I’ve been thinking about families a lot lately. I feel like there are designs seeking to destroy the family. Actually, I know that there are. The adversary wants us miserable and captive. He knows that by attacking the family, all of society can be destroyed.
We can read about the joy in families in the scriptures. One example comes in the book of Mosiah. When King Noah’s people were about to be attacked by the Lamanites, King Noah directs the priests and other men in the land to flee into the wilderness. They do, leaving their women and children behind.
Some of the men don’t realize that King Noah had no intention of fighting the Lamanites, and they worry about their wives and children. They end up mutinying against King Noah, and returning to their families.
“And it came to pass that after they had ended the ceremony, that they returned to the land of Nephi, rejoicing, because their wives and their children were not slain; and they told Gideon what they had done to the king.” – Mosiah 19:24
Joy comes in our families. Think about the greatest joys and the greatest pains that you have felt in your life. Most likely, they are related to the experiences you have had in your family. And if you have children, then you know that the joy you experience in your children – their successes; their joy – pales in comparison with any other joy you have ever experienced.
I have always loved what Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.” This is the best description that describes the love I have for my children. It is consuming and connected with deep, abiding joy.
The men who returned back to the land of their first inheritance rejoiced to hear that their wives and children were not slain. When it came to a life or death situation, they were more concerned with their family than with themselves.
There is love and should be love and joy in our families. Obviously, family life isn’t always perfect. Because there is so much potential for deep joy there is also potential for deep pain.
But it is our choice. When we choose to value family and protect it, then we also value and protect one of our greatest capacities for joy.
oh…and imagine what that could do for all of society…!!!