We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
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A short essay on Linda, love and being a husband by Richard Eyre
I love mariage. I love everything about marriage, even the disagreements and tough times. I love having someone with whom I share everything and who knows everything about me, sometimes things I don’t even know myself.
I love partnership with my wife, full and total partnership where we literally try to share everything, even bank accounts, even our emails, even everything; and where there are no secrets, even little ones.
Neither of us is anything remotely close to perfect, and neither is our relationship, but I love the synergy of that and how all of my weaknesses seem to be made up and compensated for by Linda’s strength, and where, on our best days, our total is greater than the sum of its parts.
I love that we each have our own ways of doing things, very different ways that, again on our good days, complement each other and make possible things that neither of us could do on our own.
I have come to acknowledge and partially understand that Linda is, like all women, a complex organism and that if you try to change one little thing or one little part of her you might set off some kind of chain reaction that would alter the whole and end up changing the very things you love most about her. Therefore, I tell her, in total honesty, that I would not change one little thing about her. I have told her that so much, and explained the reasoning behind it, that I think she finally believes me.
I love the word “husband.” It means stewardship, it means care, it means cherishing and taking care of. But I think it also means partnership — the kind with complete respect and unbending commitment and fidelity.
I love that Linda’s role in our family is the most important one — that her instinctive and intuitive love of our children has guided their lives more than any other thing and that the title of “Mother” truly is the most important and influential and indispensable and irreplaceable role on this planet.
I love the fact that we share both the procreative power and the priesthood power — that neither can be fully or fruitfully used by one of us without the other. I love that Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve said in his recent conference talk that just as a woman cannot have a child without a man, so a man cannot fully and eternally use the priesthood without the woman.
I love the poetic quality of that statement — that both procreative power and priesthood power must be shared between a celestially married man and woman.
I love that an individual man or an individual woman is not a perfectible entity, but that a man and woman together are.
I even love what Benjamin Franklin said — that a single man is like a half a pair of scissors. And I love the gospel knowledge that tells us that every one of God’s children, whether on this earth or hereafter, will have the opportunity of everlasting marriage and oneness and family glory.
Oh, by the way, and in case you couldn’t tell, I love Linda.
“All across the world families are falling apart. The place to begin to improve society is in the home. Children do, for the most part, what they are taught. We are trying to make the world better by making the family stronger”, said President Gordon B. Hinckley at the general Relief Society meeting in September 1995 who explained why we have been given “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” now! Since that time, it has been reprinted in many languages for families throughout the world. It has also been presented to government leaders in many lands.
Look around at our communities and nation today and you will understand why we need to heed the counsel and warning from our prophets and the scriptures and remember that “The Family is central to God’s plan.”
Is this happening in your family?
The proclamation states that marriage and family are “ordained of God” and “central to [His] plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. Why is the family central to God’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children? (See D&C 131:1–4; 1 Corinthians 11:11.)
The proclamation also states that we are all spirit children of God, created in His image (see also Genesis 1:26–27). When a Mother and Father create a body for a child, one of Heavenly Father’s Spirit children enters that body. Everything is created spiritually before it is created physiclally. We are taught from the scriptures about our potential and reminds us that we all are members of Heavenly Father’s family which should affect the way you feel about our earthly families and give us the desire to become stronger families.
Sacred ordinances or promises with God make it possible for families to be together eternally.
Knowing that we will live forever after this life should help us understand that the experiences we encounter in this life will help us in our eternal progression. It helps us understand why marriage is necessary for the family to be eternal together. The Holy Temples, the House of the Lord, is where marriages are performed for time AND for all eternity and where promises or covenants with the Lord are made so that families may be together forever. Knowing this forever purpose of the family will help parents prepare their children to follow in the same like manner and affect the way we treat family members now.
The same priesthood power that created worlds, galaxies, and the universe can and should be part of our lives to succor, strengthen, and bless our families, our friends, and our neighbors—in other words, to do the things that the Savior would do if He were ministering among us today. And the primary purpose of this priesthood power is to bless, sanctify, and purify us so we can live together with our families in the presence of our heavenly parents, bound by priesthood sealings, participating in the marvelous work of God and Jesus Christ in forever expanding Their light and glory. This-is-my-work-and-my-glory.
The power to create mortal life is sacred.
God has spoken through our Prophets declaring the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations. This is why obedience to God’s commandments is so important.
God is “the same yesterday, today and forever” and so are His commandments. With His ‘Plan of Happiness’, our spirit bodies will one day return back to heaven. The body cannot live without the spirit and so when it’s time to return, we will physically die; but, we continue to live spiritually. Jesus is the way and reason we all will be resurrected because of His atonement. When we do, our spirits will be reunited once again with our physical bodies never to be separated again.
Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “Children are the inheritance of the Lord to us in this life and also in eternity. Marriage and Eternal life is not only to have forever our descendants from this life. It is also to have eternal increase.”
Marriage is ‘ordained of God’ and a partnership with God and is most important. When the union of man and a woman co-create a life, one of God’s spirit children enters that child’s physical body as well giving it life. This brings responsibility and accountability for that spirit. The misuse in causing or terminating a life has serious responsibility and consequences!
We can understand why our Heavenly Father commands us to reverence life and to cherish the powers that produce it as sacred. If we do not have those reverential feelings in this life, how could our Father give them to us in the eternities?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apolstes taught: “The body is an essential part of the soul. We declare that one who uses the God-given body of another without divine sanction abuses the very soul of that individual, abuses the central purpose and processes of life. In sexual transgression the soul is at stake—the body and the spirit.”
It is most important that parents help children understand the importance of moral cleanliness. They should review with their children the teachings of sexual purity.
Parents have a sacred duty to care for each other and teach their children.
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “When you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Selfishness is the great destroyer of happy family life. If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on throughout eternity.”
Children are blessed when they have parents who love and care for each other. Parents are responsible to teach their children. (See Mosiah 4:14–15; D&C 68:25–28; 93:40.) Parents should find effective ways to teach these principles as they were taught; perhaps in family home evenings, family prayer, mealtime, bedtime, traveling together and working together.
The role of the Church is a secondary role in teaching children with Sunday School and other activities.
Successful marriages and families are based on righteous principles.
The proclamation teaches that “happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings can bring happiness into your home. “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
What are the primary responsibilities of fathers? One responsibility is to “preside … in love and righteousness”. (See D&C 121:41–46.) Boys and young men can prepare themselves now to provide for their families by encouraging them to gain a formal education and learn practical skills. Young women can also prepare themselves to fulfill the responsibility of being mothers and returning to the old and sacred values which begin in the home. It is here that truth is learned, that integrity is cultivated, that self-discipline is instilled, and that love is nurtured. Mothers, guard your children. Nothing is more precious to you as mothers, absolutely nothing. Your children are the most valuable thing you will have in time or all eternity. You will be fortunate indeed if, as you grow old and look at those you brought into the world, you find in them uprightness of life, virtue in living, and integrity in their behavior. This is also important for fathers to nurture their children because as parents, you should help each other as equal partners.
The proclamation concludes by warning of the serious consequences of family disintegration and by calling upon all people to strengthen the family. Individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
President Gordon B. Hinckley told a gathering of mayors and other public officials: “To you men and women of great influence, you who preside in the cities of the nation, to you I say that it will cost far less to reform our schools, to teach the virtues of good citizenship, than it will to go on building and maintaining costly jails and prisons. … But there is another institution of even greater importance than the schools. It is the home. I believe that no nation can rise higher than the strength of its families.” Families must be strong in order for nations to survive.
The proclamation also warns that those “who abuse spouse or offspring … will one day stand accountable before God.” Church leaders have spoken out against abuse of any kind. The following quotation can be applied to both men and women:
“Never abuse your wives. Never abuse your children. But gather them in your arms and make them feel of your love and your appreciation and your respect. Be good husbands. Be good fathers.” Gordon B. Hinckley
Suzanne and I have both been blessed with “goodly parents” that put us first and taught us by example the way to become. We saw more sermons than we did in hearing them from our kind and hard working fathers and loving, nurturing and caring mothers who sacrificed their lives for us. It is now much easier for us as parents to know how to raise our children having watched our parents deal with the many challenges of raising a family today. Yes, it can be challenging in raising a family today but the blessings are literally “Out Of This World”!
For those who have wayward children and may have made mistakes themselves in the past, remember that a most important part of God’s plan of life through the atonement of Jesus Christ is that of repentance and forgiveness. To receive forgiveness through repentance, remember, Jesus is The Way.
When we were young as a nation, our forefathers promised to remember God and to keep His commandments. God in turn promised to protect us as a nation and to give us prosperity. We are concerned that the covenants or promises that we have made with God have been broken and are not being kept. If we see trubulation and hard times come into our lives and to our families, then it is only because we have broken our promises with God. He then, does not have to keep His covenants and promises either!
We are living during the last days, a “great and dreadful day”, when Satan is desperate to win as many souls of mankind and our families that he can. May we remember God, our Heavenly Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and put prayer and thanksgiving back into our homes, schools and nation. May we love one another and stop aborting innocent children who each have a spirit body within and keep God’s commandments so that we may be worthy of His love and blessings once again.
This is a glorious time in which to live here upon the earth.
As we travel through life, there come times when we must stand up and be counted. These are times of testing. Are we on the Lord’s side, keeping his commandments? Do we sustain our leaders and uphold them? Do we stand steadfast and unwavering? Do we compromise those things we know are true?
It is a temptation to become so involved in the things of the world that we lose sight of more important values, the things of the spirit and family. We tried to do this with our music.
All the effort and struggle and sorrow will be well worth it, for we will have earned the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal life. May this be our happy lot, I humbly pray.
I was somewhat taken back by this video with this open hearted discussions by Donny and my brothers whom I love. It was hard to hear them say those things that we have kept to ourselves for so many years when we were called goody goody, too clean cut, too Mormon, and that we would never make it in show business because of our righteous, moral and Christian, principle driven family image that we had and yet we had the greatest friends and relationships with the biggest and best names in the business and leaders of the world.
I saw and heard what Donny and my brothers said and sometimes it was really hard times but, can I tell you how much fun we all had together! As the oldest of the brothers, we were treated and loved so well by our fans and friends that even Walt Disney, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Led Zepplin, The Queen of England, Ronald Reagan and others commented how much they liked our family. We had nothing to hide or to prove except to be who we were and to be the best entertainers we could become. We worked hard at it and loved it. (Most of it.)
Yes, we would come off stage just sweaty and tired but were well fulfilled by working hard and in receiving the audiences applause and standing ovations. We had to lease Led Zepplin’s sound system because it was the loudest and our audiences all screamed and couldn’t hear us without it! We were told that we were the loudest group on tour in the 70′s because of all the screaming girls! We were also each others best friends! We sang together, worked together, laughed together, cried together, we prayed together, and gave up much of our childhood and our lives to our careers for each other because we found ourselves within a family of love and togetherness that was unlike any that we had ever seen. Yes, we are normal and have our moments but the strong will of a firm yet loving father and the love and support of a saintly mother, we kept balance in our home and lives. I was ready to leave the group and go serve a mission for our church for two years but was told by the Holy spirit after prayer not to; that I was to stay with my brothers and as a family and continue to spread good will and open doors for the missionaries by setting an example as a family to the world. We believe that God’s Plan of life is the family and we were going to never change the way we lived our lives.
We sacrificed for one another and dedicated our lives to the Lord that we might bring joy and happiness to someone in the audience with every show that we did. We prayed before every show that we might touch someones life for the better and show by example the love that we had among us and for them so that maybe someone would want to know the reason for the happiness, joy, peace and love that they saw and felt among us on stage. We had an act but our family of brotherhood and love for one another was no act! It was real and still is very, very strong and true today.
It was hard being the eldest of the group and the so called, “boss”/”leader” with the responsibility of always trying to make sure we were well rehearsed and ready, and that we came up with an idea of something to do each week on the Andy Williams Shows because we were NOT on the show the next week if we didn’t! That alone made us work together and develop individual talents reaching inside to write songs, learn many different musical instruments, dance, develop our personalities and comedy wit with showmanship that others would want to see.
We were not all Donny Osmond’s and never wanted to be but, we were pleased to be his brother as well as Marie’s and we were supportive and had a slogan that we were, “All for one and one for all”, even if we gave up our personal rock and roll careers. We didn’t care who was out front as long as it was an Osmond! I wasn’t even married 24 hours when Father insisted that I leave my wife Suzanne on my honeymoon and fly to Los Angeles with my youngest brother Jimmy to make sure he was well produced on a TV show that he was doing. Yes, we sacrificed for each other all right but so did our Lord Jesus Christ for all of us. He is our example and mentor. He is the way and the reason for all of the long hard working years we gave and why we lived righteously and never succumbed to the temptations of the flesh. Yes, there were opportunities to slip from our moral commitments but we stood against them together and individually with integrity and we tried to always live His ways and honestly worked hard to live it. No, we aren’t perfect but that’s why we came to earth; to learn.
I wouldn’t trade a day of my life with my best friends, my brothers and Marie. And, let’s not forget our two older brothers who had to watch us from the wings because they were deaf. They were just as important as any one of us and they were our heros! And they knew it!
After I posted this video, I went to bed but woke up knowing that I had to come down and share my heart and let everyone know that we honestly have NO REGRETS for the MOST wonderful years we could have ever lived together in the entertainment, recording, and television business world. We were rich, we were poor, we could live happily with very little and still can give and share what we have been blessed with to each other and know that, “where much is given, much is expected”.
I feel our parents are watching us from up above more than entertainers and musicians but, as successful fathers and a Mother Marie, husbands, wife, with our children who are sealed to us and us to them for time and for all eternity. We plan on being together forever! What is that worth? As Mother would say, “More than tongue can tell.” We spent our lives in Show Business but it was NOT our Life! We don’t take any gold records or STUFF with us after we leave this world but, we DO take wonderful memories with broken hearts and contrite spirits and the oh, so many blessings and friends that we made and love.
What we do take with us are our solid marriages, our individual families and the greatest memories and experiences that anyone could ever have had in this life with each other standing side by side, just as we sang with our first theme song. We may have been a little bit country, and a little bit Rock and Roll, but we are all a whole lot better people for having had the tests and trials that we had as well as the success and recognition that was profound. We could NOT have done it as individuals as well as we did do it as a family; an Eternal and a Forever Family!
Since this video, my brothers and I have really have become much closer and have come to deal with past ventures that our so called, people we trusted, made for us. We don’t have any malice because we know we don’t take any “stuff” with us after we die anyway! What we will take with us though is an eternal love and respect for each other with great experiences and many friends plus a common conviction that Jesus is the Christ. Because of so many of those truths that we believed in and have lived, and still do, the hard work and great memories will bring us all together again one day in the eternal heavens of the celestial kingdom with each other and our families with our Eternal parents once again.
Regarding my M.S., I decided that “Life is T.UF.F.”
I “T”, Targeted this thing called M.S., I “U”, worked hard to learn and understand all I could about it. I “F”, focused on the problem and didn’t shotgun but, rifled in on the issue, and then I “F” had fight. I was NOT going to take this sitting down. I “fought” to walk, to breathe and to eat proper foods. My wife, Suzanne, saved my life with care giving and nutrition and all natural products she gave me. I am still around today and enjoying our twenty (20) grandchildren.
I know that the Lord gave me weakness to make me humble and even stronger in other ways as in says in Ether 12: 27. The Lord tells us that we can learn from our suffering and I did. Well, I am doing better and I can honestly say that I enjoy life now more than ever before; And, I will continue to say that I may have M.S., but M.S. does NOT HAVE ME!
As my family and I continue forward with life we try to remember that we all have choices and the freedom to choose. May we be wise and do as the scriptures says, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and denyyourselvesofallungodliness; and if ye shall denyyourselvesofallungodliness, andlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.” Moro. 10: 32
Jesus is The Way!
“And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”D&C 122:7
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I could ramble on and on about some moments that mattered the most to me:
The day I was born, unlike my two older brothers, I could hear!; Being a kid, bailing hay, milking cows, feeding chickens and working on our farm in Ogden and hoeing sugar beets; Early days and singing as a barbershop quartet with my brothers, The Osmond Brothers; When I did our first TV show with Eugene Jelesnick in SLC; Got my Patriarchal Blessing; Walt Disney spent time with us and personally taught us a clever hat routine for His show Disneyland After Dark; Auditioning and performing on the Andy Williams shows for years; Recorded our first few music albums; Taking pictures with my new gift, a Hasseblad camera in Sweden of Swedish Girls; Read the Book of Mormon; Wrote and recorded the first song that I wrote, called ‘Movin Along’; Receiving our first gold record; So many photo sessions for Teen Magazines and those Wild Osmondmania days!; Two girls mailed themselves to us in a box!; Dick Clark promoted Jackson Five and us Osmonds on the same basic tour schedule and we passed each other on the road often; Doing a Command Performance for Her Majesty, The Queen of England; Building our recording studio by MGM’s; Writing many more songs like Crazy Horses and especially my favorite, The Plan Album which was released in a blank album cover so the hard rock stations would play it – they did; Fought with Chuck Norris in a Karate class; Boot Camp in Fort Ord, California and serving my country for six years in the military; Left Andy Williams after 9 years to become a pop group and almost starved for the lack of work; We finally made it; Helped with producing the Donny and Marie Shows in L.A.; Built a TV and recording Studio in Utah and Executive Produced The Donny and Marie Shows; Met with Mick Shannon and Joe Lake at our home and commited our Studios to begin the First Children’s Miracle Network Telethon; Broke my brother Jay’s nose in Indianapolis; Liked meeting Led Zepplin and Paul McCartney; Elton John wanted to meet us at MGM; Personally visiting with Elvis Presley who said he wanted to be a preacher, and later I received his Book of Mormon; Dating and tired of it; Prayed that I would meet my wife; One week later was THE DAY I met Suzanne Pinegar!; Married Suzanne 13 days later so she could go on the World tour as a wife and NOT a girlfriend; Osmond’s World Tour (with Suzanne); Built our dreamhome on Osmond Lane, Provo, Utah; Got Multiple Sclerosis; Learned html and how to publish on the internet; Bought Osmond.com, thefamily.com plus several URL’s; Worked with my brothers in Branson, Missouri for 9 years at our own theatre; Had a son, Michal Alan Osmond; Had a son, Nathan George Osmond; Had a son, Douglas Kenneth Osmond who was born premature; Served as Branch President at Provo Canyon School Ward; Had a son, David Levi Osmond; Had a son, Scott Merrill Osmond; Served on High Council for six years in Edgemont Stake; Was a Cub Master; Was made a Seventy by Paul H. Dunn; Had a son, Jonathan Pinegar Osmond; Co-produced Ronald Reagan’s Innagural Ball and Parade; Wrote and published the Twice Upon A Time Children’s books; Had a son, Alexander Thomas Osmond; Had a son, Tyler James Osmond; Received a Sesac Award for Producing Best Music Video; Quit touring and went home to Utah to be a good husband and Father; Created Stadium of Fire and wrote the theme song with 25 years of sell outs and it’s still going strong with menow as a Trustee; Set a Guinnes Book of Records by lighting 1,000,000 firecrackers in six seconds!; Built a Cabin in Fairview, Utah; Moved to Branson, Missouri for Osmond Family Theate; Started a 501(c)(3) non profit company called One Heart Foundation in the Heart of America; Served as first councilor in two Branson Ward Bishoprics; Had to quit Performing because of M.S.; Moved back our Ranch we built in Fairview, Utah; Missing both my Mother and Father who passed away; I was the first to see Father laying there and kissed his head and said, “Save me a place up there”; Joined my family on The Osmonds 50th Anniversary World Tour; Served eight more years as High Councilor in Suncrest Stake; Called to be a Temple Ordinance worker; Also, called as a Ward Missionary; Saw all eight of my sons receive their Eagle Scout Award; Witnessed my Six sons getting married in the Temple for time and for all eternity to some wonderful girls. Received over a period of time, twenty (20) grandchildren!; Still enjoy writing more songs and publishing daily thefamily.com and getting really good hits; Remembering all the hard work in raising kids, getting stitches and fixing broken bones; taking them to school; tough schools in Branson, MO where thy got spit on and knives pulled on them; Sons served as full time missionaries in Denmark, Chili, South Africa, Spain, Paraguay, Brazil, Atlant, Georgia; Known musically as the Osmonds Second Generation; They hadad 4 top 20 singles in the U.K.; I told them to get real jobs; encouraged boys to get good educations; Some moments that matter most is in knowing that Suzanne Loves me; I wrote a song about her called, ‘True Love’; She is my partner, my care giver and is keeping me well with good healthy foods, blending and essential oils with lots of water and a little natural salt plus tender loving care; I love it when our gradkids call me PaPa and hug me; Suzanne and I are empty nesters yet she cooks huge meals on Sunday afternoon and Monday for Family Nights where they all come to our home; also the fact that my sons honor me and still call me Father; I worry about our Country and the World situatiions; I Know that Jesus Christ is returning soon; I’m hoping to live to see His return; We know how things end; Knowing that my Eternal partner, Suzanne and I are sealed together forever with all of our children gives me peace; It is that which she gave to me that is THE GREATEST MOMENT in my life, and that which matters the most, when Suzanne brought into this world eight wonderful sons and made me a Father. It’s a pattern of life. There is God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, There was my Great Grand father and his son, my grand father and my Father, I am a Father and Now my sons are Fathers! God said, “For behold, this is myworkandmyglory—to bring to pass the immortalityandeternallife of man.” Moses 1: 39
Our Father in Heaven is happy watching us do the same and in becoming and celebrating Fathers Day, ourselves!
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland recalls his days as a poor young father with a broken-down family car and testifies that for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, there are better days and good things to come. Read the entire talk here: http://bit.ly/9lZUYI
When times get tough, don’t ever quit!
We at TheFamily.com have great HOPE for the future and for The Family. There are GOOD THINGS To COME.
Yet we must always remember, that just as God is a creator…and we are His children and must not WAIT…but CREATE a Great Tomorrow!
It All Starts Within The Walls of our Own Homes.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path! “