Religion and Families

 
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I just spent a lovely weekend with my family listening to LDS General Conference.  It is always such an amazing experience to listen to the words of a prophet.  I need this weekend every six months to recharge my spiritual batteries and remind me of who I am and what my values and goals in life are. 

One of my favorite parts of conference weekend always occurs after conference is over.  Everyone in my extended family meets at my parents house on Sunday evening for dinner and conference sharing.  This year a few were missing, but they sent their thoughts on conference via email.  After dinner, we gather around and starting with the youngest family member, we share our thoughts and feelings from conference…what we remember, what inspired us, what changes we hope to make in our lives.  It is an opportunity for us to grow closer as family members and to strengthen each other spiritually.  It is also a time to create great memories as my dad always gathers the kids around him and teaches them spiritual truths.  His children and grandchildren will always know what his beliefs are.

We are all basically the same religion, but at different levels in how we live our religion.  I think we have all had doubts and questions and struggles with our spirituality and religion, but we support each other and learn from each other and I think we strengthen each other as well.

My grandparents started this tradition many years ago, and it is one that I am so grateful that my parents have continued.  It provided me with a great sense of security and stability as I navigated my spiritual life as a child, teen, and young adult.  I think it provides the same safety net for this next generation as they see the imperfect adults in their lives working to become better people.  I think it helps them to know that despite the fact that none of us are perfect, we are all loved and accepted.

Do you have a traditional family religion that binds your family together?  If not, you might want to read some of these articles and statistics on the benefits of family religion:

A Wise Investment:  Benefits from Families Spending Time Together
Family, Religious Practice, and Adolescent Well-being
Navigating the Winding Road:  How Family and Religion Influence Teen and Young Adult Outcomes
Religion and Family
Religion and Health

If you are interested in viewing or reading short excerpts of some of my favorite messages from this past weekend, you can find them here:

God Knows You by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Study the Book of Mormon by Henry B. Eyring
A Father’s Influence by Elaine S. Dalton
Prayer and Inspiration by Pres. Thomas S. Monson.

To view, listen to, or read messages from the entire conference, go here.  I know you will feel the same peace, happiness, and desire to be better that I do when I hear these words.

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