Thursday, June 13, 2019

Elder L. Tom Perry on growing through family traditions

Elder L. Tom Perry (1922-2015) was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1974. At the time of his passing at age 92, he was the oldest living general authority and the third in seniority among the leading quorum.
"The Lord has not been so explicit in providing us religious customs along the order of feasts and festivals [as in Old Testament times] 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....
"If we will build righteous traditions in our families, the light of the gospel can grow ever brighter in the lives of our children from generation to generation. We can look forward to that glorious day when we will all be united together as eternal family units to reap the everlasting joy promised by our Eternal Father for His righteous children.
"Our family activities and traditions can be a beacon to the rest of the world as an example of how we should live to merit His choice blessings and live in peace and harmony until the day that He returns to rule and reign over us."
- L. Tom Perry, "Family Traditions," General Conference April 1990
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The "feasts and festivals" of times past were beneficial in establishing a sense of community as they helped people remember the traditions of the past and the blessings of God in their lives. We don't have as many formal celebrations in our day, so Elder Perry encourages us to have our own informal family traditions to help achieve the same goals. He identifies these blessings of that kind of family tradition:

Not only will the traditions bless our families with an increase of the light of the gospel, but they can serve as a light to others around us as we strive to share the gospel light with the world. We would do well to consider these traditions and emphasize them in our family gatherings!

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

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