Surely you can see what the adversary is about

Elder Boyd K. Packer

I know of nothing in the history of the Church or in the history of the world to compare with our present circumstances. Nothing happened in Sodom and Gomorrah which exceeds the wickedness and depravity which surrounds us now.

Satan uses every intrigue to disrupt the family. The sacred relationship between man and woman, husband and wife, through which mortal bodies are conceived and life is passed from one generation to the next generation, is being showered with filth.

Profanity, vulgarity, blasphemy, and pornography are broadcast into the homes and minds of the innocent. Unspeakable wickedness, perversion, and abuse—not even exempting little children—once hidden in dark places, now seeks protection from courts and judges.

….The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were localized. They are now spread across the world, wherever the Church is. The first line of defense— the home—is crumbling. Surely you can see what the adversary is about.

“On  the Shoulder of Giants,” Elder Boyd K. Packer, printed in the J. Reuben Clark Law School’s Clark Memorandum, Fall 2004

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Former Columbian FARC hostage speaks about what matters most

Elder Ballard says what matters most is what lasts longest. That’s confirmed in this statement from one of the former FARC hostages recently released in Columbia.

“Before this [I] was a guy that was kind of a typical American guy that was working, busy working, running through a life full-speed,” he said. “I had a little boy when we crashed that was 5 years old, another one 15. Had a wife who was back in the States; we just got a house. I had 12 nights in the house of my dreams in the States,” he said.

“And suddenly, we drop off the face of the Earth.”

He said, “When you’re in our situation, we realize what’s important. We know. The three of us know better than any of you guys out there, it’s the family. And I’d like everyone to listen very closely to that.”

Thomas Howe
Source: CNN

Seize the defining moments in your family

I need to read and remember this counsel over and over:

A word now about our own families. Some of us are older; some are in mid-passage; others have yet to begin. Some of us are parents, and some, grandparents. Grandparents have empty nests. Such emptyings are part of the plan, of course. Yet, since our flocks have left their nests, we find ourselves remembering and savoring precious days now irrevocably past. We listen in vain but with eager ears for children’s voices we once thought too shrill, too constant—even irritating. Yet that cacophony of children, which we once called noise, was actually sweet sound, a sound we yearn to hear again if we but could.

For the rest of you now amid the cacophony, seize the defining moments. Make more Mary-like choices and show less Martha-like anxiety. What are calories anyway, compared to special conversations? Of course, meals need to be served and consumed, but the mentoring memories will not be taken from you.

Neal A. Maxwell, “The Precious Promise,” Ensign, Apr 2004, 42

The adversary's attacks on the family

When Satan wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn’t poison the world’s peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church’s missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn’t send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn’t legislate against green Jell-O or casseroles. When Satan truly wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he attempts to confuse gender and he attacks God’s plan for His children. He works to drive a wedge of disharmony between a father and a mother. He entices children to be disobedient to their parents. He makes family home evening and family prayer inconvenient. He suggests family scripture study is impractical. That’s all it takes, because Satan knows that the surest and most effective way to disrupt the Lord’s work is to diminish the effectiveness of the family and the sanctity of the home.

Look at what he accomplishes when he does that. Couples unhappy in their marriages tend not to give appropriate gospel instruction in the home. They are less likely to be committed to gospel principles in their own lives. Some drift from the Church. Apathy can overcome even active members, keeping them away from the temple and weakening their capacity to be effective leaders and teachers—thus leaving countless lives untouched and slowing the Lord’s work. And the Internet when not properly used is a vicious influence in the home. So we know, without question, Lucifer is the enemy of the family!

Elder M. Russell Ballard, “The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood,” Ensign, Mar 2006, 26–33

Homes are made permanent through love

David O. McKay Homes are made permanent through love. Oh, then, let love abound! If you feel that you have not the love of your children, live to get it. Though you neglect some of the cattle, though you fall short in some material matters, study and work and pray to hold your children’s love.

Clare Middlemiss, comp., Man May Know for Himself: Teachings of President David O. McKay (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1969), p. 227. Quoted by James MacArthur in his BYU devotional.

Everyone should have a day like that

I love this description of a marine’s journey home from the war in Iraq. The author is Brian Taylor (who happens to be a Latter-day Saint), and the source is

“When we got off the plane at March Air Force Base near Camp Pendleton, Calif., there were two fire trucks on the flight line pumping great jets of water high in the air. I thought, “Don’t they know there’s a drought on?” But then I realized it was a tribute to us. We traveled by bus to Camp Pendleton, where our families waited. My brother Greg and my parents were there. My wife, Shari, and our three children were there. Fox Company marched down the road to where the cheering crowd waited and then the formation disintegrated as families found each other in the street.

“Shari put three-month-old John in my arms. I held and kissed him for the first time while Jane and Keith climbed all over me. I kissed my wife. I held my mother for a time, and then my children pulled me down to the curb so they could have their turn.

“Everyone should have a day like that. Parents should greet their children with undisguised affection as if they just returned from the war, the way I greeted Jane, Keith and John, and the way my mother and father greeted me. Husbands should regard their wives the way I regarded Shari, like a found treasure. The hardships my wife endured during my deployment transformed her into a stronger, lovelier woman.

“I felt enormously rich, and I hoped all the Marines there felt as fortunate as I did. I suffered a flash of pain for Marines and families whose homecomings might be at all imperfect, and for those who would have no homecoming at all. But for the moment I was pressed on all sides by hugs and cameras, kisses and questions. It was a great day. It was my best day.

Semper Fidelis.”