Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Establishing a Christ-Centered Home

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Establishing a Christ-Centered Home, by Richard J. Maynes
Of the Seventy

Last night, we were expecting a service call right at the span of time when we usually have dinner and family home evening (it was Monday yesterday). As we ate together around the table, I realized that because the repairman was late, we likely wouldn't get everything done in time for family home evening.

What could we do?

Being a fan of communication, I relayed my thoughts to the family. Looks of disappointment filled their faces until my wise wife said, "Don't worry, we'll still have dessert!"

After telling everyone that we would indeed have a lesson and great activity the next day, I thought of the change that occurred when dessert was mentioned. Was it the treat at the end that motivated us, I wondered.

During my thinking, I remembered something from a sacrament meeting talk given nearly ten years ago. While in a married student ward, we had a visiting guest (I think it was a member of the Area Presidency) and his wife speak. I don't remember what he said, but I remember the message of his wife: Always have pie!

With an adorable European accent, this good sister encouraged a collection of newlywed students to establish celestial traditions now. Her focus was on family home evening, and she said, in essence, "It doesn't matter what lesson you have, or how long it lasts. What matters is that you always have pie! Give a short lesson—especially when the children are young (but when they're old, too)—have a fun activity, and end with pie!"

What is magical about pie? Are cookies a satisfactory substitute? (After the meeting I actually asked her if it had to be pie. She laughed and said that cookies were fine.)

The point she was making was to not just have family home evening, but to make it a celestial tradition with enough weight or pull—provided by the treat—to draw everyone back the next week. Sure, together time is great fun, but sitting together sharing a treat strengthens the love that is sown in family home evening.

Elder Maynes said:

Recognizing that we have a heavenly family helps us understand the eternal nature of our earthly families. The Doctrine and Covenants teaches us that the family is fundamental to the order of heaven: “And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory” (D&C 130:2).

Later, he taught:

Learning, teaching, and practicing the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our homes helps create a culture where the Spirit can dwell.

It's interesting to note that the scripture he quoted goes further:

And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy (D&C 130:2, emphasis added).

I propose that we can start to enjoy loving sociality coupled with eternal glory as we establish the traditions and culture of a Christ-centered home... and remember to always have pie!

...just be nice when you do!

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