Put out chairs for a good palaver on the doctrine of the family and you’ll find me there with my feet up, settling in for a good long stretch.  But understanding why families work is less important than having a working family.

Here is a sermon that means something:

Only a few days ago in Arizona as I was at the pulpit in a conference meeting, a tiny boy came walking down the aisle and up on the stand, perhaps searching for a mother in the choir, maybe just investigating. He wasn’t making any fuss, but he was a wonderful little boy and I couldn’t refrain from pausing a moment and talking with him. I asked him his name and where his mommy and daddy were, and at that point a tall, handsome young man stood in the chapel and advanced to retrieve his child. When the father took his son in his arms in front of the pulpit he kissed him, and I had to swallow a quick lump in my throat. There was no embarrassment, no spanking, no yanking, no anger. There was just the gentle kiss and a loving hug in those big strong arms, and for all of us present a warm, tender, memorable experience from a fortunate youngster and a wise, mature, regular dad.

I just spent a few days on a family tour of Nauvoo and related sites.  There was less actual gospel discussion then you might expect.  When doctrine came up, it seemed almost jarring.  We were living in happiness.  Explaining why did not seem necessary.

We prayed at the end that we would remember enough of it to inspire to keep on going to the heavenly home that waits for us.

We are all part of a working family, every one of us.  We might have wandered away for a bit.  But there is a gentle kiss, a loving hug, and big strong arms waiting for us.

Other posts from the Priesthood session of the October 1977  General Conference

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