By Alan on Jun 08 in Blog tagged bad report card, disobeyed parents, disrespectful, family prayer, family reunions, for scriptures, mothers, respect, to church, who drug us | 2 Comments
Bless our mothers who drugged us!
The other day, an old friend read that a methamphetamine lab had been found just a few blocks from his home. He asked me a rhetorical question,
“Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”
I replied: I had a drug problem when I was young.
I was drug to church on Sunday morning then again in the afternoon.
I was drug to church for mutual, weddings and funerals.
I was drug out of bed at 5:30 am every morning for scriptures and family prayer.
I was drug away from playing to have nighttime family prayers.
I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.
I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults.
I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.
I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word.
I was drug out to pull weeds in Dad’s garden and Mom’s flowerbeds. I was drug from my friend’s house when I hadn’t finished my chores.
I was drug to the homes of family, friends and neighbors to help our some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.
Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.
For The Family
By Alan on Mar 16 in Blog tagged be a defender, be together throughout eternity, change the world, do the dishes together, Endure To The End, eternal truths, family activities, family home evening, family prayer, feel the Spirit, forces of Satan, G rated movies, get married, God's definition of marriage, God's Plan of Life, gospel study, help your siblings, high priorities to family, highest priorities, hug your brother, in time and eternity, make home a holy place, most important unit, not the worlds, ordained of God, plan of happiness, raise a righteous family, remember your ancestors, role of men and women, sacred law of chastity, sanctity of the family, support one another, talk about the good, The Family, uncleanliness, wholesome family life | Comments Off
Be a Defender of the Family
You can help change the world by standing up for what prophets have taught about the family.
Did you know that you can help change the world during your teenage years? You have the power within you to stand up for eternal truths that are being attacked in one of Satan’s biggest battles. How can you do it? You can make a huge difference by being a defender of the family and letting those around you know that “the family is ordained of God. It is the most important unit in time and in eternity”.
“Because of the importance of the family to the eternal plan of happiness, Satan makes a major effort to destroy the sanctity of the family, demean the importance of the role of men and women, encourage moral uncleanliness and violations of the sacred law of chastity, and to discourage parents from placing the bearing and rearing of children as one of their highest priorities”. (Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Eternal Family,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 65).
You can help counter the destructive forces of Satan by standing up for the family through your actions and in your conversations at home, in the community, and even online. Here are several ways you can defend the family every day.
1. Put family time first. With so many sporting events, parties, school functions, and other activities in your schedule, it’s easy to say, “I’ll spend time with my family later—when things slow down.” But you’ll soon find that life will never slow down, so it’s important to give high priority to family activities now. Don’t underestimate the way you can defend the family unit just by participating in your family unit.
For example, be on the front row at your brother’s music recital. Read the family newsletter your mother wrote. Be excited about the familyhome evening lesson your sister planned. Listen to and use kind words with your family members. See how close you grow as you support one another in your interests.
The First Presidency has taught: “We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform”.
2. Strengthen your family members. Look for ways to make life easier for your siblings and parents. Find something they need help with and do it, such as giving a hug to a brother who had a hard day at school or helping your sister when it’s her turn to do the dishes. When you support one another in your needs, your family will grow stronger as one. Remember that family happiness is a team effort.
“We need to understand that we are each an important and integral part of a family and the highest blessings can be received only within an eternal family. … Being one in a family carries a great responsibility of caring, loving, lifting, and strengthening each member of the family so that all can righteously endure to the end in mortality and dwell together throughout eternity. … The eternal nature of an individual becomes the eternal nature of the family”.
3. Be an example of good family life. Let your friends know about successes your family shares. You could talk with them about something fun your family did together over the weekend. Tell them about your brother’s winning goal or your sister’s high score on the test you helped her study for. Don’t say anything bad about your parents or siblings, but focus just on the good things your family does—in both face-to-face and online conversations.
Do your part to make your home a holy place where others can feel the Spirit (see D&C 88:119) and where they can see what God’s plan for families is all about. Consider inviting friends over when your familyspends time together so they can see the joy of family friendships.
4. Stand up for the family in your conversations. When conversations come up in school, work, and other activities—or even in text messages, e-mails, social networking sites, or online articles—where truths about the family are attacked, have the courage to defend the doctrines about Heavenly Father’s plan for families. The world continues to attack these eternal doctrines, and it’s up to you to be a voice of truth. The Spirit will help you know what to say.
5. Beware of how the media defines families. Much in the media today does not support God’s definition of marriage and families. It might endorse or glorify alternatives to wholesome family life that are contrary to God’s plan. The counsel in For the Strength of Youth can apply to teachings about the family: “Satan uses media to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal, humorous, or exciting. He tries to mislead you into thinking that breaking God’s commandments is acceptable and has no negative consequences for you or others. … Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit” (, 11).
When you choose media that support the principles of an eternal family, it will be easier to strengthen the family and also prepare for a future temple marriage.
6. Many of your ancestors have not received the essential ordinances that seal them together as families. Remember that defending the family isn’t just about the families on the earth today, but it’s also about all families. With new.familysearch.org, it’s easy to prepare names for temple work to help deceased family members receive the sealing ordinances. (You can watch video tutorials about FamilySearch at lds.org/fhy)
7. Develop habits today that you want in your future family. Even if you don’t come from a strong family, you can make your future familystrong as you prepare for and worthily marry in the temple and seek to raise a righteous family of your own. Think about the types of things you want to do in your future family, and start those habits today. For example, even if your family doesn’t have daily scripture study, you can study the scriptures on your own each day. By forming that habit now, it will be easy to hold family scripture study when you get married.
You can also defend the family by deciding now that when you are older you will marry in the temple for time and for all eternity, and then strive to have children and raise them in righteousness. We have been counseled: “All members, even if they … are without family in the Church, should strive for the ideal of living in an eternal family. This means preparing to become worthy spouses and loving fathers or mothers”.
Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, has said to the young members of the Church, “This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before”. When you do this and live as a defender of the family, you can change your future and your family’s future and also be a part of a generation that can change the future of the world as you protect the family together. Even if you don’t see immediate results, your actions will be an influence for good in supporting Heavenly Father’s plan for eternal families.
By Alan on Jan 25 in Blog tagged after Hurricane Katrina, after we die, Alan and Suzanne osmond, any gender, become more like God, calamities, care for each other and children, care most about families, Children entitled to a father and mother, Church is crucial, churches, crisis, crying out for family, culture, daily bread, disintegration of the family, economy, educational entities, endure beyond death, eternal family, eternal identity, eternal perspective, family night, family prayer, fundamental unit of society, Gender is an essential characteristic, God's commandments, husband and wife, Internet, is what last longest, Jesus Christ, marital vows with complete fidelity, Marriage between a man and a woman, materialism, Mormons, public institutions, purpose, put family first, scaffolding, seek to find family, selfishness, strengthen the family, teach the gospel in the home, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Government, the media, times of danger, What matters most, www.dailybread.com | Comments Off
“If Ye Are Prepared, Ye Shall NOT Fear
We call upon all families everywhere to put family first and to identify specific ways to strengthen their individual families.
We are currently experiencing major thunder storms across America. And let us never forget the refugee centers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas that where devastated and displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina were staying as they began to try to put their lives back together. Their stories and situations are tragic and poignant in many ways, but in all that I heard, what touched me the most was the crying out for family: “Where is my mother?” “I can’t find my son.” “I’ve lost a sister.” These were hungry, frightened people who had lost everything and needed food, medical attention, and help of all kinds, but what they wanted and needed most was their families.
DO YOU HAVE EMERGENCY FOOD IN YOUR HOME?
Every person will need approximately 1 Gallon of Water per day!
BE SURE with a SURE WATER TANK
Crisis or transition of any kind reminds us of what matters most. In the routine of life, we often take our families—our parents and children and siblings—for granted. But in times of danger and need and change, there is no question that what we care about most is our families! It will be even more so when we die and leave this life. Surely the first people we will seek to find there in the spirit world will be father, mother, spouse, children, and siblings.
Is your life’s mission statement for mortality “to build an eternal family?”
Here on this earth we strive to become part of extended families with the ability to create and form our own part of those families. That is one of the reasons our Heavenly Father sent us here. Not everyone will find a companion and have a family in mortality, but everyone, regardless of individual circumstances, is a precious member of God’s family.
It was then and is now a clarion call to protect and strengthen families with a stern warning to the world where declining values and misplaced priorities threaten to destroy society by undermining its basic unit of society, the family.
Many of the very things that have threatened and undermined families during the last decade reminds us of the priority and the emphasis families need if they are to survive in an environment that seems ever more toxic to traditional marriage and to parent-child relationships.
The confused and convoluted notions of our society cannot even agree on a definition of family, let alone supply the help and support parents and families need such as these:
- “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.”
- “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”
- “Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.”
- “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”
- “The disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”
The simple truth is that the family is “the fundamental unit of society.”
We call upon committed parents, grandparents, and extended family members everywhere to hold fast to the importance of The Family and to commit ourselves to live by God’s commandments and proven principles and precepts as we are all part of God’s family.
Public opinion surveys indicate that people everywhere in the world generally consider the family as the highest priority; yet in recent years the broader culture seems to ignore or misdefine the family. Consider some of the changes of the past decade:
- Many larger national and international institutions that used to support and strengthen families now try to supplant and even sabotage the very families they were created to serve.
- In the name of “tolerance,” the definition of family has been expanded beyond recognition to the point that “family” can be any individuals of any gender who live together with or without commitment or children or attention to consequence.
- Rampant materialism and selfishness delude many into thinking that families, and especially children, are a burden and a financial millstone that will hold them back rather than a sacred privilege that will teach them to become more like God.
And yet most parents throughout the world continue to know both the importance and the joy that are attached to natural families. Suzanne and I have done much traveling and met friends, families, and parents on several continents and find that the hopes and concerns of parents are remarkably similar throughout the earth.
In India a concerned Hindu mother said, “All I want is to be a bigger influence on my children than the media and the peer group.” And a Buddhist mother in Malaysia said, “I’d like my boys to be able to operate in the world, but I don’t want them to be of the world.” Parents from all different cultures and faiths are saying and feeling the same things we are as parents of eight sons and twenty grandchildren.
The family is the basic unit of society, of the economy, of our culture, and of our government. And as Latter-day Saints, we know, the family will also be the basic unit in the celestial kingdom after this life.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our belief in the overriding importance of families is rooted in restored doctrine. We know of the sanctity of families in both directions of our eternal existence. We know that before this life we lived with our Heavenly Father as part of His family, and we know that family relationships can endure beyond death.
We live and act upon this knowledge, and invite the world to join us. Parents who place a high priority on their families will gravitate to their Churches because it offers the family structure, values, doctrine, and eternal perspective that they seek and cannot find elsewhere.
Our family-centered perspective makes us Latter-day Saints strive to be the best parents in the world. It gives us enormous respect for our children, who truly are our spiritual siblings, and it causes us to devote whatever time is necessary to strengthen our families. Indeed, nothing is more critically connected to happiness—both our own and that of our children—than how well we love and support one another within the family.
We believe the Church is a crucial “scaffolding” that helps build the individual and the family. The Church is the kingdom of God on earth, but in the kingdom of heaven, families will be both the source of our eternal progress and joy and the order of our Heavenly Father. When we have completed this life, we will be released from our jobs and occupations but if we are worthy, we will never be released from our family relationships.
One of our past Prophets, Joseph F. Smith said: “There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home, and every effort made to sanctify and preserve its influence is uplifting to those who toil and sacrifice for its establishment. Men and women often seek to substitute some other life for that of the home; they would make themselves believe that the home means restraint; that the highest liberty is the fullest opportunity to move about at will. There is no happiness without service, and there is no service greater than that which converts the home into a divine institution, and which promotes and preserves family life”. (Teachings of Presidents of theChurch: Joseph F. Smith , 382).
Now, one may ask, How do we protect and preserve and strengthen our homes and families in a world pulling so hard in opposite directions? Let me make three simple suggestions:
- Be consistent in holding daily family prayer and meet as a family weekly which will invite the Lord’s Spirit, and which provides the help and power we need as parents and family leaders. Read the scriptures and other good books and our Church magazines that have good ideas for things to do as a family. Also take the time to share spiritual stories and your testimonies together where parents and children can express their beliefs and feelings to each other in a private and personal setting.
- Teach the gospel and basic values in your home. Establish a love for reading the scriptures together. Too many of our parents are abdicating this responsibility to the Church. While seminary, auxiliaries, and Sunday School meetings are important as a supplement to parental gospel instruction, the main responsibility rests in the home. You might want to choose one gospel subject or a family value and then watch for opportunities to teach it. Be wise and do not involve children or yourselves in so many activities out of the home that you are so busy that the Spirit of the Lord cannot be recognized or felt in giving you the promised guidance for yourself and your family.
- Create meaningful family bonds that give your children an identity stronger than what they can find with their peer group or at school or anyplace else. This can be done through family traditions for birthdays, for holidays, for dinnertime, and for Sundays. It can also be done through family policies and rules with natural and well-understood consequences. Have a simple family economy where children have specific chores or household duties and receive praise or other rewards commensurate to how well they do. Teach them the importance of avoiding debt and of earning, saving, and wisely spending money. Help them learn responsibility for their own temporal and spiritual self-reliance.
In today’s world, where Satan’s aggression against the family is so prevalent, parents must do all they can to fortify and defend their families. But their efforts may not be enough. Our most basic institution of family desperately needs help and support from the extended family and the public institutions that surround us. Families, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins can make a powerful difference in the lives of children. Remember that the expression of love and encouragement from an extended family member will often provide the right influence and help a child at a critical time.
The Church itself will continue to be the first and foremost institution—the “scaffolding,” as it were—to help build strong families. The Church has great concern about the well-being of your families, and thus you will see increasing efforts to prioritize and to focus on family needs. Put family first and identify specific ways to strengthen you individual families.
Public institutions need to examine themselves and do less that might harm families and more that will help them.
The media must offer more that promotes traditional family values that is uplifting and supportive of families and less that popularizes immorality and materialism.
The government and political leaders need to put the needs of children and parents first and to think in terms of family impact in all legislation and policy making.
Internet providers and Web site creators need to become more responsible regarding their potential for influence and to adopt the conscious objective of protecting children from violence, pornography, filth, and sleaze.
Educational entities need to teach universal values and family and parenting skills, supporting parents in their responsibility to raise children to become the leaders of families in generations yet to come.
Church members need to reach out in love to neighbors and friends of other faiths and include them in the use of the many resources their Church has to help families. Our communities and neighborhoods will be safer and stronger as people of all faiths work together to strengthen families.
It is important to remember that all larger units of society depend on the smallest and most fundamental unit, the family. No matter who or what we are, we help ourselves when we help families.
We hold up like a banner the proclamation to the world on the family and as we live and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will fulfill the measure of our creation here on earth. We will find peace and happiness here and in the world to come. We should not need a hurricane or other crisis to remind us of what matters most. The gospel and the Lord’s plan of happiness and salvation should remind us. What matters most is what lasts longest, and our families are for eternity.
Alan and Suzanne Osmond
For The Family
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