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It’s April 1990.  A few months ago the people tore down the Berlin Wall while the guards stood by.  The lights that were put out a lifetime ago are going back on all over eastern Europe.

And Elder Perry is thinking about the people of Israel who became free from bondage many lifetimes ago and what Moses taught them to help them preserve their liberty and make it of worth.  Very interesting, especially what he saw as our equivalent of the rites and peculiar commandments of the Mosaic laws.  It is a talk called Family Traditions from the Saturday morning session of the April 1990 General Conference.

First, the children of Israel had their tabernacle and we have our temples.

Second, we have the Ten Commandments just as the children of Israel did.

Third, we have righteous family traditions.

Elder Perry says,

The Lord had another way of reminding Israel of the blessings He had given them. He had them establish religious customs, that became a part of their everyday life to signify the ways through which they could express their faith in God.

We do not have the law of Moses and the feasts and sacrifices.  But we do have righteous family traditions.

The Lord has not been so explicit in providing us religious customs along the order of feasts and festivals to remind us of the blessings we receive from Him today. However, the practice of having traditions to keep us close to the great heritage which is ours to enjoy should be something every family should try to keep alive.

Elder Perry  mentions the following:

Daily we should kneel in family prayer and study the scriptures together. Weekly we should observe the Sabbath day by attending our meetings, especially sacrament meeting, and behave appropriate to the activities that are proper for the Lord’s day. We should also gather our families together in weekly family home evenings. Perhaps it would also be appropriate to have a date with our wives each week, to remind us of the great blessing they are in our lives. Monthly we should fast and pay our tithes and offerings to the Lord. Semiannually, we should make listening to the messages delivered at general conferences a family tradition. We should organize, annually, family reunions to keep alive our great gospel heritage.

He also mentions “being together as family units on those occasions when sacred ordinances are performed in behalf of a family member.”

That’s a little unexpected, isn’t it?  We don’t like to think too much about our informal efforts to live the gospel as families.  But Elder Perry thinks differently.  Annual family reunions.  Coming together for ordinances.  Those are all important.  It is the same mentality that we have needed to adopt with home church.  We tend to think of families and individuals as subordinate to the Church.  The reality is that they are alongside the Church.

Aside:  It occurred to me that in some ways the LDS equivalent of the Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the temple.

Other posts from  the April 1990 General Conference, Saturday morning session

Marilyn Nielson, The joys of family associations
Daniel Ortner The Name of the Church and a Prophetic Call Fulfilled

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