LDS Writer Blogfest: Establishing a Christ-Centered Home

Every April and October members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) gather around the world (usually in front of their computers/TVs) to listen to the inspired words given in General Conference. Some LDS writers and I are sharing our favorite talk (think sermon). For more information, click here.

I chose to write about Establishing a Christ-Centered Home by Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy as a result of recent problems with my ten year old.

Elder Maynes teaches us that: “Parents are responsible to teach their children in love and righteousness. Parents will be held accountable before the Lord in how they perform their sacred responsibilities.” I felt the Spirit when he said that and knew I was sometimes lacking in the ‘love and righteous’ parts of my teachings when it comes to my ten-year-old’s behavior. He goes on with “Parents teach their children with words and through example,” and realized I needed to parent with more love when conflict arises in my home.

When he told us how he and Sister Maynes held weekly family home evenings, I cringed. My husband Jim and I are both converts, and did not grow up with weekly family home evening lessons, so we often struggle to remember to hold them now that our children are older. When they were toddlers, we lived in a quiet neighborhood with almost two acres of land. We did not have the distractions of constant ringing of our doorbell that we  have in our wonderful but busy neighborhood today, so bringing up family home evenings on Mondays are met with gnashing of the teeth (sometimes literally).

One of my favorites quotes from Elder Maynes is: “Our eternal happiness is not one of Satan’s objectives. He knows that an essential key to making men and women miserable like himself is to deprive them of family relationships which have eternal potential. Because Satan understands that true happiness in this life and in the eternities is found in the form of family, he does everything in his power to destroy it.”

Elder Maynes states: “We understand and believe in the eternal nature of the family. This understanding and belief should inspire us to do everything in our power to establish a Christ-centered home…..there is great power and protection for us and our youth in establishing celestial traditions in the home.” I feel inspired to hold family home evenings every Monday night and read scriptures as a family every day, and I know the Lord will bless our family and protect us from the distractions of the world.

Please read the talks from the participating LDS bloggers:

Annette Lyon: “Desire”
Annie Cechini: “The Spirit of Revelation”
Ben Spendlove: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Chantele Sedgwick: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Charity Bradford: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Jackee Alston: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Jenilyn Tolley: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Jessie Oliveros: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jolene Perry: “It’s Conference Once Again”
Jordan McCollum: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Kasey Tross: “Guided by the Holy Spirit”
Kayeleen Hamblin: “Become as a Little Child”
Kelly Bryson: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Krista Van Dolzer: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Melanie Stanford: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Michelle Merrill: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Myrna Foster: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Nisa Swineford: “Desire”
Sallee Mathews: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Sierra Gardner: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
The Writing Lair: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”

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30 thoughts on “LDS Writer Blogfest: Establishing a Christ-Centered Home

  1. Elder Bednar recently came to address YSA’s on the east coast and described how Family Home Evenings in his home were often exercises in frustration, with him and his wife trying to get their antsy boys to pay attention. It made me feel so much better knowing that this is a normal experience but that (apparently) the kids still get something out of it.

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    • I love Elder Bednar, he gives wonderful talks! I’ve heard a number of General Authorities say their children did not seem interested in the family lessons, yet were grateful for them when they were adults. I need to be more consistent with holding family home evening each week…

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  2. I love that we can have simple things to help us achieve our goals. Want a happier family? Have family home evening.

    Okay. Easier said than done, but at least we know what works. Thanks for the post!

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  3. I grew up in the church with weekly family home evenings and I still struggle to have them now as an adult. So many other things take over, I forget, I’m too stressed… that talk is a great reminder of how important FHE is. I swear, I need those constant reminders!

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    • Stress is the biggest factor for me. And the door bell ringing by the neighbor kids, lol. I need constant reminders; I recently placed a picture of Jesus on my desk to remind me where my priorities need to be….

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  4. Oh man, our family home evening two weeks ago turned into a brawl and girl #2 tried to put on her shoes and run away. I’m thinking maybe we should start with a treat and teach the lesson while the kids are eating.

    BTW, who was it that used the term Bedlamites in conference?

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  5. I loved this talk as well. I also cringed when he talked about having family home evening. We try, but sometimes it’s so hard to just sit down and do it. I’ll definitely try to do better though! 🙂
    Thanks for this post. It’s nice to meet you! 🙂

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  6. We do okay with having home evenings, but we’re still working on home evenings without yelling and/or tears ;D
    Every once in a while it all comes together – usually just before either my husband or I is ready to scrap the whole thing…

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  7. Isn’t it funny how words can strike up to the heart and give us the desire to do better? For me it was all the talk about the sacrifices people make to attend the temple. That was my shame moment. My hubby and I set some new goals and Satan is already doing his best to keep us from accomplishing them. *sigh* We will overcome!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and good luck with the FHE!

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  8. Thanks, Krista. Me and my family and were baptized when I was 9, but I was the only one to attend church on a somewhat regular basis. When I was a teenager, sometimes I would hold and teach FHE, but my dad wasn’t too supportive…

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  9. Great insight! It’s hard to do those little things with family, I think. I find myself so often saying, we’ll skip prayer/FHE/scriptures just this once. But then the habit is broken and I have to start all over again reestablishing it. I feel your pain!

    Thanks for sharing and it’s great to “meet” you, Jennifer. 🙂

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  10. I posted about the same talk! My parents were converts, and although they tried we didn’t have FHE regularly. However, I remember the times that we did. Actually, when I was very little I didn’t know it was called Family Home EVENING. My parents called it Family Home Nightmare (guess why) and the name kind of stuck.

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    • Family Home Nightmare, LOL, I like that name…..we sometimes call it Family Home Screaming 🙂 I remember the few times I held FHE for my parents and brother when I was either a teenager or early twenties (can’t remember when) and wanted my children to grow up with it each week when I had my family…. Nice to “meet” you 🙂

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  11. Hi there! I’m trying to get around to all the other LDS bloggers’ posts. I loved your personal connection to this talk, and let me tell you, I was raised in an LDS home, but by two converts, and so we didn’t have a regular FHE very often. Now that I have 3 kids of my own I have tried to make it a priority, but there are often long stretches of time where it just doesn’t happen! One thing that has really helped me is to just do what I can and remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. If it’s 7:45 on a Monday night and suddenly I remember FHE then we might just pull out a board game to do together, or just read a quick story from the Friend magazine. Remember, a little of something is better than nothing at all. It doesn’t have a to be a production. The important thing is that you’re trying!! Keep the faith, girl! Thanks for your words!!

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Kasey! It’s wonderful to read all these posts about Conference. My husband and I will start holding FHE during dinner for the spiritual part of the lesson, (so they can’t leave) and then move on to a game and ice cream afterwords. Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂

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