Saturday, January 26, 2019

President James E. Faust on the importance of family time

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"Teach principles of self-worth and self-reliance. One of the main problems in families today is that we spend less and less time together. Some spend an extraordinary amount of time, when they are together, in front of the television, which robs them of personal time for reinforcing feelings of self-worth.
"Time together is precious time—time needed to talk, to listen, to encourage, and to show how to do things. Less time together can result in loneliness, which may produce inner feelings of being unsupported, untreasured, and inadequate.
"Self-worth is reinforced in many ways. When parents say to a son or daughter, leaving the home for some activity, the simple but meaningful words, 'Remember who you are,' they have helped that child feel important."
- James E. Faust, "Enriching Family Life," General Conference April 1983
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

This message from President Faust included a series of suggestions of ways to strengthen and improve families. In this point he was concerned about developing greater self-worth within family members, and recognized how difficult it is to do that in our modern times when conditions tend to diminish time spent together. And so the precious time we spend together needs to be spent in ways that build and enrich us:

So time must be spent in ways that enable us "to talk, to listen, to encourage, and to show how to do things." That applies especially to younger children, but includes family members of all ages, including a husband and wife or other less-direct family settings. We can all learn from one another, and our families will be blessed when we learn to focus our time in the best ways.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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