Because I love my family, I have always strived to be able to set an example, to explain, persuade, demonstrate, pray, fast, play, correct and be corrected, as well as perform the ordinances of salvation for my family, and follow as much as possible the example of our Savior Jesus Christ in the way He has served his children.
“And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.”1
“…[F]ollowing the example of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.”2
Jesus Christ set an example for us in all things, in baptism, prayer, judgment, wisdom, compassion, forgiveness, humility, obedience, mercy, kindness and persuasion.
One of the tools we have in the church to strengthen, unite, make plans, goals, pray, answer doctrinal questions and to have a joyful time is family home evening, where we can demonstrate Jesus Christ´s example.
As it says in the Seminaries and Institute Manual Gospel Teaching and Learning: “He loved them, prayed for them, and continually served them. He found opportunities to be with them and to express His love. He knew their interests, hopes, and desires and what was happening in their lives.
“He knew who they were and who they could become. He found unique ways to help them learn and grow—ways meant just for them. When they struggled, He did not give up on them but continued to love them and minister to them.
“He prepared Himself.... …He sought His Heavenly Father’s guidance.”3
Sometimes the biggest challenge is the desire to have a perfect family home evening. I remember the difficulties we sometimes had in coordinating the right day of the week and in finding the right schedule in the middle of the children's school responsibilities, but with balance and wisdom we always found a solution for our challenges.
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children
I remember that among our best family home evenings were the ones where we invited the missionaries to bring their investigators into our home before their baptism, so they could see how a family home evening was handled in a Mormon family, and also to help teach them the gospel. Those were always moments filled with spirituality that our children loved.
As stated in the Family Proclamation: “Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”4
Another concern we had during our family home evenings was to teach self-reliance in our family. We were always transparent with our children and we always decided together what kind of life we could have and how we could achieve it. Another family motivation was to teach the importance of our family surname, to leave a family legacy and for that we use to consider that “The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave.”5
In family home evenings we learned about the plan of salvation, how to have an eternal perspective of things, realizing that “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior.”6 With the right purpose we would travel to the temple to perform the ordinances for our ancestors, and that has always made us feel that we had an eternal bond with each one of them.
3 Gospel Teaching and Learning, p, V – Seminaries and Institutes of Religion
4 The Family - A Proclamation to the World, paragraph 6
5 The Family – A Proclamation to the World, paragraph 3
6 Boyd K. Packer, “Little Children,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17.