God sent us to this earth to be happy. Through His son, Jesus Christ, He created the world and everything that is upon it. They did this, so that God’s children would have a beautiful home in which to grow and learn of Him, to suffer and to be tested, to love and find joy—to choose.
Through these brief scriptures we catch a glimpse of God’s great plan for us: We are not to be alone, and we are meant to have joy in this life. The family is a creation of God designed to help us make our way in this life and in the life to come. It is ordained of God and can be the source of never ending happiness for us.
Every family should keep an eternal perspective—to remember that it is not just this life, but an eternity that we have to be together. Ezra Taft Benson, thirteenth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or the Mormon Church,) said, “There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home. The sweetest influences and associations of life are there” (n Conference Report, Oct. 1947, 27.)
The scriptures command us to “honor they father and mother” (Exodus 20:12.) Spencer W. Kimball, twelfth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said:
“If we truly honor our parents as we are commanded to do, we will seek to emulate their best characteristics and to fulfill their highest aspirations for us. Nothing we could give them materially would be more prized than our righteous living” (“Hold Fast to the Iron Rod,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 6.)
As a family, we must draw near to God, our Heavenly Father, on a daily basis.
Let your children hear you pray so that they can learn how to speak to God themselves. Also, let them hear you praying for them, that they may know how very much you love them. John Taylor, third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, wrote:
“Do not forget to call upon the Lord in your family circles, dedicating yourselves and all you have to God every day of your lives; and seek to do right, and cultivate the spirit of union and love, and the peace and blessing of the Living God will be with us, and He will lead us in the paths of life” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor (2001), 148.)
And President George Albert Smith said, “[Do] we want our homes to be happy[?] If we do, let them be the abiding place of prayer, thanksgiving and gratitude” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1944, 32.)
In conjunction with prayer, we must read our scriptures together as a family. “Families are greatly blessed when wise fathers and mothers bring their children about them, read from the pages of the scriptural library together, and then discuss freely the beautiful stories and thoughts according to the understanding of all” (President Howard W. Hunter, “Reading the Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 64.)
Finally, all must be done with love. Strive to make your speech a communication of love, always. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “There are good families everywhere. But there are too many who are in trouble. This is a malady with a cure. The prescription is simple and wonderfully effective. It is love” (“Look to the Future,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 69.)
Remember these people are those whom your Heavenly Father Himself, has given you for your eternal happiness. He did not wish for you to be alone, and so He created your family for you. They can be a source of great joy to you, and I testify that they will be if you will follow these simple steps: Remember you can be a Forever Family, give due honor and respect to your parents, pray together, read scripture together, and above all, tie it all together with love. Do these things, and ‘genuine happiness’ will be yours.