Tonight, my daughters and I watched a scary movie together. It did its job. They were scared. Afterward, as they were snuggling into their beds I stood outside their door and made some scary noises and wished them a good night’s sleep. They laughed. Then I went in and dove on their bed and “steamrolled” them. It’s childish I know but I am somewhat of a man child. It was a perfect moment. We laughed and had a good time. I couldn’t have imagined the joy that children would bring to my life, but it is immense. I can hardly describe it. I love being a dad.

I’ve thought a lot about the family in the last couple of months. Unfortunately, in that time I have heard of very dear people in my life getting divorced because of infidelity. It breaks my heart to hear of the pain that these loved ones have gone through. The pain and agony are not easy. The lives ruined in the process are almost too overwhelming to bear. The children who once had a happy and safe family structure are now forced into an unknown situation of fear and uncertainty. Two people who once felt so much love for each other and had so much potential are now torn apart.

I have seen the pain of those that have suffered from abuse both physically and mentally. Abuse in any form cannot and should not be tolerated. Please if you are a victim of abuse, please seek help and if you have inclinations towards abuse in any form, please, seek help. Help is available.

Marriage is not easy. It requires a great degree of mutual tolerance. One of the great documents,l I believe, in regards to families is the Family: a Proclamation to the World. One line stands out above the rest, it reads “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” I believe that with my whole heart.

Families and the ability to procreate is THE most awesome force this world has ever seen. It should not be taken lightly. I implore men and women to be faithful to their spouses. I implore men and women to be kind and loving to their spouses. Don’t belittle them. Please take responsibility for your own actions.

Please plan how you will continue to love each other. Have date nights with each other, take time to express your appreciation for your spouse, learn and express your love in ways that they will understand. Be open and honest and don’t have secrets. Plan finances together and have mutual as well as individual goals.

Plan activities together as families. Spend one on one time with your children as well as attending their dramas, sports activities, and academic events. There is nothing more important than family. Yes, there are things that require our attention such as work but don’t forget that work is a means to an end to provide for our families and their opportunities.

Please don’t let anything get in the way of your family’s happiness. It is worth every effort to progress as a family. I’m inspired by the words of David O. McKay who said “The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.”

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An Open Letter to Families

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