5. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Being part of a family is a great blessing. Some families have a father, mother, brothers, and sisters. Others have a single parent with children, while other families consist of just one or two persons.
When Howard W. Hunter was a boy, his father was not a member of the church, but his home was filled with correct principles and a loving atmosphere. Howard’s mother faithfully prepared her family for eternal life. She taught her children to pray, took them to church and instilled in them a love for the gospel. As Howard’s testimony grew, like his mother, he too became a great example to all who knew him.
“Strengthening families is our sacred duty as parents, children, extended family members, leaders, teachers, and individual members of the Church.” ~ Robert D. Hales
Are all families important to Heavenly Father’s plan? (Yes.)
How was Howard’s family blessed by his and his mother’s example? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that Howard’s father eventually joined the church and their family was sealed in the temple.)
What can each of us do to help our family prepare for eternal life? (Discuss ideas.)
How can praying, studying the scriptures, paying our tithing and attending our church meetings bless our family? (Discuss ideas.)
Does holding Family Home Evening strengthen our family? (Discuss ideas.)
Mother glanced at the clock. “She should be home anytime now. Does your knee still hurt?”
“It only hurts a little now, Mommy, ’cause you kissed it better. Remember?” Holly replied.
Mother smiled. “I remember. Do you need me to kiss it better some more?
“No. I’m going to let Lindsey kiss it all better.”
Holly adored her big sister and Lindsey adored her. Lindsey had prayed for as long as she could remember for a baby brother or sister. On Christmas day, when she was ten years old, her prayers were answered.
When Lindsey got home from school, though, she was in a very bad mood. She rushed past Mother and Holly to her bedroom and slammed the door behind her.
“Oh, dear,” Mother worried, “I wonder what’s bothering her?”
“I’ll go see, Mommy,” Holly said as she ran down the hall to Lindsey’s room. Holly turned the doorknob and opened the door.
“Get out!” Lindsey screamed. “Why don’t you ever knock?”
“I’m sorry, Lindsey,” Holly apologized. “I got an ouchey today. Don’t you want to kiss it all better?”
“No, I don’t!” Lindsey hissed. “Now get out!”
Lindsey had never yelled at Holly before. Tears welled up in her eyes as she closed the door. “Click,” went the lock. Mother appeared in the hallway and put her arms around Holly. “I’m sorry, Honey. Daddy will kiss your ouchey all better when he gets home. You go finish watching your video and I’ll try and find out what’s bothering your big sister.”
Mother knocked on Lindsey’s bedroom door, but there was no answer. “Lindsey, we need to talk. Open the door, please.”
Lindsey was still sulking in her room when Father got home. Holly rushed to greet him and he scooped her up into his arms. “How’s, my princess?” he asked.
“I’m sad,” Holly sighed. “Lindsey yelled at me and I got an ouchey on my knee.”
After kissing Holly’s knee all better, Father turned to Mother. She shook her head and shrugged her shoulders. “She came home in a bad mood and she won’t tell me what’s bothering her.”
Father’s happy mood turned to anger as he stomped down the hall. “Lindsey open this door right now!” he shouted.
Lindsey opened the door defiantly. “Why can’t this family just leave me alone!”
“Well, if that’s really what you want, missy, you’re welcome to leave,” Father shouted back.
After hearing all the shouting Mother entered Lindsey’s room. “Look what you’ve done now!” she said to her daughter. “Now everyone is in a bad mood!”
“Well you don’t have to worry about me causing any more trouble, because I’m leaving!” Lindsey said as she started to shove clothes into her backpack.
Just then Holly tiptoed into the room. “I made you a picture, Lindsey,” she whispered. “Please don’t go. I’m sorry. I’ll knock from now on. I promise!”
Shame washed over Lindsey’s face as her heart softened. She knelt down next to her sister and gave her a big hug. “I’m the one who’s sorry, Holly. You didn’t do anything wrong,” she confessed. “It was me. I was feeling sorry for myself, because Mrs. Carter is making me dance with Ronald Rensky at the school dance festival.”
After everyone apologized to each other they talked to Lindsay about how Ronald is a child of God, too, and that he deserves a dance partner who will treat him with kindness and respect. They also discussed what had happened in their home tonight.
“One person can make a big difference in a home. For better or for worse,” Father said. “The spirit of contention can be like a row of dominos,” he continued. “When one person lets it in it can trickle down to everyone.”
“And,” added Mother, “the spirit of love and peace can work the same way.”
Lindsey put her arm around Holly. “That’s right. It’s a good thing Heavenly Father blessed our family with our own little peacemaker.”
by Margie Nauta Lee
You can make your home a sweet place to live. Just like every ingredient is important in a recipe, every member of your family is important.
Enjoy spending time with your family making these delicious caramel popcorn treats!