Business Travelers: Return with Honor

We often hear the phrase “Return with Honor” in reference to missionaries serving full-time missions. This phrase can have additional meaning as we consider the many Church members who are required to travel for their occupations. As a business consultant who has traveled for several years, I have seen some of my peers succumb to temptation, while others have made righteous choices. Whether work travel is brief or extended, there are ways to keep our family ties strong. Following are some ideas to help business travelers maintain their standards when working away from home:

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    Know your weaknesses. The maxim “Know thyself” offers helpful advice for everyone. Pay attention to your potential weaknesses, and avoid situations where you might be tempted. For instance, if you have a propensity to view inappropriate movies when staying at hotels, ask the front-desk clerk to turn off the access to pay-per-view movies to your room. Be safe. Don’t test your resolve in matters of temptation. If you frequently watch movies, though they may be appropriate, consider limiting your time in front of the television to pursue more meaningful activities.

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    Carry a picture of your family. During a recent temple recommend interview, my stake president reiterated the advice of Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who said to always have a picture of your spouse or family when you are away from home (see “The Sanctity of Womanhood,” Ensign, May 2000, 37). A small, framed picture placed on a hotel room table serves as a loving reminder of your family. Screensavers with pictures of your family can also be loaded on your laptop computer and viewed throughout the day. If you are single, keep a favorite family photo with you.

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    Read scriptures and pray with your family. Our family realizes the power that comes from reading the scriptures and praying together. When I am traveling, our family has an established time each morning for me to call home so we can pray and read the scriptures together using a speaker phone. This is the most important thing I do each day because it ensures I have a good start, and I look forward to this time with my family each morning.

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    Keep in touch. In addition to our morning phone calls, I call my family at other times to share my experiences, hear about their day, and take care of family matters. I carry a cell phone so I can be reached at any time. You can also keep in touch through e-mail, such as sending digitized pictures of places you have visited, and your family can send pictures of family activities that have occurred during your absence. Sending postcards or packages with souvenirs and birthday and anniversary cards to family and friends is also a good idea when you are traveling.

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    Make the most of your time at home. When you are at home, be home. Make your family high priority. For family ties to remain strong when you are away, you need to develop them when you are at home. Focus on both quality and quantity time with your wife and children, collectively and individually.

I have realized it is important to “be anxiously engaged in a good cause” so we do not succumb to temptation (see D&C 58:27). By doing something every day to keep our family ties strong, we can return with honor to our loved ones, knowing we have done our best to maintain gospel standards during our travels.Steve Thevenin, Papermill Ward, Roswell Georgia Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Joe Flores

Our Conference Family Home Evenings

We have family home evening on a regular basis, but sometimes we struggle in selecting lesson material best suited to our family. Our dilemma is not too little material but too much. Sometimes my husband and I have looked through the Family Home Evening Resource Book and have wondered which topics to select and how to present them in an interesting way for both our teenagers and Primary-age children.

To make family home evening a more meaningful experience, we prayed and searched for a solution. One Sunday during a Sunday School lesson, the idea came to me that we should teach our children more about the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the General Authorities. What better way to do this than by sharing their conference talks in family home evening?

We have the Ensign conference issues from 1997 to present, and they are also available on the Church’s official Web site at or on CD (item no. 50000, U.S. $3). We take turns giving the lessons—even the younger children. Since the talks can be adapted for different age levels, everyone in our family is involved and excited to participate.

The conference talks provide teachings for our day, and the much-needed topics they address have greatly benefited our family. As we have shared the Church leaders’ messages, our family has more keenly felt the Spirit and the Savior’s love in our home.Lori Wood, Hyrum Second Ward, Hyrum Utah Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Beth Whittaker

Showing Primary Children You Care

Teaching Primary can be challenging at times, especially if your class has discipline problems. You can help the children behave better by helping them feel the love you have for them. Here are eight ways to show you care.

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    Pray for them—at home and also in class. Children feel good when they know you are concerned about them. During opening or closing prayer, mention them by name, and pray for their specific concerns as needed.

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    Learn more about the children. Find out their likes and dislikes. After the opening prayer, let them raise their hands and take turns talking about their week.

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    Give children a hug or a squeeze on the shoulder. Though we must be careful about showing affection appropriately, children need to know we love them.

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    Talk to them when you see them outside the classroom. Say hello when you see them at an activity or in the neighborhood. This shows the children you care about them always, not just when they are in Primary.

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    Write them a note occasionally. Drop off or send a card or letter telling them the good things they did in class the previous Sunday. This will positively reinforce the good behavior you like to see in your classroom.

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    Remember them on a holiday. I will never forget the looks of surprise and delight on my Primary children’s faces when I showed up at their homes Valentine’s Day morning with a special treat.

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    Remember their birthdays. All children love to be remembered on their birthdays. Send them a card, sing a song to them in class, let them be the class leader, or give them an inexpensive present. Above all, make them feel loved on their special day.

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    Prepare good lessons and bear your testimony. Children will know you love them when you have a well-prepared lesson, which could include visuals from the ward library. Study the lesson material and pray for help in conveying the lesson and reaching the hearts of the children as you testify of gospel truths. Children learn from your example as they feel the Spirit testify that what you say is true.

Using these ideas to show your Primary children you love them will greatly reduce problems you may be having in your classroom. As you show them your love, they will develop love, loyalty, and respect for you and your classroom. Your heart will be filled with joy as you love and teach Heavenly Father’s little ones.Kersten Campbell, Pullman First Ward, Pullman Washington Stake