My brothers and I would always run off into the woods near our house in south Texas, looking for and certainly finding adventure around every corner. I'm sure my mom had a fit a couple times when we came home muddy or with our jeans torn or with some sort of fun-induced injury; to us it was more than just playtime, it was life or death! We had a chance we had to become someone else--whether that be a pirate, a wizard, Indiana Jones, or just superhuman forms of ourselves (I always liked to have super strength...I guess it just seemed like the coolest power to have). I don't think I will ever forget that feeling of playing with my brothers (I'm in the middle of three boys, then there's a gap of 6 years and then follows my sister and youngest brother--you can imagine what three little boys might get into on an endless summer day!) and feeling like the whole world was at our fingertips.
Heavenly Father understands that perfectly. He knows how much joy and happiness can be found in our familial relationships. That's why He created a plan for us, His children, to live forever with Him and with our families. Because God restored the priesthood, or the power to act in God's name, upon the earth through Joseph Smith, our families don't have to be "til death do us part". Our marriages and families can be "bound on Earth and bound in Heaven" (see Matthew 16:19). The principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ will bless your family if you follow them. They teach us to love and serve one another, to focus on the Savior's love and to radiate and reflect that back to those whom we love most (see also Mosiah 4:12-15 in the Book of Mormon, pp. 155-156)
Here is an official statement by the Church on the importance of the family. I hope that you all continue to show love to your families and seek to improve your relationship with them and with the Savior. You might ask your Mormon friends why they love their families so much and why they are so important to them. You will find that the gospel of Jesus Christ has helped them cope with many challenges that now face families everywhere.
I am thankful for my family not just because of those endless summer days and countless sword fights atop various overly-dangerous dry riverbeds and dams; I am thankful because they taught me how to love God and Jesus, how to serve and obey the commandments of God, and to prepare for raising my family on the principles of Jesus Christ's teachings. Those things are what I really won't forget! :)
|My family circa 2006|