We rejoice with you after an inspiring general conference! We were reminded of the importance of personal conversion and how its roots are centered in the home. Our homes are meant to be a refuge from a sin-sick world that is hungry for truth and light. Our homes should be a shelter from the battle between good and evil that began in the pre-earth life and which continues on in this life.
The outcome of this intense war has already been decided (Rev. 12:12, 2 Nephi 28:20). What is yet to be determined is where we will stand and on whose side we will choose to be. Individual battles still need to be won.
The Lord does not expect us to fight alone: It is our blessing and direction to fight in family formation. It is within the family where we are fitted with the shield of faith and learn how to wield the sword of truth most effectively.
Read a summary of President Nelson's opening remarks in conference about the Church's home-centered curriculum.
We establish foundations of faith in a gospel-centered home. It is where we come to truly know the Savior and learn to emulate Him as we navigate worldly whirlwinds. A gospel-centered home creates an environment where the good word of God is not simply carried “unto the hearts of the children of men” (2 Nephi 33:1), but can be carried into our hearts as we allow the Holy Ghost to change our very natures.
The importance of home-centered teaching is reinforced in the following experiences:
After a man had spoken in a church meeting, many thoughtful members came forward to thank him for his testimony and faith-filled remarks. One kind gentleman then turned to this man’s teenage son and stated, “I bet that was pretty cool to have your dad up there giving such an inspired message.”
The son respectfully responded, “No, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before.”
Fortunately for this young man, this was not the first time he heard his father teach and testify of sacred gospel truths. These principles were first taught in the home and then later reinforced at church.
This dear father knew of his sacred stewardship and understood the role of families in God’s eternal plan. He knew that “as part of Heavenly Father’s plan we were born into families. (Heavenly Father) established families to bring us happiness, to help us learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere and to prepare us for eternal life. Parents have the vital responsibility to help their children prepare to return to Heavenly Father. Parents fulfill this responsibility by teaching their children to follow Jesus Christ and live His gospel" (Handbook 2).
A young woman of faith exemplified these same gospel principles when she was invited by a wise Relief Society president to serve as a ministering sister to an older sister in her ward. After accepting the invitation to minister, the young woman enthusiastically approached her new-found friend and proclaimed, “I am your new ministering sister! How many meals do you need?”
This young woman had watched her own dear mother serve the poor and the needy for many years. Through the pattern of ministering that was taught, emulated and established in her home, she was prepared and willing to enthusiastically serve with her whole heart.
This young woman’s mother knew and understood that “fathers and mothers have been commanded to teach gospel doctrines, ordinances, covenants and ways of righteous living to their children (Doctrine and Covenants 68:25-28). Children who are so reared and taught are more likely to be prepared at the appropriate age to receive priesthood ordinances and to make and keep sacred covenants” (Handbook 2).
Each family member plays a vital role in establishing a gospel-centered home. It is our prayer that with the adjustments to our Sabbath day worship, you will treat this day as a gift from the Lord of the Sabbath Himself, Jesus Christ. We pray that this day will become sacred and holy to you and that it will become a consecrated time to follow in the footsteps of our Savior and go about doing good; a day to continue developing your talents and lifting those hands that hang low; a day to become a more dedicated servant in the work of salvation.
We witness of the Lord’s love for His children and of His confidence in us. He trusts us to use our time — especially the sacred Sabbath day — to nourish our love for Him through learning, prayer and service.
We, too, love you and have great faith and confidence in you. As you continue to feast upon the spiritual nourishment that you received during general conference and the sacred opportunity you had to sustain our beloved prophet with your hands raised, it is our prayer that you will also sustain the Lord with your feet. Go forth and serve Him.