Thursday, May 1, 2008

The priesthood can bless and strengthen my family.

May 2008, Talk #4

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God.

Through the priesthood God created and governs the heavens
and the earth.

God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name.

We must have priesthood authority to act in the name of God when performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel, such as baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and temple marriage.

The most important exercise of the priesthood takes place in the family. Each husband and father in the Church should strive to be worthy to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. With his wife as an equal partner, he presides in righteousness and love, serving as the family’s spiritual leader. He leads the family in regular prayer, scripture study, and family home evening.

He works with his wife to teach the children and help them prepare to receive the ordinances of salvation. He gives priesthood blessings for direction, healing, and comfort.

Young men who are members of the church can be ordained to the priesthood when they are 12 years old. Some of you may have an older brother who is a deacon, teacher or priest. These young men can also bring the blessings of the priesthood into our homes.

If your family does not have anyone who holds the priesthood, then your home teachers, priesthood leadership, or members of your ward can help your family to receive the blessings of the priesthood in your home.

Elder Douglas L. Callister of the Seventy shared the following story about the blessings of the priesthood in his family:

Years ago our youngest child had a serious bone tumor in his lower back. When he was taken to the hospital for surgery, I overheard the doctors in the hallway talking about his condition. They said it was likely that nothing could be done to save our boy’s life.

When I went back in my son’s room, I tried to encourage him. I assured him that he was receiving the finest medical care. He said, “Daddy, I’m not counting on the doctors. I’m counting on my blessing. You laid your hands on my head, and you blessed me. And I have faith that the blessing will be fulfilled.”

My son was healed. His life is an example of the power of a priesthood blessing. One of the lessons I’ve learned through my Church service is that our Father in Heaven loves little children. He loves to bless them, and He often blesses them through His priesthood servants.
Friend, Jul 2006, 8–9

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that Heavenly Father has given worthy men the power to act in his name. I know that our families can be blessed by this priesthood power.

Scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening can strengthen my family

May 2008, Talk #3

In 1915 President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency began a Churchwide effort to strengthen the family. They called on parents in the Church to gather their children once each week for a “Home Evening.” Families were to take time to pray and sing together, read the scriptures, teach the gospel to one another, and participate in other activities that would build family unity.

For more than ninety years our living prophets have counseled member of the church to hold regular Family Home evenings.

We can learn about working, serving, and playing together in family home evening. Prophets have promised us that our families will grow stronger when we use this time to study gospel principles and enjoy being together.

President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “Families must spend more time together in work and recreation. Family home evenings should be scheduled once a week as a time for recreation, work projects, skits, songs around the piano, games, special refreshments, and family prayers. … This practice will bind a family together, in love, pride, tradition, strength, and loyalty” (Ensign, Nov. 1982, 60).

We have also been instructed to study the scriptures as a family and to have family prayer. When we study and pray together as a family, we grow closer to the lord. We are able to discuss what we are learning and how, as a family we can apply the teachings of the scriptures in our lives.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: "“Parents, safeguard your families. Pray together. There is no substitute for family prayer when all kneel together before the Lord.”

I know that by following the council of our prophets, my family is strengthened and blessed.

I know that it is important to have Family Home Evening, and to have family scripture study and prayer. I know that when we do these things, our family is blessed and that I can feel the warmth of the Holy Ghost.

Each member of my family has a divine role.

May 2008, Talk #2

Each person has an important place in his or her family.
Through prophets the Lord has explained how fathers,
mothers, and children should behave and feel toward one

Each of us need to learn what the Lord expects us to do to fulfill our purpose as a family. If we all do our part, we will be able to live together as a family forever.

Some families have a mother, a father and children. Other families do not. Not all families are the same, and that is OK.

Mothers and fathers have certain responsibilities within the family. They should be examples to their children and teach them right from wrong.

It is the duty of the father to provide for the physical needs of the family. This means that he makes sure that all members of his family have the necessary food, housing, clothing and education. The father is also responsible for bringing the blessings of the priesthood to family members.

Mothers have the sacred responsibility to care for and teach her children. She also helps to make the home a warm and loving place to be.

As members of families children have responsibilities too. Children share the responsibility of building a happy home with their parents. Children should obey the commandments and cooperate with other family members. Children are commanded to honor their parents.

President Spencer W. Kimball said that children should learn
to work and to share responsibilities in the home and yard.
They should be given assignments to keep the house neat and

When each member of a family understands their role and accepts the responsibilities that come along with it, our homes can be happy and cheerful places where the spirit of the Lord can dwell.

I am very thankful for my family. I am thankful that we have prophets who have taught us about our responsibilities as members of families. I love my family and I know that if we all do our part we can be together forever.

Families in the scriptures teach me how to strengthen my family.

May 2008, Talk #1

The scriptures are full of stories about families. Adam and Eve were the first family that Heavenly Father sent to earth. We can read about them in the first book of the Bible, Genesis.

Adam and Eve were good parents. We know that they taught their children the gospel. Heavenly Father gave our parents children to care for and to love until they return to him someday.

He wants us all to learn how to be worthy to live with him after this life. Heavenly Father expects parents to teach their children the commandments and to take care of their children’s needs. This
is a great responsibility for our parents.

Heavenly father has taught us that children should love and honor their parents. We can show love for our parents in many different ways.

Two ways that we can love and honor our parents is by being helpful and obedient. When we do these things, we not only show our love for our earthly parents, we also show our love to Heavenly Father.

We can find many stories in the scriptures that are examples of children helping and obeying their parents.

Nephi was obedient when his father Lehi instructed his family that they needed to leave their home and many of their belongings behind so that they could flee the wickedness of their city.

Moroni helped his father by continuing to record the history of his people. Because Moroni was obedient, we are blessed to have the Book of Mormon to help us today.

I am glad that we can read about families in the scriptures. I know that their stories can help me learn how to strengthen my family. I know that by being helpful and obedient my I can help my family to be closer to Heavenly Father.