A Year of Strengthening Family Quotes

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January

"No nation can rise above its homes. The church, the school, and even the nation, stand helpless before a weakened and degraded home, in building character. The good home is the rock foundation—the cornerstone of civilization. If this, our nation, is to endure, the home must be safeguarded, strengthened, and restored to its rightful importance."

Ezra Taft Benson, "Conference Report," April 1949, Afternoon Meeting, p.196


"If we are practicing our faith and seeking the companionship of the Holy Spirit, his presence can be felt in our hearts and in our homes.  A family having daily family prayers and seeking to keep the commandments of God and honor his name and speak lovingly to one another will have a spiritual feeling in their home that will be discernible to all  who enter it.  I know this, because I have felt the presence or absence of that feeling in many LDS homes."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks,
CR October 1996.


From the book Knit Together in Love:

"The greatest forces in the world are being used against families and traditional family values.  These values are being undermined in subtle and in not-so-subtle ways.  Because of this assault on family values, it takes all of your best efforts to fortify your family.  It takes hard work and planning.  It takes sacrifice.  'In the setting of the family...may I suggest that we give more of ourselves.'"


David O. McKay:

"The founding of the home is as sacred a work as the founding of a church."


"The prophets have taught repeatedly that families should teach one another the gospel, preferably in a weekly family home evening. This family practice, if we are not very careful, can slowly drift away from us. We must not lose this special opportunity to "teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom" (D&C 88:77), which will lead families to eternal life."

M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, May 1987


February

"As we faithfully hold quality family home evenings, we 'will gain strength to withstand the temptations of the world and will receive many blessings which will help qualify [us] to enjoy [our] families through eternity in the Celestial Kingdom' (the First Presidency, Family Home Evening, manual, 1978, p. 2). If the prophet bid us do some great thing for so great a blessing, would we do it? Holding regular family home evening is such a small thing we can do to obtain these great blessings."

Elder Rex D. Pinegar, The Simple Things, General Conference, October 1994


Former First Lady Barbara Bush, Commencement Address at Wellesley College, 1990:

"As important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer, or business leader will be, you are a human being first, and those human connections—with spouses, with children, with friends—are the most important investments you will ever make.  At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal.  You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent...Our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house."


"Family prayer is the greatest deterrent to sin, and hence the most beneficent provider of joy and happiness. The old saying is yet true:     The family that prays together stays together."

Thomas S. Monson  (Ensign, November 1988 page 69)


"The Lord expects us to strengthen the family — an institution of God — by supporting, sustaining, strengthening and teaching one another.

"The family is falling apart all over the world.  Young people who come out of homes without roots, wander aimlessly, destroying their lives with drugs and other practices, joining gangs, molesting and even shooting one another.

"[The family] was designed for His eternal purposes, to bring happiness into the lives of His children.  Fatherhood and motherhood are blessings without peer.
     
"It is this family solidarity which is the only hope I see for the future of our nation."

President Gordon B. Hinckley
Madison Square Garden, N.Y., April, 1998


President Gordon B. Hinckley (April 25, 1998) said the families of Latter-day Saints ought to be "the best families under the heavens."
       
"Brothers and sisters, there is much of trouble in the homes of our people.  There is much of unkindness, of unkind words, of bitterness, of hatred even, in the homes of our people.  We deal with it constantly.  This is a day of repentance when you and I can turn around and face up to our responsibilities as husbands and wives, as fathers, as parents, and as children.
       
"The family is a creation of God.  It is the basic unit of society.  All else depends on it.  If the family falls apart, the nation falls apart.  There isn't the slightest question in my mind concerning that."
       
He said that Latter-day Saint families have more light and knowledge and understanding than is had by any other people on the face of the earth.  "Great are the blessings that are promised.  Marvelous are the gifts of God, which are given us out of His love when we are so married.  Take a good look at ourselves and see if we are the kind of husbands we ought to be.  If we are the kinds of wives we ought to be.  If we are the kinds of parents we ought to be.  If we are the kind of children we ought to be."

(Columbus, Ohio—to about 6,800 people in the Polaris Amphitheater.  Church News,  May 9, 1998)


March

"Many things will not get better until we have better families, but this will require much more self-denial, not less."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Apr.  Conf.  1995


"The strength of the nations lies in the homes of the people.  God is the designer of the family.  He intended that the greatest of happiness, the most satisfying aspects of life, the deepest joys should come in our associations together and our concerns one for another as fathers and mothers and children.
     
"God bless the homes of our people.  May He bless those homes that there may be loyal and true fathers, and good and wonderful mothers, and obedient and ambitious children reared in 'the nurture and admonition of the Lord'."
 
President Gordon B. Hinckley,  CR  April 1991


"Elder Harold B. Lee added a new dimension to our understanding of Malachi's prophecy.  He explained that one objective of Church programs, such as family home evening, is 'to turn here upon the earth, the hearts of parents to children and the hearts of the children to parents.  Can you believe that when parents have passed beyond the veil that then is the only time when parents should have their hearts turned to their children and children to their parents?... Maybe it is time for us to think of turning the hearts of parents to children now while living in order that, after they are gone to the beyond, there might be that bond between parents and children that might last beyond death.'"

Harold B. Lee, Preparing to Meet the Lord, Oakland Temple Dedication, November 1964 
as quoted by Richard O. Cowan in The Doctrine and Covenants: Our Modern Scripture


"Brothers and sisters, of all the places where our charitable acts should shine forth, where our discipleship must rise above the weaknesses of self, the family is the most important place.  There is no other setting that comes close in comparison.  Yet many—far too many—are more charitable to others than to their own."

H. Burke Peterson
"Our Responsibility to Care for Our Own"
General Conference, April 1981


"You can do nothing better for your children than to have them taking their turn in the family prayer, expressing gratitude for their blessings.  If they do that while they are young, they will grow with a spirit of thanksgiving in their hearts."

Gordon B. Hinckley, fireside, Naha Okinawa Japan Stake and Okinawa Japan Military District, 20 May 1996


April

"This world will be no better than its homes."

Richard L. Evans,  Area Conference Report (England)  8/71:71


"Have the same courtesy in your homes that you have when you are out in society.  Thank your wives; thank your children; and say, 'If you please,' 'Excuse me.'  These little things mean so much and make life so much sweeter."

David O. McKay  (Improvement Era, December 1968, p. 109)


"No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

President David O. McKay, Improvement Era, June 1964, p. 445


"The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evils around us."

President Spencer W. Kimball  -  Ensign, November 1980


"Every home has both body and spirit.  You may have a beautiful house with all the decorations that modern art can give or wealth bestow.  You may have all the outward forms that will please the eye and yet not have a home.  It is not home without love.  It may be a hovel, a log hut, a tent, a wickiup, if you have the right spirit within, the true love of Christ, and love for one another . . . you have the true life of the home that [we] build and are trying to establish"

David O. McKay  (General Conference Report, 1907, page 63)


May

"The strength of any nation is rooted within the walls of its homes."

President Gordon B. Hinckley


"God knows the feelings in every human heart.  He can soften sorrow and lead when there seems to be no light.  Prayer can give guidance and confidence.  It reminds us that no one need be alone in this world.  If all else fails, remember:  God and one other person can be a family."

Marvin J. Ashton  (Ensign, May 1988, page 64)


 "There is an art to being a homemaker.  For ourselves and for our families, it is important that we have a sanctuary ~ a place of refuge away from the world where we feel comfortable and where, if others come, they, too, can feel comfortable."

Barbara Winder General President of the Relief Society.
"Enriching and protecting the home,"  Ensign, Mar. 1986 p. 20


"Do you spend as much time making your family and home successful as you do in pursuing social and professional success? Are you devoting your best creative energy to the most important unit in society—the family? Or is your relationship with your family merely a routine, unrewarding part of life? Parent and child must be willing to put family responsibilities first in order to achieve family exaltation."

Joseph Fielding Smith
"Message from the First Presidency,"
"Ensign," Jan. 1971, 1


"Here are the promised blessings for those who will hold a weekly home evening:  'If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result.  Love at home and obedience to parents will increase.  Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them.'

First Presidency, April 27, 1915, in Improvement Era 18:733-34
Ezra Taft Benson,  "God, Family, Country" p. 228


June

"Permanent  homes in which sweet contentment abides are the strength of any nation. . .

President  David O.  McKay


"As societies as a whole have decayed and lost their moral identity and so many homes are broken, the best hope is to turn greater attention and effort to the teaching of the next generation —our children. In order to do this, we must first reinforce the primary teachers of children. Chief among these are the parents and other family members, and the best environment should be in the home. Somehow, some way, we must try harder to make our homes stronger so that they will stand as sanctuaries against the unwholesome, pervasive moral dry rot around us. Harmony, happiness, peace, and love in the home can help give children the required inner strength to cope with life's challenges."

James E. Faust, "The Greatest Challenge in the World—Good Parenting," Ensign, November 1990,  p.32


"In a profound sense, a family is not alone.  When it is consecrated to the Lord's work, His Spirit will always be with them."

Barbara B. Smith  (Ensign, November 1981, page 85)


"I wonder if having casual and infrequent family home evening will be enough in the future to fortify our children with sufficient moral strength.  In the future, infrequent family scripture study may be inadequate to arm our children with the virtue necessary to withstand the moral decay of the environment in which they will live.  Where in the world will the children learn chastity, integrity honesty, and basic human decency if not at home.     These values will, of course, be reinforced at church, but parental teaching is more constant."

Elder James E. Faust
"The Greatest Challenge In The World—Good Parenting" -  General Conference, October 1990


"The family circle is the ideal place to demonstrate and learn kindness, forgiveness, faith in God, and every other practicing virtue of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks - Ensign, June 1985, 9


July

"We emphasize that the greatest work you will do will be within the walls of your home."

President Harold B. Lee, Ensign, July 1973, p. 98


David B. Haight:

"The evidence is overwhelming and the need so critical for a strong bond of respect and admiration in our homes. The trend is growing more acute daily.  Latter-day Saint parents must analyze the foundation on which their homes are being built, for the rains of evil are descending.  Parents must prayerfully prepare for their particular family needs."

"A Foundation Whereon Men Cannot Fall"
General Conference, April 1972 


"One of the great challenges that faces us, and I think that faces the Western World, is to keep the family intact and viable and strong — father, mother, children working together to accomplish something — that is a great challenge.  To me it is wonderfully refreshing to see our Latter-day Saint families, little children with fathers and mothers who love them and care for them and nurture them and lead them along and would do anything in the world to help them.  I think we are building a future for the Church and also a future for the nation of which we are a part — every nation across the world.  You can't have good people with good homes and not materially affect the course of the nation.  No nation is stronger than the homes of its people."

President Gordon B. Hinckley — From Church News interview, Nov. 2, 1999
(published in Church News Feb. 3, 2001)


"The home is the laboratory of our lives, and what we learn there largely determines what we do when we leave there."

Thomas S. Monson (November 1988 Ensign)


Elder Boyd K. Packer said to the single members of the Church, "We talk a lot about families.  Sometimes in bitterness, you will want to say 'all this talk about families, but I don't have a family, and… ,' stop there!  Don't add that extra phrase, 'I wish they would stop talking so much about families.' You pray that we do keep talking about families; about fathers and mothers and children and family home evening, temple marriage and companionship and all of the rest, because all of that will be yours.  If we stop talking about it, then you, among all others, will be the losers."

Melchizedek Priesthood MIA Conference, June 1973


August

"Good homes are still the best source of good humans."

Neal A. Maxwell (Ensign, October 1974, page 71)


"I like to compare the home evening, family prayer, and other associated activities of the Church for the saving of the family, when they are conscientiously carried out, with an umbrella. If the umbrella is not opened up, it is little more than a cane and can give little protection from the storms of nature. Likewise, God-given plans are of little value unless they are used."

Spencer W. Kimball,    General Conference, October 1969


"We can learn to serve and to forgive within our sample of humanity, including settings no larger than the family or friendships. "

Elder Neal A. Maxwell - Ensign, May 2000, 74


"Our Heavenly Father has organized us into families for the purpose of helping us successfully meet the trials and challenges of life.  The home also exists to bless us with the joys and privileges of family associations.  Our family is our safety place, our support network, our sanctuary, and our salvation."

 Rex D. Pinegar, "Home First," Ensign, May 1990, p. 9


"There has never been a time when the world was in greater need of the strength and security that are best sown and cultivated in the deep, fertile soil of family love."

Elder M. Russell Ballard - Ensign, June 2003, 14


September

"We have to keep the commandments and conduct ourselves in such a way that our families will want to live with us in the eternities. "

Elder Robert D. Hales  -  Ensign, Nov. 1996, 65


From the book The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson:

"The Church teaches that everything should center in and around the family.  It stresses that the preservation of family life in time and eternity takes precedence above all other interests."


N. Eldon Tanner on Family Prayer

"Family prayer in any home will draw the family closer together and result in better feelings between father and mother, between parents and children, and between one child and another. If children pray for their parents, it makes them more appreciative of their parents, and as they pray for one another, they feel closer to one another and part of each other, especially as they realize that they are talking to their Father in heaven while on their knees in family or secret prayer. Then is when we forget our differences and think of the best in others, and pray for their well-being and for strength to overcome our own weaknesses. There is no doubt that we are better people when we try to tune in to the spirit of our Father in heaven so that we might communicate with him and express our desire to do his will as we pray for his blessings."

(Conference Report, October 1967, p. 56)


"I hope, my brothers and sisters, that you are having your family home evenings with your children.  You cannot afford to postpone this.  The days, the months, and the years pass so quickly, and before long it will be too late. "

President Gordon B. Hinckley  -  Veracruz,  Mexico, January 28, 1996


"The family is a creation of the Almighty. It represents the most sacred of all relationships. It represents the most serious of all undertakings. It is the fundamental organization of society."

President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 2005, p. 8


October

"Homemaker is the ultimate career.  All other careers exist for one purpose only—-to support the ultimate career!"

 C. S. Lewis


A few years ago, Bishop Stanley Smoot was interviewed by President Spencer W. Kimball.  President Kimball asked, "How often do you have family prayer?"

Bishop Smoot answered, "We try to have family prayer twice a day, but we average about once."

President Kimball answered, "In the past, having family prayer once a day may have been all right. But in the future it will not be enough if we are going to save our families."

"The Greatest Challenge In The World— Good Parenting", General Conference, October 1990;
see Ensign, Nov 1990, p. 33


"No service in the Church or in the community transcends that given in the home."

President Boyd K. Packer  -  Ensign, Nov. 1997, 7


"If we do not teach our children, society will.  And they—and we—will live with the results."

Stephen R. Covey
Book:  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families


"No other activities should involve our family members on Monday night. This designated time is to be with our families."

Elder L. Tom Perry - Ensign, May 2003, 42


November

"Sending your child out the door without family prayer is like sending him out in a snowstorm without a coat."

"If the foundation of a well-ordered society is a healthy, happy home, then the problem of lawlessness will not be solved by more laws or legislation; but by fathers and mothers exerting a moral influence and example in their own families, tempered with love and understanding."

J. Spencer Kinard


"My sincere counsel to you today is to recommit yourselves to these two basic practices that have been the source of so many blessings....Never let a day go by without holding family prayer and family scripture study.  Put this, the Lord's program, to the test and see if it does not bless your home with greater peace, hope, love, and faith.
       
"I promise you that daily family prayer and scripture study will build within the walls of your home a security and bonding that will enrich your lives and prepare your families to meet the challenges of today and the eternities to come."

L. Tom Perry, "Back to Gospel Basics," General Conference, April 1993; see Ensign May 1993, p. 92


"Say your prayers always before going to work.  Never forget that.  A father—the head of the family—should never miss calling his family together and dedicating himself and them to the Lord of Hosts, asking the guidance and direction of his Holy Spirit to lead them through the day—that very day.  Lead us this day, guide us this day, preserve us this day, save us from sinning against thee or any being in heaven or on earth this day!  If we do this every day, the last day we live we will be prepared to enjoy a higher glory."

"Journal of Discourses", 12:261
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 45-46


"Some business leaders have also looked at the family home evening program and recommended it to their employees.  Employees do better work when things are going well at home."

Repeated by: Loren C. Dunn, "Our Precious Families," Ensign, Nov. 1974, 9


December

"I feel satisfied that there is no adequate substitute for the morning and evening practice of kneeling together—father, mother, and children."

President Gordon B. Hinckley  -  Ensign, Feb. 1991, 2


"A wise father ... counseled, "Son, if you ever find yourself in a place you shouldn't ought to be - get out!" Good advice for a son.  Good advice for a father, too."

Thomas S. Monson  (Ensign, May 1989, page 44)


"Did you pray in your family this morning?"  "No."  "Why?"  "I was in too much of a hurry."  Stop!  Wait!  When you get up in the morning, before you suffer yourselves to eat one mouthful of food, call your wives and children together, bow down before the Lord, ask him to forgive your sins, and protect you through the day, to preserve you from temptation and all evil, to guide your steps aright, that you may do something that day that shall be beneficial to the Kingdom of God on the earth.  Have you time to do this?  Elders, sisters, have you time to pray?

Brigham Young,  JD  15:36


"It often takes a seemingly superhuman effort to get everyone together for family home evening. You may not always feel like praying when you finally do get together, but it will pay great dividends if you persevere."

James E. Faust, "Enriching Our Lives through Family Home Evening," Liahona, June 2003, 4


"The family should kneel together daily in family prayer. Alma 58:10 tells us: 'Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people.'  Our family has always needed to be strengthened—and still does—and kneeling in prayer daily certainly helps.  Children need to be constantly taught how they should act when they mature and have their own families."

LeGrand R. Curtis, "Happiness Is Homemade," Ensign, November 1990, p. 13