A young mother of two sons was busy with a part-time job at home and a demanding Church calling. “It seemed I had no time for my small children,” she recalled. She was often so involved in her work that her sons had to go to great lengths to get her attention—and she was often impatient with them.
So she decided to organize an “activity time” she could enjoy with her sons each morning. As she spent that time with them in prayer, singing, and fun activities, she gained a greater appreciation for each and began to really enjoy the time they spent together. She was amazed at what a little love and attention brought about!
This mother had discovered one of the “secrets” to making her home a sanctuary from the world and its cares. The early Saints were told to make the temple they were building “a house of prayer … a house of learning … a house of God” (see D&C 88:119). In the same way, we should make our homes havens of love where we and other family members can grow and learn to practice self-control and to serve, understand, and forgive each other.
“Home,” President Ezra Taft Benson has said, “is love, understanding, trust, welcome, and a sense of belonging” (General Conference, October 1981).
Of course, not all homes consist of parents and children. Some single sisters live alone, with roommates, or with family members or relatives. Some married sisters do not have children, and some sisters have already reared their families. But regardless of who lives in our home—even if it is only ourselves—we need it to be a place of refuge from the world where we can feel the Lord’s Spirit and practice living the principles of the gospel.
How can we make our home “a house of God” where we can remember Christ and pattern our lives after his? There are several things we can do:
—Personal and family prayer and scripture study invite a spirit of love into the home.
—A picture of Christ reminds family members of his example and can encourage us to be more Christlike.
—Appropriate music can invite the Spirit to dwell in our homes and can calm and inspire us in times of trial or trouble.
—A dedicatory prayer offered in the home can invite the Spirit to abide there and can inspire a feeling of reverence.
We can also establish a positive environment in which children feel accepted and loved, in which they learn the gospel.
Discuss some ways we can remember the Lord within our homes.
You or the sister you visit may wish to share an experience about something you or she did to cultivate a positive atmosphere within the home.
(See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pages 92–97, 186–87, 189–90, 231–32, 235–62, 265–321 for additional resources.)