With the great uncertainty families face in today's economy, it can be well understood why many have allowed themselves to be caught up in despair and sorrow. We have one of the most divisive presidential elections in our nation's history, the economy is failing and people are losing their homes, businesses and jobs. This could easily be a time where Americans could be mired down in the negatives and forget what we really should be concentrating on.
Our prophets have counseled us for ages to prepare for the future. They've urged us to prepare for all types of economic downturn, whether they be the byproduct of natural disasters or man-made? Many have listened and many have not. If you have been unable to get food storage and a preparedness plan in place, it is my recommendation you begin by purchasing Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salsbury, one of the foremost experts on preparedness, both disaster and provident, in the nation.
With all that being said, let's take a moment and focus on what is really important today. God and family.
Do you take time to sit down to the dinner table with your family and night? Do you visit, laugh, talk and catch up as you eat, or is the evening meal endured in sullen or distracted silence?
When was the last time you got up on Saturday morning, rousted the kids out of bed and took them outside and worked with them side by side?
When was the last time you gathered your family together and read to them in the evenings from the scriptures? When was the last time you read a book together as a family? Just a chapter a night before you start your scripture reading.
When was the last time you made sure that your family did not begin their day without prayer and end it, gathered together, the same way?
This is what is important. Gordon B. Hinckley, many years ago, spoke of four things which woud effect a change in society within a generation or two. I have just listed them for you:
- Pray with your families.
- Teach goodness to your children.
- Read good books together.
- Teach your children a good, solid work ethic.
And so I ask you to not focus on all the chaos going on around us right now and stop, assess your families as they function right now and ask yourselves, are you doing these four things?
May I suggest, with all the humility and love for my fellowman in my heart, that you begin to follow this wise counsel. You will find happiness in the smallest acts. Joy in the laughter of your family. Peace in the quiet stillness of the house as family prayer finishes and you hear "Goodnight, Mom and Goodnight, Dad" as your children disappear into their rooms at the close of day. And at that moment, when the house settles down and you are sitting there quietly on the couch, that is when you bow your head in gratitude and love to your Father in Heaven for trusting you with your precious children and spouse.
That, my friends, is what is most important.
Until next time,
Return to the Neighborhood.