“Doctrine and Convents Section 57:14 - And thus let those of whom I have spoken be planted in the land of Zion, as speedily as can be, with their families, to do those things even as I have spoken.”
“Families can be together forever” As families are the vital part of God’s plan of salvation, Lord wants every one of us to multiply and replenish and be happy with our family forever. He loves us, trusts us that we will do all our best to improve and strengthen our relationship with our loved ones.
To improve our relationship with all our family members we need to pray to God to help us. We need to show that kind of love to every member which will make us see the good in the family members so that their mistakes and weaknesses look very small. We need to always pray for our family members that their burdens and sorrows in their hearts are reduced and keep ourselves worthy to have the companionship of the spirit of God so that we are lead in the right path.
Greatest joys and the greatest sorrows we experience are in family relationships and to improve the relationships it is very essential to have a proper communication between the family members. Communication cultivates Love, trust and respect and more importantly, it helps the family overcome the twists and turns of the life and plays a significant part in building and nurturing a family.
I would like to discuss seven important things we need to do to improve our family relationships.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind;...”(1Cor. 13:4). President David O. McKay said “Spirit of kindness is as enduring as love itself. Let us go home, and if we have been cruel, either by treating our wives with indifference, or by scolding or loud talking, if we have been cruel to our children by neglect or by striking them, let us see if we cannot repent and look introspectively and see whether or not we are to blame for some of the conditions that arouse these passions”
Love is Charity- the pure love of Christ. The joy we experience when we put the welfare of others above our own is worth experiencing. We experience sorrow because of our selfishness, which is the absence of love. A man and a woman are to make sacred covenants that they will put the welfare and happiness of the other at the centre of their lives. Children are to be born into a family where the parents hold the needs of children equal to their own in importance. And children are to love parents and each other. That is the ideal of a loving family.
2. Listen and think first before we say.
To improve our relationship with our family members, it is very important to understand our loved ones. In order to understand, it is very important to listen to them carefully. Listening to child or spouse by putting off all other things and trying to understand the feelings they are conveying. Family communication goes beyond mere exchange of words. It is important to think first before saying something. We should carefully ponder the words we have to say. If we are angry, upset or need to convey emotions that may stimulate conflict or stir up negative emotions, instead of using harsh language, we can express our feelings by stating how we feel.
3. Show Interest.
Oftentimes, in communicating with our loved ones, we tend to take interest only in what we have to say. This should be avoided; we should always take a genuine interest in what the other has to say. Parents who take interest with what their child or their spouse has to say cultivate healthier family relationships. Giving your undivided attention to your loved one even for a short period of time is much better than spending longer times together while distracted and not fully present
4. Mind your tone.
It is equally important to mind our tone. It has been said that one should tame the tongue to avoid uttering hurtful or sinister words. In the same way kind words; and sweet and thoughtful tones are always heartfelt and can uplift the soul. Correspondingly, pay attention not only with what you say, but how you say and express yourself to your family.
5. Trust and spend quality time with the family members.
Trust will always be an essential ingredient in every relationship. Accordingly, it also plays an important part in family communication. Trust your family and inspire trust from your family. Keep your promises; always be true to them. Maintain confidences, this encourages trust and commitment between you and your family. It is necessary for every family to find and make quality family time. Family time is the perfect venue to have fun together and can involve any number of activities. It can also be used to watch family movies together. Such light hearted moments help the family to enjoy each other's company and can pave the way to easy communication and sharing of jokes, to exchanging funny events of the day. Quality family time is indeed a key to good communication and in maintaining love and peaceful coexistence in the family.
6. Being open to discuss issues and problems.
Being open to discuss issues and problems is another key to improving family communication. Issues must be discussed in a manner that is beneficial to the family. It is not advisable to use the discussion to blame each other; rather a healthy exchange of views and problem solving will help the family bond.
7. Forgive and forget.
We all have felt the moment of asking for pardon with our spouse or to forgive a child for some mistake or disobedience. These moments come in our lives very often and it becomes easy for us to ask for forgiveness or to forgive others when we feel the love of the lord and ponder what Lord himself would have done and what we need to do in order to receive forgiveness. And as the promise was given in 3 Nephi: “ And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” As we strive towards being faithful in keeping the commandments. And as we do these things, we will be blessed with peace and joy within us and within our families.
I know that as we do all our best to improve and strengthen our family relationships, we will be happy and be an instrument in the hands of the lord and will be able to live with our family members for eternities, In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.