It Begins With a Family
It begins with a family. The Book of Mormon begins with a family leaving a city destined for destruction. Wanting to help the families find security and peace, the Lord directs Lehi to lead them into the wilderness. Here they will face many hardships and difficulties, but here they are protected from destruction.
The family's security is in jeopardy. So many things bombard the ties that bind us as family. So many things keep us from enjoying the peace and security that families were meant to bring. Studying the scriptures helps us to see how families have always struggled and always been blessed by their faith in God.
On Wednesday nights I have the privilege of teaching an adult Book of Mormon class for investigators and newer members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As we discussed this principle I was lifted up by testimonies born of how the Lord has personally helped their families overcome difficult circumstances and get them back on the path of truth.
I take my lessons from the "Preach My Gospel" Manual and adapt them to the study of the Book of Mormon. Tonight we discussed how the scriptures and the gospel blesses families. Some of the things we talked about include:
Stronger Relationships - One sister talked about how because they read the scriptures as a family it helps them talk more openly about the gospel and how it affects their lives. In my own life I am filled with gratitude as to how the scriptures have steered me toward truth and away from deeper waters. I am grateful to my heavenly father for opening my mind so that I could see that sometimes I am in the wrong. I need to repent. I need to forgive. Without these stories I might not think to do so.
Spiritual Strength - We have physical strength and we have spiritual strength that helps us overcome the desire to make wrong choices. Spiritually strong people are happy people.
I love the scripture, "Man does not live by bread alone." simply because it helps us understand the need our spirits have for truth. Truth makes us stronger. Period.
Overcome Challenges - We talked a bit about the many different challenges that Lehi's family encountered as they trekked through the wilderness. Lehi's disappointments at his children's choices and behavior and their physical challenges of not having enough food or shelter. We all need to be reminded that God is on our side and is there to help us when we can't help ourselves.
And I take great pride in understanding that all men. (even prophets) have challenges to overcome while they sojourn here on earth.
Happiness - Families bring us happiness because it is here that we build trusting relationships that reap contentment, joy, peace, happiness, and security. By reading the stories within the scriptures we find a new understanding of how the gospel plan helps us make wise and good choices.