As Sister Silvia H. Allred has traveled the world, she has met numerous Church members who are working to strengthen their families.
“You can feel the Spirit in the way they treat each other,” said the first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. “They treat each other with love, respect and faithfulness.”
This year she asked several families what helps them be strong and stay strong.
The Gonzales family in El Pinar Ward, Maracaibo Venezuela South Stake, said family home evening, scripture study, family councils and Church meetings keep them strong. In addition, they sing together in the ward choir and work together to raise a family garden.
Brandon Gonzales, 7, picked a bean from the garden and showed it to Sister Allred. He is responsible for planting and weeding the beans.
Sister Allred met another family this May in Lima, Peru. The parents joined the Church with their two children just three months earlier.
“[This father’s] love for his family is so great,” said Sister Allred. “He was looking for something — for religion — to help them.”
Today the gospel has changed their lives, she said. “There was a feeling of love and kindness. It was a beautiful home.”
She said family members are working to strengthen their family by preparing for the temple. They have weekly family home evening and study the scriptures together. Their children also share the lessons they learn in seminary and Primary with their parents.
Rollin and Socorro Pioquinto of the Philippines have eight children. Sister Allred said the entire family rides to Church in a tricycle taxi. That weekly effort to make sure everyone gets to Church keeps them strong, they said. They also work together to supplement the family’s income by selling charcoal.
“They are really dedicated to the gospel,” said Sister Allred.