Friday, August 14, 2015

Spencer W. Kimball on living the gospel in the home

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"The mission of the Church to its members is to make available the principles, programs, and priesthood by which they can prepare themselves for exaltation. Our success, individually and as a Church, will largely be determined by how faithfully we focus on living the gospel in the home. Only as we see clearly the responsibilities of each individual and the role of families and homes can we properly understand that priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations, even wards and stakes, exist primarily to help members live the gospel in the home. Then we can understand that people are more important than programs, and that Church programs should always support and never detract from gospel-centered family activities....
"All should work together to make home a place where we love to be, a place of listening and learning, a place where each member can find mutual love, support, appreciation, and encouragement.
"I repeat that our success, individually and as a Church, will largely be determined by how faithfully we focus on living the gospel in the home."
- Spencer W. Kimball, "Living the Gospel in the Home," address to the Regional Representatives Senimar, 3/31/78; see Ensign, May 1978, pp 100-101
Click here to read the full talk

I think this address by President Kimball was a landmark sermon in helping clarify in the minds of many the relative roles of the Church and its organizations, compared to the home and family. At times we still struggle with that. We need to recognize that the whole purpose of the Church, all its organizations and programs, is to support and strengthen the family; they "exist primarily to help members live the gospel in the home."



The simple phrase "people are more important than programs" is a good summary. We do occasionally forget that, getting caught up in the need to over-program our lives.  "Church programs should always support and never detract from gospel-centered family activities."

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