This week I've been thinking a lot about how to help families. We're teaching a few families (which has been a huge blessing here, I haven't really gotten to do much teaching to investigating families in my mission....) and I've been thinking a lot about how to help them. I know that the Gospel has blessed my family, without a doubt, and I think any faithful member of the church could say the same, but I think we have a much harder time trying to express exactly how the Gospel does that. So here are a few thoughts I've had.
The Family Proclamation says we need to establish families on several principles, some of which are: faith, repentance, prayer, forgiveness, work, love, compassion...and so I've thought about how the specific teachings of the Gospel bless the families specifically.
One of the most important elements is the Spirit. We absolutely need it in our homes. The Spirit is what teaches us, guides us, and gives us many gifts. It's what unites the hearts of family members and helps them love one another. That's what Paul teaches us in chapter 5 of Galatians:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I can imagine we'd like to have those things in our homes. That's what the Spirit offers us. And that's part of why we need to be reading the scriptures and praying and going to church as a family. So that we can have the Spirit with us always.
Two other principles taught by the Gospel that are important in the family are repentance and forgiveness. Everybody fights, it's hard to share toys, people make mistakes...what does the Gospel teach us about this? I like what is says in D&C 58:
43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.
If someone wants to live the Gospel they will repent, and this can solve so many family disputes and mend so many mistakes! If we just live this teaching in our families things will inevitably get better. Family members need to be willing to get better and solve problems! That's what the Gospel teaches us.
On the other side we also have to forgive. I've learned in the mission a bit of just how hard it is to forgive other people - a lot harder than I thought. But there is no other way we can find happiness in such situations. Here's a scripture from Mosiah, chaper 26:
31 And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation.
And so if we do that as well, the wounds can heal even faster.
Really, all of this has to do with our commitment to follow Christ. If we follow his example, we will be the parent, child, spouse, or sibling we need to be. A thought I've always liked is that the way we can tell if someone is converted to Christ is by watching the way they treat others...that's the key indicator. If we have a sincere desire to serve the Lord we're going to have the same love He did. Christ tells us: "What manner of men ought ye to be? ....even as I am." (3 Nephi 27:27)
We don't often think about it this way, but Christ actually suffered so that families can be together forever. That was the ultimate purpose, the great Why behind it all. Christ died so that we can be happy in our families and so we can be with them forever. Nothing happens within the family, nothing is so grave that it can't be repaired through following Him and His teachings.
I realized this as we were teaching a less-active family. We watched Together Forever, a little movie by the church from the 80s (which is probably have the reason I loved it...the hair...). It's hard seeing families that are being destroyed. And that's going to be the undoing of society.
But hey, everything's going to be fine! Don't worry. :)
In other news, I had some interesting visits to the bathroom this week and totally thought I had parasites...did a test, and it turns out everything was fine. I was actually kinda disappointed but oh well!
In terms of investigators and progressing people we need to keep searching because it seems like everyone we're teaching decided to go on vacation but I'm sure at the end of this month we'll see some great success. Love you all lots!
I'd like to know why John Kerry is baptizing this gentleman.
|There's monkey in this picture, running away from the pile of food on the ground, but it's a bit hard to see...darn thing saw me coming like a mile away.|
|Eating ice cream with the district (minus the zone leader, who's in Quito right now)|