahead than the others and of course, this is also acceptable. However, as a family unit who wants to achieve and demonstrate unity, you can strive to go to church together. It is a powerful influence to others and one that shows true family power as well. Attend Church meetings in proper attire. Perhaps this is where the concept of “Sunday’s best” began. Sunday being a special day and a holy day at that, we should wear the best clothes we have to show the Lord our respect when attending Church meetings. Clothes need not be expensive or fashionable. They only need to be modest and neat. Polo shirt with neckties, or polo barong for men and modest blouses and skirts or dresses for women. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

Seated together at Sacrament meeting as a family. During meetings, especially the sacrament meeting, families should be seated together. This is a wonderful tradition and one that increases family unity. Even when your children are grown, they should still be encouraged to sit with you and not with their friends. Bringing the scriptures to Church. Ensure that everyone in the family has a set of scriptures. Encourage all family members to bring their scriptures whenever they go to a church meeting. We need the spirit of reverence in our houses of worship. We need to keep the Sabbath day holy. We need to close our businesses on Sunday and as Latter-day Saints refrain from making purchases on the Sabbath. We need to refrain from going to moving pictures on the Sabbath…... We should not seek pleasure in any form on the Sabbath day. We should stand firm in opposition to Sunday baseball (basketball, boxing) and other amusements regardless of what much of the Christian world may do. [Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, Pg.460] No unnecessary buying on Sundays. Buying on Sundays is completely preventable. My mother bought all the food that was necessary for us on Saturday to avoid any buying on God’s holy day. Set the habit in your family on preparing for every needful thing for the Sabbath on Saturday. Rest from your temporal labors. The daily household chores such as cleaning, laundry and ironing are given a rest on Sundays. Even our cooking should be prepared with a singleness of heart. No elaborate dining on this holy day. TV watching from Monday to Saturday only. When I was growing up we never had a problem with watching TV on Sundays. We did not have TV until I returned from my mission. ☺ Everyone in the neighborhood watches TV on Sunday but why not us? “To keep ourselves unspotted from the world.” Do not conduct any temporal business of Sunday. I had an amusing experience when I was young. We had a small store in the public market. The market, as you know, is busiest on Sundays. Our friends were shocked to see us close our store on Sundays – the week’s most profitable business day. On top of that, we also closed our store on Saturdays in respect for our store keeper who believed Saturday to be her Sabbath. With two days in a row of the best days of the week for business closed, we qualified to be in Guinness World Records for absurd business practices! I remember to this day that our neighbors always talked about our ‘strange’ ways of observing the Sabbath day. Sometimes we are tempted to discuss business matters between Sunday meetings. At times, business is actually transacted by members during such meetings. We are a peculiar people. We should avoid such practices because it is a practice of the world. “….another brother was considered for one of the highest positions; and when we asked him of his occupation, he said he was a grocer by trade. “Well, most of the stores keep open on the Sabbath. Do you?” “We lock our store on Sunday,” he said. “But how can you compete with these people who are open seven days a week?” “We compete. At least we get along very well,” was his reply. “But would not the Sabbath be your biggest day?” “Yes,” he answered, “we would probably sell twice as much on the Sabbath as we would on an average day, but we get along without it, and the Lord has been kind; he has been gracious; he has been good.” “What do you sell in this store?” I asked him. He said, “Groceries and miscellaneous merchandise.” “Your competitors sell other things including forbidden things, do they not?” I asked. “Yes, but we have felt it was not right,” he said. “We lose trade, of course. People leave our store and go to the other store and buy many dollars’ worth of groceries where they can get a few cans of beer or some wine, but we do not sell it.” And I could not refrain from saying, "God bless you, my faithful brother. The Lord will not be unmindful of these seeming sacrifices.” [The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Pg.228] Recreational events and amusement is discouraged on Sundays. Birthday parties, pompous family reunions, picnics and fiestas held on Sunday are common practices of our non-member relatives and friends. We are usually invited to these events and find ourselves rationalizing our participation in the name of family unity. Unfortunately, such events are also sponsored by Church members themselves on Sundays. We ought to reschedule these events to more appropriate times in deference to the Lord. If a birthday falls on a Sunday, the elaborate celebration may be done some other day. Our peculiarity and holiness is marked by the worshipful activities we do on God’s holy day. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

HOLDING FAMILY PRAYERS With the introduction of short messaging system (SMS) better known as ‘texting,’ we are in constant touch with family members and friends. This new technology has been phenomenal and one that has changed our lives radically. However, our Heavenly Father has always provided us a more powerful technology than SMS – I call it instant messaging system (IMS). Unlike SMS, it does not require expensive and sophisticated equipment and the cost of usage regardless of how often we use it and how long our messages might be is amazingly - free. Once we use it, it instantly connects our home to heaven. This simple but powerful linkage between heaven and earth is called – prayer. Amulek has taught profoundly on this subject: … That ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you; yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase. But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness. Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you. [Alma 34:17-27] Amulek has taught us to cry to the Lord for mercy; to humble ourselves and continually pray unto Him. We are to pray in our homes, in our work or school, in our business, all day long. By praying to God ceaselessly, He will prosper us. And if we are not in the act of praying, Amulek has taught us to always pour out our souls unto God. This means there is always prayer in our hearts. Stay connected with the Lord at all times and in all places. Through prayer, we invite the Lord to become part of our family. Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed. [3 Ne. 18:21] “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.” (D&C 10:5.) Our Heavenly Father is eager to bless us. But how can He bless us if we do not link our homes to heaven? Let us return to the analogy of prayer to telecommunication. For example, we are able to call other people through cellular-tocellular communication if the phone sets are open. Sometimes other parties are unreachable if they are outside the coverage area, currently engaged with someone else, and of course if there is no signal available. Our Father Heaven cannot reach us if we do not pray in our homes or when we shut Him off in our lives by not keeping the commandments. He can only pour His blessings upon us if our communication signal is strong when we apply the gospel in our lives. Prayer is our immediate link to heaven in our families. If we do not pray, we shut communication lines and Heavenly Father cannot bless us. Prayer opens the windows of heaven for our Father in Heaven to shower us His blessings.

I hope the Latter-day Saints will not fail to say their prayers, their secret prayers and their family prayers. Children who are reared in homes where they do not have family prayers and secret prayers lose a great deal, and I fear that, in the midst of the world’s confusion, of hurry and bustle, many times homes are left without prayer and without the blessings of the Lord; these homes cannot continue to be happy. [Pres. George Albert Smith, Sharing the Gospel With Others] Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

Ideas for Family Prayer Morning and evening prayer. We are required to pray at all times. Family prayers are to be held both morning and night. We launch into our daily activities with a prayer and we close our daily activities also with a prayer. By offering prayer in the morning we consecrate our day’s work to the Lord. When we close our day with a prayer, we offer our thanksgiving for the eventful day God has given us. “It is the counsel of the Church that family prayer should take place twice daily, ordinarily before the morning and evening meals….. The morning prayer should be suited to the circumstances and conditions of the family, whatever they are. The circumstances of the family differ from morning to morning and from evening to evening, almost as much as our meetings vary. [Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Pg.583] Praying at the dinner table. Getting everybody to family prayer is sometimes a challenge. One of the ways that has worked for us is to pray at the dining table just before breakfast or before supper. We do this by kneeling around the table. We say a family prayer not a just blessing of the food. It is a common practice among the saints, particularly in families having children who need training in praying, to offer one prayer as a family prayer and another one as a blessing on the food. The family prayer is offered while kneeling around the table, the blessing on the food while sitting at the table. There is, of course, no impropriety, particularly where one or two adults only are involved, in including the blessing on the food in the formal family prayer. [Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Pg.584 ] A moment of total silence. To invite the spirit of the Lord, you may request all family members to be completely quiet for a few seconds. Teach that during this moment of meditation everyone can think of all the blessings God has bestowed on the family and think of the blessings they might ask the Lord. After the moment of silence, the person assigned to be the voice may proceed. Sing a hymn before prayer. Another idea to invite the Spirit into the family circle just before the family prayer is to sing a hymn. We sing one or two verses of our favorite hymn. If we are praying near the piano, I might even accompany our singing. After the hymn is sung, prayer proceeds with meaning. Hold hands together in a circle. Family prayer can become more meaningful when family members hold each other’s hands in a circle. There is physical and spiritual connection at the same time. Everyone gets a kiss and a hug after. Rotating among us the voice. On some occasions while our hands are connected to each other, we pass the opportunity to other family members from one person to the next. Perhaps, our eldest daughter will begin the prayer and in the process of thanking the Lord she presses the hand of her mother who will continue the prayer. Then my wife will press the hand of our oldest son, etc. The last few words of the prayer are usually given to me and I conclude the prayer. The Love Seat exercise. This is opposite to the hot seat that we commonly experience at work. Prior to family prayer, we choose a member of the family to be the ‘it.’ The ‘it’ is the lucky beneficiary of our love and appreciation that evening. The ‘it’ sits in the middle of the circle and everyone in the family takes a turn to vocally express love or appreciation. Read the scriptures before the prayer. We can incorporate one chapter of scripture study before family prayer. A daily devotional. Combine meditation, hymn singing, scripture reading and prayer. For just a ten-minute investment a family can have a daily devotional. The devotional starts with meditation and singing of a church hymn [D&C 25:12]. It is followed by scriptural thought, a reading of some favorite scripture stories or a sequential reading of a book of scripture. Close the devotional with a family prayer. This devotional may be done both morning and evening or at a time when everybody can gather. When we set aside the time for regular family devotionals, this will increase the faith, love, and harmony in our homes. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

HOLDING WEEKLY FAMILY HOME EVENING One of the family practices that truly make us unique around the world is our church-wide practice of family home evening on Monday nights. No true Latter-day Saint family will forego this practice in their home. Even our missionaries teach it as part of the lessons that prospective members have to learn. When President Joseph F. Smith introduced this weekly family activity, this is what he said: “If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them.” [First Presidency, “Editors’ Table: Home Evening,” Improvement Era, June 1915, 733-34] The living prophet of God, Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley has expressed concern over the observance of this important program in our homes and has issued a challenge to parents: “…We are fearful that this very important program is fading in too many areas…We urge in the strongest terms possible, that fathers and mothers regard most seriously this opportunity and challenge to make Monday evening a time sacred to the family.” [To Men of the Priesthood, Liahona, Nov. 2002, 58] Despite the inspiration behind this program and its relevance to the contemporary family, we still find many members who do not hold this activity regularly. Elder Dallin H. Oaks wonders: “It is a striking fact that the family home evening is the ideal time to accomplish almost every type of family togetherness. It is the ideal place for the family to pray together, learn together, counsel together, play together, and even work together. Most of us recognize this, but I wonder how many of us are really using the family home evening to its full potential.” [“Parental Leadership in the Family,” Ensign, June 1985, 11] Pres. Hinckley has further taught that family home evening is.... “a time of teaching, of reading scriptures, of cultivating talents, of discussing family matters… fathers and mothers sit down with their children, pray together, instruct them in the ways of the Lord, consider their family problems, and let the children express their talents.” Sample Family Home Evening Program Conducting: Opening Hymn: Opening Prayer:

Ruth Larayne “I am a Child of God” Mommy

Pianist: Chorister:

Daddy Renee

Scriptural Thought: Talent Presentation: Games: Lesson:

Randall Joseph Children Rich Allen Renee Carmine

Father’s Counsel:

Daddy

Closing Hymn: Closing Prayer:

“Families can be Together Forever” Randall Joseph Refreshments

Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

Conducting Family Home Evening You can teach this simple conducting procedure even to little children. This is a sample only. Opening. Good evening family. I welcome you all to our weekly family home evening. I am conducting tonight. We will begin by singing __________________ (a hymn). After we sing the hymn, _______________ (name of person) will offer the opening prayer. Optional: Our chorister is __________________ and our pianist ____________________. Program. Our scriptural thought for tonight will be given by _______________________. For our talent presentation let me call on ____________________ to present a (a) song (b) poem (c) dance, etc. I will now give the time to ______________________ for our family games. We will now listen to __________________________ for our lesson tonight. Closing. Before I give the time to father, I would like to thank everyone for your participation in our family home evening. Our closing hymn is ____________ and ___________ will offer the closing prayer. Let us give Daddy the time. A family home evening program should be very flexible. The basic elements present should be prayer, hymn singing, scripture reading, a lesson and refreshments. As your children are able to participate, include talent presentation and family games to create an atmosphere of fun. Ideas for Family Home Evening Be easy on yourself. A weekly family program is new especially to first generation members of the Church. What we commonly experience are spontaneous informal family gatherings. This is the reason why most of us might be reluctant to do it in the beginning. You may not even know how to conduct it. Perhaps someone just showed it to you once or twice and your confidence level is still low. In that case, you should ask someone to show it to you again or read literature regarding the program. So just try it and it does not matter if you do not do it right at once. It is important to jumpstart yourself and you will find it enjoyable as time goes on. The best time to start is NOW. Get a copy of the Family Home Evening Resource Book. If you do not own one, get a copy immediately. It is filled with many ideas to make all kinds of family home evening faith-promoting, fun, and full of learning. These ideas have proven to work for many families since the program was introduced. More than any prior manual, the Family Home Evening Resource Book is designed to accomplish the broadest purposes of the family home evening. . . . [This book] is a superior resource for parents to use in fulfilling their parental responsibilities and for family fun and learning. It is not a book just to own or to store on a shelf. It is a book to be used. Make sure you have it in your home. Use it. It will bless your lives and the lives of your children. [Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Parental Leadership] Start when your children are young. Young children love being together with their parents and enjoy this time together. It is also the ideal stage of their life to begin traditions in your home. Do not miss the opportunity. If you joined the Church when your children are already teen-agers, invite other active young people to join you at the start. Hold it regularly. Regular family home evenings send the message to your family that they are important. Once you hold it regularly, your family becomes accustomed to it and eventually turns into a family tradition. Hold it at the same day, same hour. Agree with your children to do it at the same day and hour every week. You might say, “We are holding FHE every Monday night at 6:00 p.m. I would like to request that everyone ought to be in the living room by 5:55 p.m.” Then do it until it becomes a habit. When it does, you will notice your children clamoring for this family time when the day and time arrives. You are happily hooked! Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

Holding it on a Sunday afternoon or evening. When your children start going to college, Monday nights may no longer be practical. Perhaps, holding it on a Sunday evening is better. Find a day that works but don’t skip it. When children are all grown you can use to conduct lively gospel discussions. Rotate the assignments. Every family member should be involved even young children. This is an opportunity for children to develop self-esteem and confidence. Children can progress from simple assignments to teaching lessons. Since we have teen-agers, they already take turns preparing for a lesson. Make it flexible. When children are young, it is more appropriate to teach lessons from illustrated scriptures published by the Church (Old & New Testament stories, Book of Mormon stories, etc.) The Liahona also provides plenty of lesson ideas for little children. When some of your children are already older, the activities have to match their new interests. You will need to mix activities for little children and grown children as the years go by. “A family can hold a home evening in many other ways. Any activity that brings the family together and strengthens their love for each other, as well as fostering righteous living, fills the function of a family home evening. Such activities include reading the scriptures, discussing the gospel, sharing testimonies, performing a service project, singing together, going on a picnic, playing a family game, hiking, and others. All home evenings should include prayer” (Family Guidebook, pp. 7-9). Let there be lots of music (and dancing). Uplifting music is part of our unique culture. Every LDS family should invest in a musical instrument. Since we were so poor when we joined the Church, our first musical instrument was the ukulele. Later my father bought us a guitar. This was a prominent figure in our home evening activities. While I have learned to play the piano, my parents could not afford to buy one. When I started my own family, the piano was one of our first major investments. It is now a permanent fixture in our home and the center of attention during family nights. We have also encouraged our children to learn to play musical instruments. If you don’t have the confidence to teach a lesson, read the scriptures. You can choose the parables of the Savior in the New Testament and of course, the faith-promoting stories throughout the scriptures. (David and Goliath, the Good Samaritan, Nephi obtaining the plates of brass, the sons of Mosiah, the Savior’s visit to America, etc.) Invite one or two families and teach them how to conduct FHE. One of the things we enjoy doing is occasionally inviting other families particularly new converts to our home. We show them how FHE is conducted and sometimes present them with the FHE resource book. My parents a long time ago invited all the single members of our small branch to join our family every week for FHE. We fondly referred to them and us as the Rubio Family Corporation. Many of these members served missions later and moved out of our branch. But we still feel to this day that they are family. Record FHE proceedings. My mother kept minutes of our FHE programs. One time I was going over some old papers in our old home and I saw to my delight the minutes of our FHE activities as far back as 1972. I also saw the minutes of one such evening when they decided to prepare my Christmas package as a missionary in December 1979. Keep it in a notebook that can become part of family memorabilia for future generations to read. Refreshments. It is not a family home evening if there are no refreshments. ☺ Our traditional FHE refreshment when I was growing up was banana bread with ice cream. When I find myself eating them together, it never fails to evoke happy memories of those home evening activities of thirty years ago. We also decided in our own family to have traditional refreshments. This is what builds meaningful traditions that our children will remember us for. *Single adults should join forces. Let us not forget that single members whose families are not members of the Church should be organized as home evening groups. Church policy states, “the bishopric may organize one or more home evening groups for single members who do not have children in the home and do not live with their parents. If possible, the bishopric appoints a single priesthood holder to lead each group. If a ward has few single members, the stake presidency may authorize bishoprics to organize home evening groups that cross ward boundaries.” (Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 1 page 109-110) Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

A SCRIPTURE STUDY PROGRAM A regular study of the scriptures as a family is another common practice in a gospel-centered home. As Latter-day Saints we have a treasure far beyond and more precious than what others posses. We probably don’t appreciate it as much and sometimes we find ourselves taking the modern scriptures for granted. Pres. Ezra T. Benson warns us: “If we ignore what the Lord has given us, we may lose the very power and blessings which we seek. . . . Let us not treat lightly the great things we have received from the Lord! His word is one of the most valuable gifts He has given us. I urge you to recommit yourselves to a study of the scriptures. Immerse yourselves in them daily so you will have the power of the Spirit to attend you in your callings. Read them in your families and teach your children to love and treasure them.” [“Power of the Word,” 82.] Every Latter-day Saint must read the entire Book of Mormon. It is through the Book of Mormon and other scriptures that we come to the knowledge of our Redeemer and acquire an unshaken testimony of the restored gospel. The Prophet Joseph Smith once declared: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” [History of the Church, 4:461] If you have not read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, now is the time to accept the challenge. You should also encourage all members of your family to do the same. Every young man preparing to serve a mission should read the Book of Mormon at least once before leaving. Pres. Marion G. Romney has challenged us to read it daily and has enumerated the blessings we shall receive by doing so: “I counsel you . . . everywhere, to make reading in the Book of Mormon a few minutes each day a lifelong practice. . . . I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase, mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to that counsel. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.” [Conference Report, April 1960, 112-13] Ideas for Studying the Scriptures Schedule daily reading at specified time. The habit of reading the scriptures is developed by reading daily – even just for 15 minutes. I say 15 minutes to start with and progress as the habit is sustained. Schedule a most appropriate time for you, say, upon waking up in the morning, during lunch break, or before sleeping at night. Commit yourself and do it. The ideal is to read scriptures as a family daily. Again, scheduling is the key. When children are small, daily scripture study is much easier. When children are older, the challenge is harder. Decide on a time everyone can agree and commit. For example, 9:00 in the evening read one chapter of the Book of Mormon just before family prayer or at the dining table one chapter of scripture study just before supper. Start with the Book of Mormon. Family scripture reading should prioritize the Book of Mormon. If you have not read it in full, read it first before you read other scriptures. Encourage all of your children who are already able to read to read the entire book also. As you do so, bear your own testimony often as to your own personal convictions of the book. If you have been on a mission, share conversion stories of people who joined the Church because of the Book of Mormon. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Read the scriptures as a family at least weekly. Although daily family reading is ideal, it may not be possible with conflicting schedules of a growing family. Children go to school very early or you come home late from work are just some of the complexities of our modern lifestyle. Sunday evening seems to be the most appropriate. You may also incorporate it to family home evening where you read the scriptures as part of home evening activities. Be creative. Here’s another idea: let’s take reading the Book of Mormon as an example. Let’s assume you are unable to read scripture daily together. You can create an individual scripture reading assignment instead. Monday to Saturday I Nephi 1-6 as individual reading assignment then Sunday as family reading time, I Nephi 7. In this manner, you read every 7th chapter together. Read favorite stories in the scriptures. To make scripture reading more interesting is to read blocks of scriptures according to popular scripture stories. Here are a few examples: 1 Samuel 17 Matt 1: 18-25 Luke 10:30-37 Matt 5-7 Genesis 21-22

David & Goliath Christmas Story Good Samaritan Sermon on the Mount Abraham & Isaac

1 Nephi 3 – 4 Alma 56 3 Nephi 11 1 Nephi 11

Nephi and the Plates of Brass Helaman’s Stripling Soldiers Savior’s Visit to America Lehi’s Vision

You can read by topic. By going over the topical guide, you can read the scriptures by topic. You can assign the various scriptures on the topic to all family members. They look them up, read, and discuss. Listen to scriptures on audiotape. The scriptures are also available on audio cassettes and CDs. You can play them while you follow the narrator. If you have a car with a cassette or CD player, this will be very handy while driving. Scripture Reading Charts. I have included reading charts of all the standard works. You can use it to help track how you are progressing in your scripture reading individually or as a family. You can cross off each square representing a chapter each time you have read it. You can use color pens to make it look interesting. To make it more useful, set a goal. For example, set the number of chapters you would like to finish daily. Divide the number of chapters with the total number of chapters a book has to arrive at how long it will take you to complete it. Book of Mormon total number of chapters Number of chapters for daily reading Total number of days to complete

= = =

239 2 119.5 days

239 divided by 2 Approximately 4 months

At the rate of two chapters daily reading the Book of Mormon, you will complete it in four months. Record your start date, goal date and actual date completed to see how well you did. What happens if you read 4 chapters of the Book of Mormon daily? You will complete it in 2 months only or exactly in 59.75 days. At 5 chapters a day? 1 ½ months. When you think of it this way, it’s not that hard at all. Date Started:

15 Nov 2003

Goal Date:

15 March 2004

Actual Date Completed: ____________

If you apply this idea with your older children, you can help them determine the number of chapters they want to read and set their goal. Once their goal has been identified and written down, you should keep the reading chart. Most children are not likely to achieve their goal without parents following-through. During daily evening family prayers you can inquire about their progress. They can have the fun of coloring their chart matching their current progress. I first read the Book of Mormon in full when I was 13 years old. The branch president had a reading chart with everyone’s name of it. I took great pleasure in marking my reading progress that I decided I would lead the pack. I read it again as a requirement in Seminary, twice during my mission, and only once since my mission. It’s time to read it again! Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

HOLDING A MONTHLY FAST Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth. [D&C 88:76] “Fasting originated when the Lord first revealed to man the gospel plan, thus antedating even the law of Moses, when an annual fast day was prescribed (see Lev. 23:27-29).” (David O. McKay, Millennial Star, 84:424.) Fasting means the abstinence of food and drink for a period of time for a spiritual purpose. Holding a monthly fast on the first Sunday of the month is one of our unique practices as Latter-day Saints. In the Church, we are encouraged to fast for two meals once a month. The corresponding cost of these two meals is donated by individuals or families to the fast offering fund. This fund is intended to help the poor and the needy of the Church. Members are also encouraged to hold a fast whenever they feel a need. Other times which are considered appropriate are to fast in behalf of the sick, to seek solutions to life’s difficult trials, and request for special blessings. Fasting done properly helps one to obtain faith and humility. By intentionally weakening the physical body and depriving it with food and drink, we recognize our dependence upon the Lord. Self-mastery is developed where our body subjects itself to the ascendance of the Spirit and we may draw closer to God. Even our health improves. It would be a simple matter for people to comply with this requirement to abstain from food and drink one day each month, and to dedicate what would be consumed during that day to the poor, and as much more as they pleased. The Lord has instituted this law; it is simple and perfect, based on reason and intelligence, and would not only prove a solution to the question of providing for the poor, but it would result in good to those who observe the law. It would call attention to the sin of over-eating, place the body in subjection to the spirit, and so promote communion with the Holy Ghost, and insure a spiritual strength and power which the people of the nation so greatly need. As fasting should always be accompanied by prayer, this law would bring the people nearer to God, and divert their minds once a month at least, from the mad rush of worldly affairs and cause them to be brought into immediate contact with practical, pure and undefiled religion -- to visit the fatherless and the widow, and keep themselves unspotted from the sins of the world. For religion is not in believing the commandments only, it is in doing them. I would to God that men would not only believe Jesus Christ and his teachings, but would broaden their belief to the extent of doing the things that are taught by him, and doing them in spirit. [Joseph Fielding Smith, Gospel Doctrine, Pg.237] Ideas for a Monthly Fast Start and close your fast with a prayer. To pray as we begin and pray as we close our fast is to consecrate our performance to the Lord. “But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.” [ 2 Ne. 32:9] Even small children can participate. Children can be taught the law of the fast and most are able to skip at least one meal. This is an opportunity to teach them about the suffering of other people in the world. Although young they will understand the plight of the less fortunate who live without life’s basic necessities. They can better understand the practice of fasting once they realize that their sacrifice is able to bless someone else. Pay a generous fast offering. Paying more than the cost of two meals or more would be considered generous. At one time I made a simple formula and presented it to my wife. The formula I proposed to her was ten percent of our total tithing contributions. At the end of the year, we took a look at our total FO contribution and see if was within ten percent of our total tithing contributions. We found out that we could contribute more. Along with fasting, study the scriptures, meditate, and worship. Fasting is spiritual power. “But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” [Alma 17:3] Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

HOLDING FAMILY COUNCILS The family being the basic unit of the Church is governed by a council. This council meets to solve problems, make short and long-term plans, make decisions and implement those decisions in the home. Elder M. Russell Ballard, perhaps the Church’s strongest advocate on the importance of councils has this to say about its other purposes: “It’s a time to share one another’s burdens and joys and counsel together, to keep each family member on the right track spiritually. It is the time when we discuss family matters… It is when parents use the tremendous powers of the council system.” [Family Councils, Liahona June 2003, 14] Elder Ballard has taught that when two or more members of the family are gathered for a discussion, it is a family council. Therefore, this definition covers one-on-one talks between husband and wife, parent and child interviews, or parents with several children. A family council operates just like how we run councils in the Church. When the family has a problem, it’s presented to the council, and the council members express their ideas and suggestions on how to resolve the problem. By agreeing on a solution together, family members implement it with an increased sense of ownership. Elder Ballard further explains the process in these words: “First, parents need to draw the children into the problem-solving process by letting them be heard. For example, I came home at times to find that the children had not cleaned their rooms or done other things they were supposed to do. My wife had her hands full with seven children to raise. So I called the children together for a short council meeting. We talked about what needed to be done and decided on a course of action. Talking about the course of actions makes all the difference. If it’s mandated or dictated, there will usually be resistance. But if parents establish a climate conducive to openness….. they can create a kind of spiritual synergism in the home…. [Family Councils, Liahona June 2003, 15] A family council may be conducted formally or informally. Informal councils are the ones held briefly at a time when a problem needs to be solved at once between parents, parent and child, or parents with several children. One of the best times that we have found to hold an informal council is before or right after family prayer. We use it to discuss household chore assignments, coordinate our schedule, review some previous agreements not being followed, brief reminders on family duties, and important upcoming family activities. A council should also be convened formally perhaps at least once a month with specific agenda. Schedule your family council like every 3rd Sunday of the month at 8:00 p.m. Here’s a suggested format. Sample Family Council Agenda Presiding: Conducting: Opening Hymn: Opening Prayer: Scriptural Thought:

Daddy Renee Carmine “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel” Mommy Randall Joseph

Preview Issues & Concerns: Problem-Solving Time: Other items: Summary of Agreements:

Daddy & Mommy Everybody Everybody Daddy

Father’s Counsel: Closing Hymn: Closing Prayer:

Daddy “How Firm a Foundation” Ruth Larayne

Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

Let me illustrate this now with a scenario we have in our home. The ‘Facilitation Menu Tools’ [See article on Facilitating Councils Effectively] is also applicable in the family setting. Renee: “Welcome to our family council. Daddy is presiding and I am conducting under his direction. We will now open this meeting by singing hymn ‘Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel.’ After the hymn, Mommy will offer the opening prayer. RJ will give the scriptural thought. ” RJ: “I would like to quote D&C Section 4: 2……”. Renee: “Let me now turn over the time to Daddy for our council agenda for today.” Dad: (preview) “Our items for discussion are as follows: household chore schedule, family scripture study, and family outing. First let’s discuss household chores. We need to assign who will be doing laundry this month since our househelp will be gone. We also need to rotate washing the dishes. Who would like to go first?” (throws the issues to council members to initiate discussion) Renee: “I don’t think I should do anymore dishwashing since I am usually doing the laundry.” RJ: “Now boys are not supposed to do dishwashing also that’s a girl’s job.” Ruth: “That leaves me now with the dishwashing. I don’t think it’s fair.” [As parents, we can almost immediately react to our children’s comments but the idea of the council is allowing the children to be heard. Resist the tendency to react. Listen first and try to understand your children.] Dad: (trying to keep himself calm) “Nobody really wants to do chores. I felt that way when I was your age. (empathizing) However, these things are to be done in order to operate a home. Renee feels she should be exempted from dishwashing since she is doing laundry. What do you think Mom?” (moderator consults not dictate) Mom: “Well I’m glad she is volunteering to do laundry. I think that’s only fair. But I don’t agree with RJ that only girls should be dishwashing. That’s true if only the girls eat. But boys sometimes eat much more than girls. RJ should have his fair share of dishwashing. What schedule would you like morning or evening?” (giving choices) RJ: (reluctantly) “I prefer evenings because I leave as early as 7:00 a.m. for school.” Dad: (appreciation) “Thank you RJ. You are now scheduled for evening dishwashing. What about Ruth what is your schedule?” Ruth:(relieved she is not doing everything) “I will take my turn after lunch since I come home from school then.” Dad: “Afternoon and evening dishwashing already covered. I guess, Mom, can take care of morning dishwashing. Let’s discuss our family scripture study assignments and schedule. I have assigned Mom to take this up with you, Mommy?” (delegation) [After discussing all issues and concerns plus items that are raised along the way….] Dad: “Thank you everyone for participating in our family council. (Summary) Let’s summarize all the agreements we have come up with, list them down, and I will follow-through with you. Renee will do the laundry with Mommy. RJ and Ruth will take turns dishwashing…. I will wash the dishes on Saturdays….etc. (appreciation, affection and counsel) I really appreciate your cooperation for our daily family prayers. I thank Renee for coming home from school on time this past week. I appreciate RJ for wearing proper attire to Church. I thank Ruth for playing the piano for home evening. Of course, Rich for dancing to my piano music. I love you all especially Mama and I truly appreciate her for all the work she is doing to make our home clean and orderly at all times. I now give back the time to Renee. ” Renee: “Thank you everybody for participating in our family council. Our next family council is on the 3rd Sunday of next month at 8:00 p.m. We will now sing ‘How Firm a Foundation’ and Ruth will offer our closing prayer.” Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

HOME & VISITING TEACHING Another mark of our peculiarity is the work of home and visiting teaching. This gospel culture practice needs to be developed and adopted by parents and passed on to their children. “Home Teaching is one of our most urgent and most rewarding opportunities to nurture and inspire, to counsel and direct our Father’s children in all that pertains to life. Through the priesthood quorums, and under the Bishop’s direction, Home Teaching takes the message of the gospel, the message of life and salvation and brotherly love, into the home, wherein lies the first and foremost opportunity for teaching in the Church. [Harold B. Lee, CR, April 1963, Pg.87] Ideas for Home & Visiting Teaching Scheduled home and visiting teaching. We have found the joy of establishing a new tradition in our family. It is a family affair since all our grown children are involved. Every Sunday afternoon from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. we have set aside time to perform these duties including reactivation efforts of the less active. My son and I go home teaching while my wife and daughter go visiting teaching. Sometimes we go with other companions. The children now look forward to this weekly activity. We are glad to develop this habit with them. We also do weekday visits when time presents itself. Make it fun by inviting others to join. We introduced the idea of a unified home and visiting teaching activity with Church leaders. [See article on Guerrilla Home Teaching] They caught the vision of a collective effort of ministering to the temporal and spiritual needs of members. Together we are enjoying our work. There is strength in numbers. MONTHLY TEMPLE ACTIVITY And that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord’s house may feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of thy holiness. And that they may grow up in thee, and receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according to thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing… [D&C 109:13, 15 Dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple] “These unique and wonderful buildings, and the ordinances administered therein, represent the ultimate in our worship. These ordinances become the most profound expressions of our theology. I urge our people everywhere … to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the House of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein.” [Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign Nov. 1995, 53] Ideas for Temple Attendance Schedule your temple attendance. When you plan your family activities, prioritize your schedule for the temple. It should be regarded as a special family activity. If your children are small, arrange for babysitting. Get help from extended family, from visiting teachers or youth. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help. Go as a family. If your children can already participate in proxy baptism, they should come with you. This is one family tradition you can start. Occasionally, set aside a temple visit for just husband and wife. Each time you go through the temple ordinances and especially the temple proxy sealing, it’s like renewing your temple marriage covenants. Kneeling before the altar with clasped hands between husband and wife can revitalize a marriage. Perform temple work at least monthly. If you are close enough, you can even strive to attend the temple more often. There is a sweet spirit in the temple experience that will sustain you in all your other activities. Invite other ward members to perform work regularly. If your ward is not scheduled regularly, propose it to your bishop. A monthly ward temple excursion of adults and youth fosters unity. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

THE PATTERN OF SUCCESS There is a pattern of success for young people prescribed by the gospel culture. I believe the pattern goes like this: saving for a mission, completion of seminary and institute, group and casual dating activities start at age 16, working while acquiring a college education, going on mission at age 19 for males, 21 for females, completing a college education, finding appropriate work (or becoming self-employed through entrepreneurship), serious dating and courtship leading to engagement, and temple marriage. In recent years many young men have opted to complete college before going on a mission and done so with equal success. It works as long as courtship and work is postponed after a young man has served an honorable mission. Temple Marriage It’s not only important to do the right thing but also the right thing done at the right time.

Start a Career Finish College

Courtship Casual Dating

Mission

Mission

Institute/College

Group Dating

Seminary

Youth Activities Saving for a Mission

The more important issue is our cultural dating practice that has to be discarded in favor of the gospel culture. Steady dating among young boys and girls is completely acceptable and even considered cute and romantic by our pop culture. Such widespread acceptance portrayed in local movies and TV sitcoms has adversely influenced youth including our own. By condoning this practice, it has resulted to unwanted pregnancies and premature marriages causing much misery and unhappiness to the parties involved and their families. “Dating—and especially steady dating in the early teens—is most hazardous. It distorts the whole picture of life. It deprives the youth of worthwhile and rich experiences; it limits friendships; it reduces the acquaintance which can be so valuable in selecting a partner for time and eternity. Steady dating is the source of much evil. The casual relationship grows rapidly into intimacies, develops heavy temptations, and stirs passions far beyond the ability of most young people to cope with.” [Pres. Spencer W. Kimball “Save the Youth of Zion,” Improvement Era, September 1965, p. 763.] Ideas for Teaching the Pattern of Success Parents taught and accept the gospel pattern. New converts have to be integrated into this gospel pattern. Young children encouraged to save for a mission. Young men are discouraged to go into steady dating until they have served a mission. Young women should not go into steady dating until they are mature enough (usually from the age of 20 and above) or discouraged into entering a serious relationship with young men before they leave for a mission. Introduce the pattern while children are young. The standards of dating and the pattern of success are best taught while children are young. This message should be repeatedly taught by parents and reinforced by Primary teachers. Church leaders teach the pattern boldly and consistently. To protect our youth from these perilous times, leaders must teach the pattern courageously and as often as possible. Bishops should be careful to observe youth who enter into serious relationships and lovingly warned of its dangers. Media and culture have loud voices. Our voices should be louder. Teach proper dating practices. Youth is surrounded by cultural permissiveness. We need to teach alternatives to steady dating such as group dating and casual dating. Teach how it is done because they only see steady dating modeled. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

PREPARE CHILDREN FOR MISSIONARY WORK Parents have the principal responsibility to prepare children to serve future missions. This preparation starts when children are young where the seeds of missionary work are planted. The preparation include among others teaching them to pray, to read the scriptures, attending Church meetings and participate in age-appropriate Church programs. The standards for missions have been raised in recent years in order to set a higher quality of missionaries who are sent to proclaim the gospel throughout the world. “I’m asking that we start earlier and train our missionaries better. . . . Young people will understand that it is a great privilege to go on a mission and that they must be physically well, mentally well, spiritually well, and that the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. I am asking for missionaries who have been carefully indoctrinated and trained through the family and the organizations of the Church, and who come to the mission with a great desire. I am asking. . . that we train prospective missionaries much better, much earlier, much longer, so that each anticipates his [or her] mission with great joy.” [President Spencer W. Kimball, “When the World Will Be Converted,” Ensign, October 1974, pp. 7-8.] Ideas for Preparing Children to Serve a Mission Teach how to pray. One of the first things we ought to teach children is how to communicate with Heavenly Father through prayer. The child must be taught the correct pattern of prayer. He should be encouraged to pray daily both morning and evening to develop the habit while young. Enroll in Primary. The Primary organization has the responsibility of helping parents prepare children to receive the basic ordinances of the gospel. Gospel instruction also begins formally in Primary. Ensure that children are actively participating to build a strong foundation of gospel knowledge. Encourage to read and memorize the scriptures. As soon as a child is old enough to understand, he should be introduced to the scriptures. The scripture story books would be a good way to start. Later when old enough, he should be encouraged to memorize favorite scripture verses. He should be the proud owner of a complete set of scriptures. Read the Book of Mormon at least once. Challenge and help facilitate reading the Book of Mormon by prospective missionary in full at least once prior to a mission. The scripture charts should be helpful. Challenge also to obtain a testimony of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and the truthfulness of the restored gospel. Enroll in Seminary & Institute. Fundamental doctrines and basic gospel principles are given more serious emphasis in the Church educational programs. Seminary & Institute has been established as the educational setting for missionary preparation by the Church. Encourage your child to take it more seriously than school work. Postpone serious and steady dating. Many excellent prospective missionaries are sidetracked by steady dating before going on a mission. Parents and church leaders should unite efforts in teaching that serious dating is postponed until a young man fulfils an honorable mission. The lure of premature intimate relationships is almost always too much to bear for young people. Many mission plans have been terminated because of it. Teach the value of sacrifice. Teach fasting, paying tithes, and offerings. Fasting is discipline. It’s the spirit over the body’s appetites and desires. Paying tithing of what we earn is to prove our faith to God. These practices when learned by children kindle their own desire to assist in building the Kingdom of God here on earth. Teach and demonstrate the value of service. Parents take the lead in doing service projects, performing home and visiting teaching, and participating in missionary work. If children see parents magnifying Church callings, children will imitate it. Parents teach the value of service and sacrifice effectively when they set a good example through their own actions. Learning these values is essential to successful missionary service. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

SAVING FOR A MISSION The financing of a mission should be undertaken, under parental guidance, when the male child is born. How wonderful it would be if each future missionary could have saved for his mission from birth. It would be ideal if the parents would establish for him a savings account or other investments and then remind the child every time money comes into his hands that part or all of it should go into his mission fund. This not only builds the mission fund but is psychologically firm. The boy is constantly reminded of his oncoming mission. This will encourage the boy to work. [Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Spreading the Gospel] A cultural practice common to Latter-day Saints is to establish a mission fund for every male child born in the family. A male child is particularly significant to us because he may someday hold the priesthood, perform the duties and responsibilities of that priesthood, serve a mission, and marry in the temple. A male child is consecrated to missionary work the moment he is born. It is required of every boy in the Church to prepare to go on a mission and be worthy of it. It’s a boy’s solemn duty to preach the gospel. This practice has to be taught especially to young parents who may be just starting their own family. Church leaders regularly teach this principle and support parents’ efforts to save for a child’s mission. If you are a parent and interested to establish a mission fund for your children, I have included mission saving charts for sons as well as daughters. Here’s how you might use these charts. Fill out the chart with basic information. Please write down your child’s full name as the future prospective missionary on the chart as in: Elder Rich Allen E. Rubio. Indicate the 19th birthday for boys and the 21st birthday for girls as the future mission date as in the case of our son who was born May 19, 1998 to be: May 19, 2017. It seems like a long time but it will happen sooner than you think. To make it personalized, paste a cute photograph of your child. When a child is born, immediately establish a mission fund. Open a savings account for this purpose. Most of us when we are starting our families are also financially challenged. The amount does not really matter. Deposit the minimum required. It’s more of the act of saving for a mission that’s really important. You are setting aside a portion of your money for a future mission and consecrating your child to the Lord’s service. Write that amount on the star # 1. Every year thereafter either on Christmas or the child’s birthday, add more money to the fund. Consider inviting grandparents, uncles and aunts to contribute towards the fund annually as a birthday present Teach the child about the mission savings fund. As soon as your child is old enough to understand, teach him or her about a mission and the money you are saving in his or her behalf. This will start your child’s awareness of a mission he or she will serve in the future. They will begin looking forward to the day. Introduce the program to your child and teach him or her to start saving monthly. When boys turn 8 years old, you can now involve your son in saving for his mission. The chart starts on the month of January of his 8th year. Together you can write down the amount he is able to save no matter how little. You would like him to feel the joy of saving for a mission. Add up all the monthly savings as your total for the year. The running total is the 7th year savings plus the 8th year savings. For example: Php. 3,250.00 total accumulated savings by the 7th year Php. 500.00 total accumulated savings on the 8th year Total Php. 3,750.00* running total for the 8th year Write that to indicate your accumulated savings. This will show you and your son how much you have saved for his mission so far. This figure should match the amount in the savings passbook.* Girls may start at the age of 10. A new chapter in the mission savings program. When your son turns 12 and your daughter turns 14, you may now begin with the second chart. Your son’s picture should have him in white shirt and tie and your daughter in missionary dress standards. You can also discard the old savings account in favor of a joint account as a rite of passage. This savings program will have an added benefit as this will facilitate the money management skills of your child also. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

PARENT-CHILD INTERVIEWS The main responsibility of interviewing and counseling children rests with parents. Bishopric members support parents’ in these efforts. Parents conduct these interviews ideally on a monthly frequency (or as needed) to inquire into the temporal and spiritual welfare of each child. Teen-age children who are exposed to external influences and confronted with more serious challenges probably need to be interviewed more often. Parents should not be embarrassed to periodically ask worthiness questions of their grown children. In fact, it is very well within the parents’ duty to do so. For interviewing skills see article on ‘Ten Steps to Motivating Youth through Interviews.’ The need for interview may first be discussed in the family council. Father outlines the benefits of these interviews to his children. Scheduling is the next most appropriate step to set aside time in the family calendar. Parents must conduct the interviews as scheduled. During the interview, parents establish a positive atmosphere by listening more than talking. The parent must show a spirit of patience and love as children express their honest feelings. This is a time for teaching doctrines, counseling with concerns, and motivating. Please allow me to illustrate with a simulated scenario between father and son. Father with his scriptures, and son with his scriptures and notebook for note-taking, are seated across each other. Father: Thank you for coming to this interview. I really appreciate your presence. May I invite you to offer the opening prayer?.... I love your prayer, thank you. To begin this interview let me read this scriptural thought in 1 Nephi 3:7. (Read scripture and then ask) What does this scripture mean to you? Son: It means that the Lord always provides a way for us to obey the commandments. Father: That’s right. Our Father in Heaven will always give us the means to obey his commandments. … Let me start this interview by asking how you are doing? How is school? How is your seminary? Son: I am okay. I am still in pain after our last basketball game but I am feeling better. School is getting boring. I already know most of the subjects. Seminary has been difficult lately. I have to memorize ten new scriptures. Father: Ten new scriptures seem like a handful. I guess, you just have to do it one at a time. Once you have memorized a scripture, you can pass it off to me. How about that? Son: It’s okay Dad. Our teacher has designated our buddy and we are passing off the scriptures to each other. Father: Do you attend your quorum classes and perform your assignments? Son: I don’t like our new quorum adviser. He is very bossy. And our quorum president is just like him. Father: I am sorry that you feel that way. Sometimes when you don’t know people that well, they may seem arrogant. Give it a little bit more time and I think it will work out. If it doesn’t, you can tell me later…. Have you had any serious problems lately?... (When interviewing teen-age children, you may proceed to ask worthiness questions that a bishop usually asks) Well, I would like to know if you are worthy. Do you obey the word of wisdom? Have you ever tried cigarettes? What about illegal drugs? Do you keep yourself chaste? Do you read any pornographic material? (and other questions you deem appropriate) Father: (obtain feedback) Son, is there anything I can do to be a better parent to you? Many parent and child interviews will happen in less formal circumstances. They can take place almost anytime. Discussions in the dinner table, while commuting together, or doing chores at home are other opportunities to launch into meaningful conversations. Our goal is to develop the habit of extending individual time with our children. Father and mother may take turns conducting these interviews or do it together. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

THE CHURCH IN THE HOME “The greatest of the Lord’s work you brethren will ever do as fathers will be within the walls of your own home” (Pres. Harold B. Lee, Ensign, July 1973, p. 98). Brethren, you are the head of your homes. Be worthy of being head of the house. Make your family proud and make it profitable for them that you are the head of the house. Live a life that is a worthy example to them that they might follow it and that the work of the Lord might go forward, realizing that the greatest influence in the life of any individual is the influence in the home. May they gain testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel because we are their fathers, because we are members of the Church holding the priesthood… [Pres. Nathan. Eldon Tanner, Conference Report, October 1964, Pg.99] The primary responsibility of the spiritual leadership in the home lies with fathers. I believe there is a ‘church in the home’ where the father who holds and honors the priesthood presides. While the father presides in righteousness, he is supported by a loving and compassionate mother. Together they work towards common goals and values. The family’s daily duties include prayers as individuals, as a couple and as a family. Despite the complexities of our urban lifestyles, we are encouraged to have at least one meal a day where the family eats together. Reading the scriptures as individuals, couples and as a family is to be regarded a regularly duty if not daily then at least weekly or as frequently as possible. Some of our weekly duties include family home evening, home and visiting teaching, and Sunday meetings. Our monthly duties might include fasting, temple attendance, and attending our stake leadership meetings. The frequency will vary from family to family as what it may deem practical according to its circumstances. When the children are small, the parents should strive to build a strong foundation by doing most of these activities frequently. Even with conflicts in scheduling, each family should strive to accomplish more instead of less. Daily Duties Prayer before meals Individual Prayer Husband & Wife Prayer Morning Family Prayer Evening Family Prayer Individual Scripture Reading At least one Meal Together Daily Seminary (if possible) Family Scripture study (if possible)*

Weekly Duties Attending Sunday Services Family Home Evening Seminary or Institute Mutual Night/SA Activities *Family Scripture Study Couple Date Home & Visiting Teaching Ward or Stake Meetings Family Council (as needed)**

Monthly Duties Fasting & Prayer Contributing generously to F.O. Paying tithes Family Council** Parent-Child Interviews (as needed) Temple Attendance Family Recreation Stake Leadership Meetings

Everything in my parents’ home was gospel-centered, gospel-oriented, gospel-governed. Day in and day out we talked about the principles of the gospel -- not in a speculative way, not dwelling upon the mysteries, not considering hidden and unrevealed matters that have little bearing upon gaining salvation. Rather, we pondered in our hearts the basic and fundamental things that men must believe and to which they must conform to gain eternal life. We rejoiced continually in the words of eternal life, hoping thereby to become inheritors in due course of that greatest of all the gifts of God. [Neal A. Maxwell, “That My Family Should Partake,” Pg.54 - Pg.55] The most interesting aspect of the church in the home is that it operates daily. This is in harmony with what the Lord requires of us to be “active in the gospel” on a daily basis (not just active in the church.) Active in the church might seem good in appearances to our neighbors when they see us attending our weekly meetings. As Latter-day Saints, our religion is practiced not only Sundays but every day of the week. Our lives are not compartmentalized into school, jobs, or community activities. Our lives are to be an uninterrupted pattern of gospel living. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

In some of our homes, there are no fathers who preside. Some fathers are employed in cities far from their homes. Some fathers who are active members but have not yet fully understood their role as fathers. They need to be taught, motivated, and called to repentance. Some fathers are less-active and still some who are not members of the Church at all. These are unfortunate circumstances and our heart goes out to mothers of such homes. However, the church in the home can still operate with mother exercising the spiritual leadership role. I am not embarrassed to admit that while my father was active and occupied leadership roles in the Church, it was my mother who was the family’s spiritual strength. After all, she was the first to join the Church. She woke us up early in the morning for scripture study. She reminded us of our individual and family prayers. She always insisted on weekly family home evening. My father became a better person striving to live the gospel because of her great example and influence. Later my father assumed the spiritual leadership in our home and we will be eternally grateful for a mother who led the way. Ideas for Organizing the Church in the Home The father holds the key. Our homes follow the patriarchal order. If the church in the home operates it’s because of the father’s leadership. If it does not, it’s also due to the father’s failure to lead. Therefore, if you are the father the responsibility in establishing the ‘church in the home’ is in your hands. You are the presiding officer of your family unit. Your leadership role requires you to determine where your family is going. You lead your wife and children in performing all family duties. This means that you walk ahead of the family to show them the pattern of gospel living. You do not push, coerce, or nag. You lead with long suffering and kindness. [D&C 121:41] In the home the presiding authority is always vested in the father, and in all home affairs and family matters there is no other authority paramount. . . . The father presides at the table, at prayer, and gives general directions relating to his family life to whoever may be present. Wives and children should be taught to feel that the patriarchal order in the kingdom of God has been established for a wise and beneficent purpose, and should sustain the head of the household and encourage him in the discharge of his duties, and do all in their power to aid him in the exercise of the rights and privileges which God has bestowed upon the head of the home. (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939], 287) Father needs to learn his family duties. You cannot teach what you do not know. If you are to lead in your home successfully, first you need to learn what your duties are as prescribed in the scriptures. This article has attempted to outline most of these duties. You should seek the help of the bishop and your priesthood quorum leaders to assist you. You need to learn the doctrines of the priesthood, the gospel principles, and the skills necessary to fulfill your duties. For example, if you do not know how to conduct a family home evening then please don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Father and mother consult each other. You invite your wife to set aside time together to discuss and counsel with each other how you can organize your family into a ‘house of order.’ There is a checklist included here to help you along – “The Family Duties, Leadership & Resources Survey.” This checklist will help you determine your current strengths and areas where improvement is needed. Discuss the spiritual family duties including temporal duties such as household chores as they are required daily, weekly, and monthly. Determine the scheduling requirements and what you think can best work out for the entire family. Put the plan together in writing and agree on as many details with your wife as possible. No successful home can be made by the father alone; no successful home can be made by the mother, alone; it takes a united family to make a perfect Latter-day Saint home. (Reed Smoot, Conference Report, Oct. 1909, 72.) Parents present the plan to children in a family council. You are now ready to present your plan to your children. Although your plan might be good at this point, it is not final until the children have been consulted and have given their inputs. With small children, the inputs might be simple. However, your grown children should be solicited for their ideas and suggestions. Be open and flexible to their valid inputs. You will find your original plan enhanced by their unique perspectives. Summarize all agreements and finalize your family program ensuring that everyone understands clearly what is expected of them. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

Family Council Proposed Agenda Opening Hymn & Prayer Preview the Rationale of the Church in the Home Present the Family Plan Solicit Ideas and Suggestions Incorporate Great Ideas to the Plan Review, Summarize, & Finalize Closing Hymn & Prayer “A family council can create the necessary focus; each new session provides a new beginning and an occasion to evaluate the past. Because councils are frequently held, goals, if accounted for and persisted toward, will eventually become habit, particularly when results provide an incentive.” (Ronald John Zirker, Parent and Teen: Teamed for Success, Deseret Book Co., 1985], 62.) Parents monitor progress. When the work of leadership is done, the work of managing begins. The plan is one thing while the execution is another. If you have not tried it before, you will learn that it’s not as easy as it seems. You may want to know how well you are doing. I have included two types of “Family Goal Charts” for your use. I have also included a sample of a “Family Calendar” which incorporates the family’s major activities. I strongly suggest that you use them to remind you of what needs to be done, when it is to be done, and at what frequency. Improve them to fit your family circumstances. Someday when the appropriate habits are developed, you would not need them anymore. Review your progress monthly and revisit the plan for revisions. I have learned a long time ago a simple management model: PIER. Plan, Implement, Evaluate, and Revise. You plan with your wife and children. You implement your plan. But no plan is perfect once it meets real conditions. During your family council meetings, you can evaluate how the plan worked against the realities of scheduling conflicts, interruptions, squabbles, laziness, emergencies, etc. Discuss these difficulties and determine courses of action to resolve them. As old problems are resolved new ones emerge. This is the reason why a family council is necessarily conducted frequently. If you can lead and manage your home well, you can lead and manage the other aspects of your life with success. Our success in establishing a gospel-centered home is in the practice of repetition. The repetition is necessary to develop the habits. This requires fathers to take an energetic leadership in the home. Mother must support him and sometimes may have to take the lead if he is away performing his church callings. They must be consistent in implementing these practices and endure to the end. Together they are united in their desire to create a happy environment for their children where the spirit of the Lord can enter and temporal and spiritual blessings are received. There is ample warning to parents who fail to perform these family duties and the consequence of neglect is often fatal. “For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.” [D&C 82:3] We have some divorces in the Church…. I interview some of these couples who are having these problems and I find, almost without exception, they have not been living the gospel. They haven’t had family prayer. They haven’t had family home evening. They haven’t been going to sacrament meeting and Sunday School with their families together. They haven’t been living the gospel. ([Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, Pg.340, Grantsville Utah Stake Conference, 1 September 1974.] No doubt that we will proclaim our families as our most important treasures here on earth. To say that our family is important is easy but to translate this belief into action sometimes referred as “walking the talk” is another. For we only know too well that we are usually prone to take our families for granted. In fact, making our family a priority through our acts and deeds is our greatest challenge. Perhaps this is the reason why succeeding in one’s family is regarded as the ultimate success that parents can achieve. There are no bedazzling trophies, no glamorous awards, no victory parties, or ostentatious recognition. Family success is usually an inconspicuous achievement by ordinary but hardworking parents only repaid by the everlasting gratitude of their posterity. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

TV or NOT TV? Do we have time for all of this? It is my opinion that it’s not a question of time. It’s a question of motivation. In majority of our homes, I am almost certain that at least 2 hours (or more) is spent on watching TV. It’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest obstacle, to a gospel-centered home. Take counsel from the practical insight of Elder Dallin H. Oaks: “Some may say, ‘But we have no time for that.’ As for time to do what is truly worthwhile, I suggest that many parents will find that they can turn their family on if they will turn their television off.” [Parental Leadership] President Gordon B. Hinckley also counseled: “I am suggesting that we spend a little less time in idleness, in the fruitless pursuit of watching some inane and empty television programs. Time so utilized can be put to better advantage, and the consequences will be wonderful. Of that I do not hesitate to assure you.” [Ensign, May 1995] It’s in the urban areas where families will find themselves challenged to set aside the time to exercise family duties. But if you look at the little time that the Lord is asking from us against the time He has made available for us, the requirement is dwarfed by His generosity. What’s more exciting is the fact that when we perform these duties, it is our families that will benefit the most. God is actually asking us to do these things in our homes so He can bless us! 1 Hour a Day vs. 24 Hours Individual and Family Prayers Individual Scripture Study Family Scripture Study

30 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes

10 Hours a Week vs. 169 hours Sunday Meetings Ward Meetings Home & Visiting Teaching Family Home Evening Family Scripture Study (if weekly) Family Council

3 hours 3 hours 2 hours 1 hour 30 minutes 30 minutes

30 hours Monthly vs. 720 hours Temple Attendance 2 hours Family Council (if monthly) 1 hour Fast 24 hours Parent-Child Interviews 1 hour Stake Meetings 2 hours

Ideas for Managing TV Wisely Are you addicted to TV? Try this test and observe the violent or not so violent reactions of family members. Can you shut your TV for a week, three days or even for just a day without angry protests? If you can’t then you may be addicted to TV. It’s time to rethink whether you want TV to have such a dominating role in your home. Consider what you and your children are learning from TV. Television is a powerful teaching tool. What we watch will certainly influence what we do. TV portrays violence, immorality, immodesty, foul language, materialism, unrealistic lifestyles, dishonesty, etc. In our local TV channels, there are no more programs shown that do not require “parental guidance.” Teach children the difference between a good and a bad program. Plan and limit TV time. Select with your family shows that you find acceptable to church standards. There are some very good programs available by cable. Stick to it and don’t deviate. Don’t use TV as babysitter to your preschool children. When the programs are over, have the discipline to shut it off. You will feel so much more control. Watch together as a family. Even some very good shows can sometimes portray wrong values. By watching with your children, you can immediately make the necessary corrections. Be courageous. We once successfully eliminated local TV watching entirely in our home and what a difference we felt in terms of family time and togetherness. We only rented good movies and invested in popular children’s movies. We had the best of both worlds. We had more time for our family and enjoy only the highest quality of entertainment. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Gospel Culture in our Families

A PROPHET’S CHALLENGE

Exaltation

Do we really have to do all this? If we want eternal life, YES. The Lord has made it clear that the road to exaltation is narrow and the gate strait. Only those who are willing pay the price would be able to find it. O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life. [Jacob 6:11] For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. [D&C 132:22] The prophet of God, Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, has issued a forceful challenge to parents in Zion:

“My brothers and sisters, we must work at our responsibility as parents as if everything in life counted on it, because in fact everything in life does count on it. ….If we fail in our homes, we fail in our lives. No man is truly successful who has failed in his home. I ask you men, particularly, to pause and take stock of yourselves as husbands and fathers and heads of households. Pray for guidance, for help, for direction, and then follow the whisperings of the Spirit to guide in your most serious of all responsibilities, for the consequences of your leadership in your home will be eternal and everlasting.” [Liahona, November 2002, 100] While our goal of eternal life seems distant, there is a more practical reason for creating a gospel-centered home. We are surrounded with evil and the ruin of our families almost certain. With God’s love for us, He has provided us a way to shield our families despite this evil. This protection is available to only those who will remain vigilant in their families. “The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us.” [Pres. Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1980] Fortunately, we are not alone in the work of preserving our families. Heavenly Father has provided us guidance and ecclesiastical support to assist us in achieving our eternal goals. [Eph. 4:11] Inspired church programs and auxiliaries with willing men and women work diligently to help us teach our children. President Harold B. Lee said: “It seems clear to me that the Church has no choice—and never has had—but to do more to assist the family in carrying out its divine mission . . . to help improve the quality of life in the Latter-day Saint homes. As important as our many programs and organizational efforts are, these should not supplant the home; they should support the home.” (“Preparing Our Youth,” Ensign, March 1971, p. 3). While the Church has been organized to assist families in achieving its goal of eternal life, it can never substitute parents from the responsibility of taking care of its own family. The Family: A Proclamation to the World by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve unequivocally declares: “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 of their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.” We must teach the gospel culture to members of the Church and ensure its understanding and practice in every active Latter-day Saint home. Once we have established these practices in our homes, it becomes part of our family tradition and culture. We pass this culture on to the next generation and the generation after that. Our role is to traverse the transition from the old culture to the new gospel culture successfully. It is difficult but it will be worth it. Copyright © 2005 Randy F. Rubio All rights reserved “Being Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

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Families & the Gospel Culture  

Chapter 5 "Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause"

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