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Talk

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Today I'm assigned to give a talk on family, and since you guys can't make it, I figured I might as well post it on here for you to read if you want. :^)

                Good afternoon, brothers and sisters. I am truly grateful to be able to speak to you this beautiful Sabbath day, and I pray that the Spirit will be with me as I share my message with you today. I was asked to speak on family.
            While pondering on what to speak about, I read Sister Mary N Cook’s talk from the October 2007 session of General Conference, entitled “Strengthen Home and Family”. In her talk, sister Cook stresses the importance of a line from the Young Women’s Theme: “we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.” Sister Cook then goes on to explain that while this is in the Young Women’s theme, it applies to everyone. We can each do our part to aid the family, be a peacemaker, and bring the family closer to Christ.
            As I was writing this talk, two of my siblings got into an argument. As it got more and more heated, I struggled to keep on writing. How was I supposed to write a talk on family when mine was arguing so much? In desperation, I texted my parents about my predicament, and my mother sent this back:
            “The point isn’t that families should be perfect. Living in families teaches us.” What a perfect response to my message! It brought peace of mind, and helped calm me down. As the saying goes, “we may not have it all together, but together, we have it all”. These words are so true in regards to families. So many of us may feel pressured to have the perfect family, or we may compare our situation to others, misguidedly comparing their strengths to our weaknesses. The reason Heavenly Father put us into families wasn’t to see who could be the best family, or the strongest family, or the most attractive family. He gave us our families because He knew we needed each other to make it through this life. He gave us hard times to make us stronger and to make the good times that much sweeter.
            In regards to strengthening our families, Sister Cook spoke about how that strengthening can come from you, individually. Strive to be the peacemaker in the home, strive to help the family draw closer to Christ through righteous examples, and serve each member of your family with your whole heart. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but small, simple acts of love add up.
            Sister Cook also mentioned the importance of prayers. She posed the question, “who in my family could benefit most from my personal prayers?” and “what could I do to support and encourage family prayer?” Praying may seem like a small thing, but by doing it daily with your family and on your own it will help the Spirit stay in the home. Pray for your family members; they may need it more than you think.
            In the hymn, “Love at Home”, the second verse reads: “in the cottage there is joy when there’s love at home, hate and envy ne’er annoy, when there’s love at home.” I have noticed the power and truth of these words in my own home when we are living in a way that is harmonious with Christ’s teachings. When we are each genuinely trying to be loving and kind to one another, the atmosphere within our home changes, and there is a noticeable Spirit in the home. Habits and sayings that would usually irritate become less of a bother, and we’re just… Happier! I dearly hope that each of you has or will experience that peace at some time or another. I know it’s definitely not easy, but it will pay off temporally and spiritually for sure.
            As I read M. Russell Ballard’s talk from the October 2005 session of General Conference, “What Matters Most is What Lasts Longest,” he speaks about how in times of crisis we turn to our families for strength and for comfort. They are our rock, our foundation, and if we weren’t blessed with a family, we would have almost no one to turn to in times of trial.
            Some dear friends of ours recently lost their home in a devastating fire, and while they do not have any of their temporal pleasures, they have the most important thing: their family. When I heard of this tragedy, the thought that stood out most in my mind was that every member of their precious family was safe, and at the end of the day, that’s all that mattered. Possessions aren’t forever, but family is. How grateful I am to know that in times of peril, I have the loving arms of my family to turn to, and how wonderful it is to know that we will be together for eternity, with our immediate family members in addition to our ancestors.
            I would like to bear my testimony of the blessing of eternal families. I know that even though they may sometimes frustrate me, I will never be more loved than I am when I’m with my family. I’m blessed to have wonderful parents who love me and teach me through righteous examples. I’m grateful to have such sweet siblings who love me and challenge me to be a better person. I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally and wants nothing more than for all His children to make it back home safely. I know that my family will be together forever through covenants made in the temple, and I truly testify of the peace that comes when we live in harmony with the Spirit. I say these things in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, amen.

-DQ#1

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