Do you remember where you were on September 23, 1995?
I most definitely would not remember, except it was the date when President Gordon B. Hinckley--as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--read "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". The event was broadcast from Salt Lake City, Utah.
I had attended the annual women's meeting, but ended up in the foyer because my infant daughter had been fussing. (I think she'd just stirred and was trying to fully wake up.) President Hinckley had been speaking for a few minutes when the tone in his voice changed. A flash of a thought came to me as I pondered why there was a difference in the room: I could sense something of import.
He began reading a document titled, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." As most people know, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in prophecy and the continuing gift of the Holy Ghost to reveal God's word. President Hinckley at that time served as the president of the church and prophet.
After sharing the text with the women at the meeting, here were the concluding words:
"We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."
Over the course of the next few articles, I will be exploring statements from "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." Why? Because I believe family life can be amongst the funnest experiences we can have on earth.
But is "fun" in a family really possible?
Of course. Just ask any architect. "But what do you mean by that," you might ask?
An architect knows that a building doesn't just occur overnight. Walk by a vacant lot with weeds on Tuesday and see a majestic edifice on Wednesday? No, of course not.
Instead, an architect first envisions the building. Second, she designs it on paper (probably throwing away a lot of scratch paper during that explorative phase). Third, she spends time and effort in working with individuals to excavate the site of the future building. Then contractors and subcontractors are brought in to raise the building. Finally finishers of all kinds lay down the interior and exterior so the beauty can be enjoyed by all.
Ask an architect: "Would you quit your job because it's work?" "No," she would say, "not at all." "Why not? Some days you might get discouraged!" I think at that point she might look at you like you have three zits under your eyes and respond, "What's a little discouragement to a process that brings such joy!"
I think you get my point. The building and raising of a family can be equally as labor intensive as the work to bring about a mighty building. But in the twilight years of your life, looking back on the memories and experiences, how grateful you just might be for hanging in there with your family!
Things can always get better...and with the scaffolding of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" to assist you, your family really can be mighty! Next week, we'll talk further about how to have a fun and happy family.