Seek balance in home life and in Church activity

Is a near-perfect


Strengthens, protects

individuals and families

Established in ward council

President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, encouraged parents and leaders to seek balance in home life and in Church activity.

Speaking Saturday afternoon, President Packer noted that he has served as a General Authority for 37 years, half his life, but he has held another calling even longer, that of father. He said it took many years to earn the titles of grandfather and great-grandfather. The titles of father, grandfather, mother, grandmother carry responsibility and an authority that comes in part from experience, he said.

"My calling in the priesthood defines my position in the Church, the title grandfather, my position in the family. I want to talk about both of them together."

He said that parenthood stands among the most important activities to which Latter-day Saints may devote themselves, and that many members face conflicts as they struggle to balance their responsibility as parents with faithful activity in the Church.

He pointed out that there are things vital to the well-being of the family that can be found only by going to Church: the priesthood, which empowers a man to lead and to bless his wife and children, and covenants which bind them together forever; the meeting together often, as commanded (D&C:75); and the instructing and edifying of each other (D&C 43:8).

He said that as the standards of morality in the world have continued to sink, there has been an outpouring of inspired guidance in the Church for parents and families. He said that the whole of the curriculum and of all the activities of the Church have been restructured and correlated with the home: Ward teaching became home teaching; family home evening was re-established; genealogy was renamed family history and set to collect all family records; the historic Proclamation on the Family was issued by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles; the family became, and remains, a prevailing theme in meetings, conferences, and councils.

All the above, he noted, are as a prelude to an unprecedented era of building temples wherein the authority to seal families together is exercised.

"We must be careful lest programs and activities of the Church become too heavy for some families to carry," he said. "The principles of the gospel, where understood and applied, strengthen and protect both individuals and families. Devotion to the family and devotion to the Church are not different and separate things. . . .

"Faithful attendance at Church, together with careful attention to the needs of the family, is a near perfect combination," President Packer said. "In Church we are taught the Great Plan of Happiness. At home we apply what we have learned. Every call, every service in the Church brings experience and valuable insights which carry over into family life."

President Packer said that the ward council is the perfect place to establish the balance between home and Church. "Here the brethren of the priesthood, themselves fathers, and sisters of the auxiliaries, themselves mothers, can, with inspired insight, coordinate the work of the organizations, each of which serves different members of the family.

"This ward council is ideal for our present need. Here the home and the family can be anchored in place, and the Church can support rather than supplant the parents. Fathers and mothers will understand both their obligation to teach their children and the blessings provided by the Church. . . .

"As the world grows ever more threatening, the powers of heaven draw ever closer to parents and families."

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