As her newly married daughter left home for a distant city, Sister Susan W. Tanner thought of the things she would like her daughter to know about starting a home and family.
Speaking Sunday morning, the Young Women general president directed her remarks to her daughter — and all young people in the Church — teaching and testifying of the importance of family.
First, Sister Tanner told her daughter how to make her home a haven of peace and a fortress of strength.
"You should follow the pattern you witnessed as you entered the Lord's house, to 'establish a house . . . of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning . . . a house of order' (Doctrine and Covenants 109:8). As we follow this pattern, great peace will dwell within our homes in a world of increasing turmoil."
Small things, Sister Tanner said, make a happy home — things like praying, saying "I'm sorry," expressing gratitude, reading a good book together.
Second, Sister Tanner told her daughter, "children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalm 127:3).
"We hope Heavenly Father will bless you with children. Many in the world miss the joy and see children only as an inconvenience. It is true that parenting is physically exhausting, emotionally draining and mentally demanding."
But, she emphasized, it is worth it. "All latter-day prophets have borne witness to the sacred role of motherhood. . . . You will come to know, as I do, that parenting is not only challenging, but it provides life's greatest joys."
Finally, Sister Tanner said, love is the foundational virtue in building a strong home.
"Our Father in Heaven exemplifies the pattern we should follow," she said. "He loves us, teaches us, is patient with us, and entrusts us with our agency."
Sister Tanner told her daughter that she can demonstrate their love for family members not only by teaching them affirmatively, but also in giving them time.
"So to my daughter, and to all young people in the Church, as you make the transition to this new phase in your life, I tell you these things. I testify that in the eternal scheme of things, the most crucial and fulfilling thing you will do is to build a holy home and rear a strong family in love."