I have often times shared the The Family: A Proclamation to the World with those investigating the church and with less-active members. As the words of this landmark document have circumnavigated my cerebrum on several occasions, the power of those words have anchored and sunk deep into my thoughts. The reason for the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the family. Central to the very purpose of our existence and to God's plan is the family. It is all about the family. "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." All of the aforementioned elements of a happy family have been underlying beams in our family structure during most of my short life. Though they were not always present and though seemingly unsurmountable crises would emerge occasionally, somehow we overcame. I am so very grateful for my parents and sisters, who have all been pillars of strength in my life; each in their own special way.
Given the gravely important and influential role that families play in our development, there is great reason to believe that the family is central also to the plan of the evil one--not to build it up but to tear it down. The work of this evil being has also been present in my family's life but because of the strength of our foundation, which is Christ, his efforts have been downsized from tremendous earthquake to tiny tremor. I invite you all to reflect on your personal relationship with each of your family members and to work on those principles of a happy family that are missing. I know that if in our families we have faith in Christ, pray, repent, seek and provide forgiveness, respect and love others, give compassionate service, work hard, and have fun together, the mercy of God will have power to transform our individual lives and his "countenance [will] smile upon us."