Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Author: Stance Studies on the Family (page 5 of 34)

Parenting Tip #9: Be in the Moment

Rosen 2010 613 (1)

Suppose Queen Elizabeth showed up unexpectedly at your home.  How would you respond?

A) Invite her in but continue to watch your Netflix. (only ten minutes left!)

B) Invite her in, talk to her, but at the same time post her picture to your Instagram.

C) Invite her in, make small talk while texting your friends to tell them about her!

D) Invite her in, sit and visit without any devices.

If you had trouble picking D, it might be time for digital counseling. Most adults would never treat a guest with such poor manners. But we seem to forget that our children should also be treated with good manners.  In today’s world, many people (parents) have trouble putting away their devices and living in the moment.

Children deserve our full attention. Babies learn how to communicate by watching their parents faces. They observe normal reactions:  smiles, frowns, laughter, crying, etc. These non-verbal cues help them learn the meaning of words and actions. Language skills are linked to thinking ability, social relationships, and reading and writing. In other words, the future success of your child depends greatly on their developing good language skills.  And that depends on you being in the moment with the child—looking the child in the eye and talking directly to him or her.

Although electronic devices are responsible for much of the distraction parents have while parenting, they are not the only problem. Work, church callings, desire to play (gaming, sports), and even household chores can cause parents to miss wonderful interaction opportunities.

jpg117Think play time. Children learn valuable social skills through face-to-face games. Playing games together helps children learn turn-taking, develop motor skills, and acquire conversational skills. Participating in these games requires hands-on for both parents and children.

But even more important than developing skills, children learn what’s most important to YOU by watching where you spend your time and your attention. If you are always on your phone, they quickly learn that that’s what you care about the most. No matter how much you TELL a child “you are important,” a child senses by your actions whether you really mean that or not.

When I was writing parenting tip #8—Play with your kids, I asked my daughter if she remembers playing together.   Her answer caught me by surprise. She told me that every time she came and asked me to play with her, I did. Now, not for one minute do I think that is 100% true.   I’m sure there were many times when I was too busy to “be in the moment”. But at the same time, it must be true that I stopped whatever I was doing often enough that her perception was that I always took the time to play.

Children grow up. The day will come when the house is empty of children and you have all the time in the world to clean, work, or surf the web. But you cannot recapture the time to get down, look your child in the eye, and listen to his or her heart. Make a commitment now to be in the moment.

For those of you attached to your phones, here are some practical ideas on how to have some device free time:

1. Have certain times during the day when you do NOT access your phone except to answer calls (screen the calls, answer only important ones). This means you are not looking at emails, Instagram, texting, etc.

2. Teach your children about phone-free times. Church, meal time, driving, movies, when company comes for short visits, bedtime, etc.

3. Choose to have device-free outings. When you take your child to the zoo, to the park, etc. decide to put your phone away and just enjoy the interaction. Watch their faces as they discover new adventures and experience the world. Be in the adventure, not posting about the adventure.

Remember, the things you love the most—think children—deserve the most time.

Parenting Tip #8: Play with your Kids!

Many of you know the saying:  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

This is true for parenting!!   All work and no play makes for very boring parents.

Relax a little and take the time to really have fun with your children.   By playing with your kids, they come to realize that you are a person; you have a sense of humor; you enjoy specific activities, you are good at certain activities; and you have a side to you that does not involve bossing them around.

So how do you play with your kids?  It’s different at various stages of their lives.

Here’s some of my favorite play moments:  

image08 image01 image02 image00

From chopped competitions to four wheel rides with dad, our family always loved to be together and play together.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what you do.   It just matters that you take the time to have fun experiences together.

Last year my son and his wife and two children moved back to this area because of a job loss.  He was in the process of interviewing but he had a lot of time on his hands. Many afternoons he called me and asked, “Mom, do you want to go on a bike ride?”   I usually had a long list of projects I wanted to get through, but I thought to myself, how many times will I have this opportunity to go on bike rides with my son and his family?   So, I agreed to go every single time!   I look back now at those three months and consider them magical.    

It’s never too late to start playing.  Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy your children.    I’m not suggesting that we abandon our responsibilities in favor of playing the days away.   But I am saying that the dishes can wait, the floor can be swept tomorrow, the laundry can be folded later.   Our children, on the other hand, will grow up and leave home, whether we are ready or not.    Taking the time to enjoy life together now will enable you to have delightful relationships (friendships) with your kids when they are adults.   

So, what are you waiting for????   GO PLAY!!!!


Written by Phyllis Rosen




Parenting Tip #7: Admit When You Are Wrong

No one wants to admit being wrong, and certainly no parent wants to remember the times when his or her parenting was less than stellar.  As parents we try hard to make good choices, but unfortunately,  there comes a day when you get it wrong.   What then?


Then it’s time to man up and fess up!

Over the years, I’ve had many moments when I failed as a parent.   I have lost my temper, accused the wrong child of misdeeds, and even made up silly rules that didn’t make any sense.   Somehow my kids survived and grew up to be productive citizens.

The truth is, we all make mistakes.   It’s not like any of us have all the training we need to be perfect parents.  Luckily, you don’t have to be perfect to be a great parent.  You just have to be honest and sincere and keep trying.  

So what should a parent do when he or she blows it?   I believe that the best choice is to own up to the mistake.   There are many positive outcomes of admitting your parenting mistakes.   I’d like to focus on four:

  1. When parents graciously admit mistakes, they teach their children how to behave with civility.  Everyone needs to learn how to say “I’m sorry,” and parents’ mistakes are the perfect opportunity to teach children how to do so willingly and in a timely manner.
  2. When parents admit their mistakes, children learn to trust them.   Children eventually come to the realization that their parents aren’t as perfect as they once thought.  As children get to this stage, seeing their parents admit to falling short helps kids to recognize that their parents are honest, which leads to trust.
  3. When parents admit mistakes, children learn that everyone makes mistakes and that it’s not the end of the world.
  4. When parents admit mistakes, they become accountable for their actions.   This encourages them to evaluate those actions and enables them to make changes for the better.

Richard G. Scott talked about admitting our mistakes:   

“Admit mistakes when you make them—for we all do. Admitting your mistakes builds character and also respect. Accept full responsibility for your actions.”  

When we realize that we need to admit a mistake, there are some rules to remember.

  1. Look your child in the eye.  If the child is small, get down on their eye level to talk to them.
  2. Don’t rationalize.  Telling your kid you messed up, followed by justifying your behavior, doesn’t really send the right message.  
  3. Make amends if possible.  
  4. Be grateful there is such a thing as repentance, and be sure to allow your child the same forgiveness for his or her mistakes that you hope they allow you.
  5. Learn from the mistake.   Try to recognize why you erred and look for strategies that will help you do better next time (count to ten before reacting; ask what happened before jumping to conclusions; refrain from assuming).

No matter how hard you try, you will make parenting mistakes. It goes with the territory.

Written by Phyllis Rosen 

Parenting Tip #6:  Teach your children about Jesus Christ

Of all the things I did as a parent, teaching my children about Jesus Christ is the one area in which I wish I’d done more.   Don’t get me wrong.   I did many things to teach my kids about Jesus Christ and the role He plays in our lives

Ways I taught my children about Jesus Christ:

  1. My husband and I were very consistent in holding FHE weekly.  This doesn’t meant that every week was a spiritual lesson.   But it does mean that we did have many lessons about Christ and His mission on earth.
  2. We were diligent about reading scriptures with our kids.  Sometimes we read in the mornings, sometimes at night.  Sometimes we read the books that had pictures to look at while you listened to tapes.   We even had a period of time where we got each kid a paperback Book of Mormon and drew pictures right in the books with colored pencils.   When it was talking about Ammon, we drew swords and cut-off arms, etc.  IMG_2640
  3. We attended church faithfully every week.  Our kids went to Primary and learned many more things about Jesus Christ.
  4. We had regular family prayer.   Every single morning and night.  Always.
  5. We had pictures of Christ in our home.

So…what more could I do? In hindsight, there is more I wish I had done.  

I wish I had told them—often—how much I rely on Jesus Christ and the Atonement.   I wish I had explained what the atonement was to me personally.   I wish I’d borne my testimony to them, maybe not in so many words, but by sharing with them how everyday events affected my testimony or helped me rely on my Savior.  

There were a few times when something major happened, where I would do this.  But I can probably count on one hand the number of times I shared my heart with my kids. I regret that.  How could they understand how much I trusted my Heavenly Father and needed my Savior if I didn’t share those feelings with them?  How could they learn to do the same?

We have neighbors who are not LDS.  The husband is, in fact, a preacher for another faith.  When I talk with his wife, I am blown away by how much she talks about Jesus Christ and His role in her life.  I have often thought that it would be a great idea to follow her example by putting Jesus into my everyday conversations just a little more.   

pasted image 0A month or so ago our youngest grandchild (she was about 6 months old) had a medical emergency.   She was taken to the emergency room where they ran tests and thought for a few hours that her intestines had problems.   This family lives out of state, and while this was unfolding, our other children who live in Utah happened to be at our house for a family dinner.  So before my children left our house, I asked if they would kneel down and pray for our granddaughter with me, which they did.   It was very satisfying to openly ask for my children’s participation.


So if I had it to do over again, I would change a few things.   

When the Spirit touched my heart and made me want to cry, I would not hide it or stifle it.   I would tell my kids exactly how I was feeling and why, and help them to know that the Spirit can touch their heart, too.

When I felt impressed with a church message or specific doctrine, I would try to find ways to talk about it at the dinner table, or at FHE.

And more than anything else, I would talk openly and often about Jesus Christ, and how my life is better because of Him.

Written by Phyllis Rosen

Managing Childhood Asthma

mother and girlBecause asthma is the most common chronic illness among children it’s important to understand managing childhood asthma. Upon this discovery many parents have a limited understanding of the disease and its treatment, which is the exact information parents need to know and utilize to keep their child healthy.

Disease Overview

For starters, asthma is an illness that makes breathing difficult because of temporary inflammation of the air passages. This results in coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness (WebMD, n.d.). When symptoms are severe, it is called an asthma attack. These attacks can become severe enough to warrant a hospital visit and in extreme cases results in death. Because these attacks can come on suddenly, controlling the illness can keep individuals from experiencing a dangerous asthma attack

Identifying and Limiting Triggers

According to KidsHealth, this illness can result from a few causes, known as triggers: allergies, colds/repertory virus, and environment triggers. The website further explains that identifying and reducing exposure to a known trigger is the key to controlling asthma.

family walking along beachLuckily, parents are not alone in finding and controlling the known trigger. According to KidsHealth, doctors will often have patients keep a diary that includes times and potential causes for the asthma symptoms. Once the needed data is collected, the doctor will use the diary to determine the trigger. Doctors will also help the patient and parents determine necessary steps to control asthma. This information is included in an action plan KidsHealth suggests having a copy of the plan in each location where your child spends a large amount of time (i.e. home, school, etc.)

If your child has asthma and you have not received support in finding and controlling triggers from a doctor, it is worth the effort to request this assistance from your child’s doctor. After all, it will help keep your child healthy.


There are over-the-counter medicines that we can choose to take or not to take, but prescription medications for a chronic illness are prescribed out of necessity. For your child to control their asthma, they need to take the dosage as prescribed by the pharmacist.

In addition to taking the prescribed medication, it is also important to take the medicine correctly. Even if the prescribed dosage is being taken, failure to take the medicine in the correct manner can result in the medicine not working properly. The following are common ways that asthma medications are administered and the right way to take each of the medications: 

162265724_XSNebulizer: Turn on machine. Put on face mask. Breath in the medicine slowly.

Dry Powder Inhale: Press the release button and breath deeply.

Meter- Dosed Inhaler: This type of medicine works like a spray, push the lever on inhaler and breath in.

Anti-Inflammatory Pill: Steroid pill taken orally with water.

As you help your child control their asthma remember that reducing triggers and properly taking medication are two keys to controlling your child’s asthma. KidsHealth says that if these two steps are taken most children with asthma can enjoy a normal life with minimal asthma-related complications.

Disclaimer: Stance on the Family is not a medical source. Stance advises those with asthma and their families to talk with a doctor if experiencing any difficulty with managing asthma.  

Written by Laura Fillmore



Parenting Tip #5: Work Ethic

Teach Your Children to Work

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go…

In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the dwarfs sing cheerfully with their shovels in hand as they march off to work in the mines.  This probably is not the way your children march off to complete their chores.   More often the mention of chores brings groans and grumblings.  Yet teaching children how to work (and the value of work) is important.

“Teaching children the joy of honest labor is one of the greatest of all gifts you can bestow upon them. Let us also teach our children to see that the work assigned is carried to its completion and to take pride in what they accomplish.”     L. Tom Perry

This begs the question: how can we teach them to work and to take pride in their work?  I will be the first to admit that this was not my strong suit in parenting.  I tried all different kinds of charts, but they only worked for a short period of time, then I’d have to try something new.  I did, however, discover something over the years.

Rosen 1994 635

Little children actually come with a love of working.  My grandson (McKoy) is 1 ½ years old, yet every time he sees a broom he tries to sweep.  When I start dusting, he wants to follow along with his own dust cloth.  Another grandson (Griffin) is 6 and he loves every opportunity to join in my chores.  If I’m raking leaves, he’s right there; if I’m mopping the floor, he’s begging me to let him do it; if I’m baking, he wants to measure, add, and stir.  

I think that children are born with a desire to produce good works.   

The key is to capitalize on that desire while children are young, then gradually expand their work loads as their abilities and skills increase.  Making assignments around the house when they are small prepares them for outside jobs as they mature.

When our two oldest boys were about 10 and 12, they got a paper route.   This was just a weekly journal that they delivered to a neighborhood near us.   It wasn’t hard work, but it did require getting the job done on a specific day by a specific time.  The pay was not great, but they didn’t need a lot of pay at that age.  Best of all, my boys learned that  work comes before play because deadlines don’t wait.

Our fourth child decided to get a job at age fourteen.   He walked over to the horse boarding facility near our house and applied for a job—and got one!!   As our other children became old enough, we encouraged them to find jobs.    Our encouragement paid off (literally) for our youngest son when he started mowing lawns in the neighborhood.  He was able to make more per hour than he could have at a regular job.  Plus, he had the benefit of setting his own schedule, so he learned time management.  


Our youngest daughter started working at age 14.   She spent two years at a water park, then at age 16 started working at a grocery store, a job she held until she graduated from college.  Having a long-term job enabled her to learn some skills beyond the basics of showing up for your shift.   She learned  how to get along with people who have different work ethics, the give-and-take of substituting for others so you can get the same in return, the benefit of friendliness and customer service, and most of all, how to stick with it when you are tired of the routine.

So how did we get them to work? We set the example.  Throughout their growing years, my husband and I both worked in the yard and around the house, and we made sure our kids had the opportunity to work beside us.  Did they love it?  NO!   As they got older, they found they would much rather go off with friends, or hibernate in their room, or do almost anything rather than plant the garden, hoe the weeds, or clean the house. But we persevered (consistency!!!).

We tried hard to ensure that their efforts were appreciated and that they had challenging jobs.  

Twice I repainted the entire house.  The first time my son Stan helped me paint; the second time my daughter Kim worked beside me.   These were hard jobs.  After we were done, when someone came to the house and commented on the new paint job, I made sure I let them know that Stan/Kim had been major players in the home improvements.   

236Because I have four boys—all tall and strong—my neighbor would call and ask if she could hire them to do some work for her.  After the first couple of times, she began calling them regularly, explaining that she liked calling these boys because she knew they would work hard and get the job done.   This type of feedback helped them to be proud of their work ethic and pushed them to work in a way to hold on to that reputation.

Kids need to know that they have the ability to contribute to the family through their work.  Every time I did a task myself because it was easier or faster, I sabotaged their growth.  Even though they didn’t always do things to my standard (think raggedy mown lawns), they did share the workload.   And that’s worth a lot!

I love quotes that explain ideas briefly and often with humor.   Here are some of my favorites regarding work:

  • “Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it.   Autograph your work with excellence.” (Author unknown)
  • “People are born with brains and sometimes with money, but work ethic levels the playing field.” (Ryan Holmes)
  • “Hard work spotlights the character of people:  some turn up their sleeves; some turn up their noses; and some don’t turn up at all.”  (Sam Ewing)
  • “Talent is cheaper than table salt.  What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”  (Stephen King)

The only way to get kids to internalize these ideas—that work makes the difference—is through experience.   As they learn to work at home and at school, they will begin to see the reward. Once they realize the benefits, they will become self-motivated workers.

Written by Phyllis Rosen

Expressing Gratitude

Keep the Commandments”

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time to express thanks for the many blessings we have been given. A time to pause, reflect, and notice blessings that we may not otherwise recognize. A time to express our love for our Savior and our Heavenly Father, for truly “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father” (James 1:17).


But how can we even begin to express our gratitude to them? King Benjamin puts into words the feelings we may experience as we reflect on our indebtedness to the Father and the Son:

“I say unto that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants” (Mosiah 2:20-21).

Because they bless us with so much, we love them. And as “unprofitable” as we may feel, there are still ways we can express that love and gratitude for our God-given blessings. In John 14, the Savior teaches His apostles a profound lesson about the way they, and we, can show our love to Him and the Father.

He says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” In three words, the Savior Himself gives us the simple formula for expressing gratitude: “Keep my commandments.” It is a phrase so often repeated and even sung in the church, but do we really stop to think about the significance behind it? What does it mean to truly keep His commandments?

In the Oxford Dictionary “keep” is defined as to “have or retain possession of,” “continue doing or do repeatedly,” “retain one’s place in spite of difficulty,” “continue to follow a path or course,” and “guard, protect.” In past times, the word “keep” was used to describe “the strongest or central tower of a castle, acting as a final refuge.”

These definitions may help us understand the plea the Savior was making when he asked his apostles to keep His commandments. Not only does he want us to obey them, He wants us to stay true to them, continually keep them despite difficulty, guard them, and protect them. And as we keep them, they can become a “refuge” for us. If we continue on in the account in John, the Savior further explains how this can happen:

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

We learn another great lesson about gratitude from these words. The Savior doesn’t always promise that our burdens will be taken away, or that our prayers will be answered in the way we may hope. What He does promise is that he will send us the Comforter- He will not leave us comfortless. He will come to us. As one who sees us and our circumstances with a much greater perspective than our own, we can trust that He knows what is best.

As we celebrate this time of year, seeking to count our blessings and express our love for the Savior, let us remember that the Savior has taught us to express our love to Him in ways far more significant than just words. He asks us to keep. Keep His commandments, keep our covenants, keep the faith. And as we “keep,” he promises to bless us with the ultimate gift- the Comforter, which enables us to feel as if we are constantly in His presence.

book-1209805_1920 (1)

Again in the words of King Benjamin, “he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever.” (Mosiah 2:24). Let us love Him. Let us keep His commandments.

Written by Amanda Brower

Dating & Serious Relationships

nature-1790138_1920I’d personally love to tell you all about how great all my relationships have been going and what the biggest successes and positive signs are . . . and I’ll still be glad to share. However, I’m coming from a unique perspective at this time. After a pretty serious relationship, I have recently broken up with my boyfriend because we weren’t ready for anything more, so instead of being enveloped in worries and doubts, we decided to stop seeing each other. To sum it up, my heart and dreams were crushed. I had hoped he would choose a different direction and confidently move forward with me one step at a time. But he chose the other route I was afraid of. However, as I’ve now sulked enough, I am recognizing that it was for the best. If he believes there’s someone better out there for me and that right now is not the Lord’s time, then I’ll take it. I know what I want in life and did come close – very…to a life with him. It had quite the potential. But, as I look back on it, I realize that although it very well could have been good, I’m looking for and capable of great. And so are you!

Don’t just settle for good, instead aim for great.

Now, I’ve had my share of experiences and heart breaks but I’m not exactly the most qualified relationship counselor out there. However, I would like to share some general tips and pointers on basic dating and serious relationship perspectives.



General Dating:

  • Have confidence, smile everywhere you go, and just be yourself. This is the number one way that you attract a potential friend and date.
  • Don’t be afraid to open your mouth and talk, even if it is a simple “hi.” You never know where a simple conversation can go, but more than that, the smile and recognition is priceless.
  • Always make these casual dates an adventure. Be yourself, learn from them, laugh and make memories, and don’t worry about where they could go – everything relationship wise happens very naturally, and you definitely don’t have to worry about your future life on the first few dates.
  • Have fun. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, relax and enjoy the ride. So many people are focused on the end goal, but enjoy the journey! 

Committed Relationships:

  • The number one most significant step is communication. Without communication as your foundation, the relationship will not work out for the best. You need to be able to talk to each other about anything and everything. You need to be able to share yourself, your feelings, and your thoughts. Through communication you will be able to open up to each other and share your hearts and build a bond of trust you can never imagine is possible.
  • Make sure you set your boundaries and expectations.
  • Have time together. Make sure to set aside specific times in your busy schedules and make one another a priority.
  • Show them how much you care for them – words of affection, acts of service, surprises, touch, etc. Get to know their needs.

10154481_372319126240623_1959066281_nAlright, that’s all the basics I have for today. I just want you all to remember that no matter what happens and where your relationships go or do not go, everything will work out for the best. Someone is out there for you and there are so many blessings that await you. Your potential is so great and powerful. You make a difference and you are capable and worthy of being loved. Your dreams will come true and the great is out there.

Written by Rebekah Day


Parenting Tip #4: Support Your Spouse

As my husband and I were discussing parenting (we often do) we realized that a large part of parenting is supporting your spouse. You may wonder “what does that have to do with parenting? Turns out it plays a large role.

There are many ways to show support to your spouse:

  1. Being there for big moments 
  2. Upholding the rules set by partner
  3. Recognizing when help is needed and giving it
  4. Being happy for each other’s successes.
  5. Listening to the problems/triumphs
  6. Bragging about spouse to others
  7. Touching:  a hand squeeze, a hug, a high-five

Parenting is a tough job.  It takes time, hard work, perseverance, patience, creativity, and divine help.   When you feel overloaded or alone, it’s hard to endure through the tough moments (yes, everyone has tough moments).  I’ve found that the only way to get through it is to have support.   Unless you are a single parent (a topic for another day), that support ought to come from your spouse.  

These moments of support are not time-consuming or costly. It can be as simple as Rosen 2011 1277walking in the door at night and giving your spouse a hug.  It might mean showing up to his or her presentation, performance, or work party. It could even be as easy as asking “What can I do for you today?”  One of the best ways to support your spouse is by continuing to “date” each other.  Taking the time to do fun things together allows you to remember why you got married in the first place.   Weekly dates keep the fires of romance burning and they help you remember that there is more to life than parenting!

Rosen 2011 1023

Over the years, my husband has given me tremendous support. When I held piano recitals, my husband would always be there early to hand out the programs—a huge show of support since it meant he had to leave work early.  He would also hand out treats after the recital, allowing me time to visit with the parents of my students.

But how does this help our parenting? Happy spouses make for happy parents. When you know your efforts are appreciated, or even noticed, you feel valued as a person. Feeling valued as a person allows you to focus on others—the kids—and not yourself.

Another part of being supportive is being willing to sit down together and come up with a parenting plan.  Although you can’t cover every possible circumstance, you can set some guidelines for yourselves that put you and your spouse on the same parenting page.  When parents take the time to do this, something wonderful happens.  The kids soon realize that their parents are a team.   The kids will not be able to manipulate or pit the parents against each other.  (If you don’t think kids do this, you don’t have kids yet!)  This is a big step in positive parenting! Even though kids express the idea that they wish they could pit one of you against the other, the truth is that if they know the parents are united, they feel secure and confident.

IMG_1766If your parenting feels disjointed, if you feel alone even though you have a spouse, if you need encouragement or recognition, now is the time to take your honey on a date, sit down somewhere, and discuss how you can support each other in ways that matter to the two of you.  Your kids will thank you for it later.   


Written by: Phyllis Rosen

Strengthening Family: Plan of Salvation

science inquiryBefore we were born we all lived with God. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he them; male and female created he them.” Thus, men and women were created, spiritually first, as God’s own offspring—spirit sons and daughters with a divine potential. Like all loving fathers, God wanted to provide us with a way to become all that he is, a way for us to gain His inheritance; with this end in mind, he created a plan for us to learn and grow, that one day we could be perfected and able to live in His presence, with our families, for all eternity. Families are central to God’s great plan because it is in our earthly families that we can learn to adopt the attributes of Christ and feel a portion of God’s love for His children.

In order for us to progress toward exaltation (or our goal of eternal life with God), we had to do two things: the first was to gain a physical body, and the second was to prove that we were willing to keep God’s commandments, even without our memory of the premortal life. So, under the direction of our Father, Jesus Christ created the world as a place for us to live and grow as families. Adam and Eve were the first human inhabitants of the Earth, but in order for them to progress according to God’s plan (and therefore give way for us to live and progress), they had to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, bringing upon mankind the first spiritual death, a separation from God and a fall to mortality. In Abraham 3:26, God says, “And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; . . . and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.”

baking-452298-galleryAll people who came to Earth to receive their bodies thereafter have kept their first estate, and those who keep God’s commandments while on the Earth will keep their second. It is important that we keep God’s commandments now so that we may be worthy to receive the ordinances that will, in part, qualify us for exaltation; these ordinances include baptism, confirmation, priesthood ordination (for men), endowment, and sealing. The sealing ordinance is where we are sealed to our families for time and all eternity. No one can inherit all the kingdoms of God without having this sealing ordinance; this reiterates to us the importance God places upon the family unit and our responsibilities to our families, to both our ancestry and our progeny.

In Helaman 10:7, we read that with the right power and authority, “whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven. . . .” Because of this beautiful promise, our sealing to our family is not broken when we die. Those who have proved faithful on earth will live in spirit paradise, and have a mission to prepare those in spirit prison, people who have not accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to receive their saving ordinances by proxy on Earth.

When Christ returns at the Second Coming, all people will be resurrected. This will be a glorious day, when we are not only reunited with our physical bodies, but also reunited with the members of our families. After the millennium (a period of a thousand years without temptation), we will be judged of God by our works and the desires of our hearts. He will place us in one of three kingdoms: either the telestial, the terrestrial, or the celestial, each increasing in glory. Those who qualify to live in the celestial kingdom will live in the presence of God, having completed their second estate, and having been perfected through the power of the Atonement of Christ.

0 (2)It is very important that we learn about and apply the Atonement in our lives, because without the Atonement we cannot enter into God’s presence again. 2 Nephi 25:23 says, “For we labor diligently to write [of Christ], to persuade our chidren, and our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” And we can’t stop there; it is our responsibility to teach the doctrine of Christ to all members of our families, that we might be surrounded by our central unit of happiness with God our Father forever and ever.

Written by Cari Taylor

Older posts Newer posts