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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Strenghtening and Preserving the Family

Taught by Beth G.

I can't think of any one in this ward who doesn't already do this to the best of our abilities.  
I would like to just share ideas of how we have strengthened our own families.

President Joseph Fielding Smith is quoted saying: 
   "It is the will of the Lord to 
strengthen and preserve the family"

Is strengthening our families for the here and now? 
 It is for all of Eternity.

Joseph Fielding Smith was known as a stern man. President Smith's second wife Ethel was asked to tell something about her husband. She thought about it and decided to tell some things about him so they could get to know the true man.  She said, when her children were sick they cried for their father, he was the caretaker and comforter when he was at home. When he was there, he was the one they wanted to be with. He would think of things to do together. His favorite pie was mince meat so he learned to make that and he included the kids in making it together.  How many of us 'willingly' would do that with our children?  I always felt like it would take way to long and be a disaster to clean up! It was hard for me to include them, it had to be a good day! I make a much better Grandma than I did a Mother.  They can take as long as they want, they can lick all the beaters. As a mother we can get so caught up in our lives and all that has to be done. As we get older we realize that the time spent with our children and making those memories together is what it's all about!

The point was brought up that, "What about when you feel like you need to have your house clean for your husband?" There has to be a happy medium doesn't there? 

The best thing I ever did was go to work for two weeks while Gary took vacation to take care of the kids. He used to ask me what I did all day. I made sure to tell him when I walked out the door that first day, that I expected dinner on the table when I got home because I always had it on the table for him. Teehee.  When I got home there was no dinner on the table, Gary was asleep on the couch. He was whipped!  He never again ask me what I did all day. 

One sister shared that she has found that she has learned from her husband as she works night shift, that when she comes home he is so appreciative of what she does! Meanwhile the house is a mess from his caring for the kids, but they are so happy! He has spent real time with them, setting aside the household things. She has tried to apply that in a moderate way by not worrying about getting the house cleaned up right away, but stretching it out a little to be able to spend time with her kids.

You can ask your husband for some help with some of the duties at home,  most preferably after giving him a little wind down time and some time with the kids. It was brought up that we think that they should just notice what needs to be done, or that we need help. It is the exception, not the rule, that they will do this! Men just usually don't notice. They also work best on specifics that are ask in a loving manner. Don't give vague hints. Be direct. It removes stress from us by the help we receive and from them by our being a happier wife and mother. 

Most of us have said, "When I get married, life will be bliss!", and "My children will never do that!". As you get to those states and you find that what you thought would be perfect was a fantasy, you have to learn to adapt. It is good for us to learn that things don't have to be perfect. It was also noted that we should not worry about what other people think!

One of Joseph Fielding Smith's sons, Douglas Smith said that his father and he had a good relationship. He said that they would box and play chess. He said he always felt so wonderful when he beat his dad. He realized as he grew older that his dad had let him win. What a blessing it was in his life that his dad spent so much time with him.  

How much individual time do we 
spend with our children?

I look now, and I think how much farther ahead you moms are now than I was.  I look at my daughter who has set days that are individual date times with each of her kids.  It doesn't matter what it is, it can be anything, it doesn't need to cost, it just needs to be one on one time together.

Amelia Smith McConkie, another one of Joseph Fielding Smith's children said that it was almost fun to be sick, because their dad would take such good care of them.  He would play music on their old phonograph, dance around and sing to them to make them happy. He would march around the room to get them to smile. He would sit and peel an orange at the foot of their bed giving them one segment at a time to eat. They loved the individual attention! She also said that when they needed to be disciplined he wouldn't spank them, he would just look at them and say, "I wish my kiddies would be good", and that would be enough. They loved him enough that they didn't want to disappoint him. Surely they will be more apt to want to not disappoint you if you are spending time with them collectively and individually, showing them love and building your relationship together.

We also need to pick our battles. Most things if put in perspective can be not made a big deal. It will just cause a wedge and make it so when there is something important to strongly discipline, it will have more impact. 

Hoyt W. Brewster Jr., a grandchild of Joseph Fielding Smith, as a missionary in the Netherlands, was allowed to attend the dedication of the London England Temple.  As he and other missionaries filed into the assembly room, his grandfather saw him. Hoyt recalled: "Without a moment's hesitation, he jumped up from his chair and extended his arms, motioning me towards him. In that instance I did not see Joseph Fielding Smith, the Apostle... but a grandfather who saw one of his grandchildren for whom he had great love. I didn't hesitate to break ranks and rush to the stand where he embraced me and kissed me in front of that entire solemn assembly. That to me was one of the most sacred and memorable moments of my life".

The Family is the Most Important Organization in time or in Eternity.

Who would you want to be with in the eternities?  
Our time here on earth is a bonding time with our families.
There is strength against the adversary when we have love and support as families.

Let's build relationships and memories together where our children know without a doubt that we love them, that they are the most important thing to us above all our other duties.

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