Importance of family life is declared to the world

Strengthen relationships

Establish reasonable rules- Build self-esteem

"One of the great messages of the gospel is the doctrine of the eternal nature of the family unit," said Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council the Twelve in his Saturday afternoon address.

"We declare to the world the value and importance of family life, while much of the confusion and difficulty we find existing in the world today is being traced to the deterioration of family life. Home experiences where children are taught and trained by loving parents are diminishing."

He said family life in which children and parents communicate, study, play and work together has been replaced by individual microwaved dinners and evenings in front of the TV set. He referred to the National Association of Counties meeting in Salt Lake City in 1991, at which were identified five basic concepts that could increase every family's chances for success:

"First, strengthen relationships through family activities; second, establish reasonable rules and expectations; third, build self-esteem; fourth, set achievable goals; and fifth, periodically evaluate family strengths and needs."

Elder Perry said the urgent and warning voices of prophets from the beginning of time have special relevance today. He said the Lord's instructions to Adam and Eve made clear their responsibilities as parents. (Moses 5:10-12.)

He referred to D&C 94:40-43, in which the Lord chastised some of the brethren for not paying attention to their family responsibilities.

He reviewed a Church admonition of years ago for all parents to hold weekly family home evenings. "Today that admonition has been institutionalized in the homes of Church members," Elder Perry noted. "We have been promised great blessings if our families would be faithful in this regard."

He said if he had an opportunity to live again his life with his young family there are two areas in which he would make improvements.

"The first would be to spend more time as husband and wife in a family executive committee meeting learning, communicating, planning and organizing to better fulfill our roles as parents," he said. "The second wish I would like, if I could have those years over, would be to spend more family time. This includes more consistent, meaningful family home evenings."

Calling on young people to make major contributions to the success of their family home evenings, he said, "In many homes, you can be the conscience of the family. After all, you have the most to gain from the experience."

Elder Perry further said: "In all the family units throughout the Church, evaluate again the progress you are making in holding regular family home evenings. The application of this program will be a shield and protection to you against the evils of our time and will bring you, individually and collectively, greater and abundant joy now and in the eternities hereafter."

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