Questions and Answers


“Why does my family have problems even though we go to church, have family home evening, and try to live the gospel? What more can we do?”

Living the gospel brings blessings but doesn’t mean you won’t face challenges. Trials can strengthen your faith by prompting you to seek Heavenly Father’s help. Solving problems with His help teaches you how to make righteous decisions.

Have you discussed this situation as a family? By counseling together, you might find helpful ideas. Have you fasted and prayed for solutions as a family? Have you searched the scriptures and general conference talks? Maybe your family needs to make some changes to improve the situation, or maybe you just need to persevere, waiting patiently and trusting that the Lord will strengthen you during this trial (see Mosiah 24:15).

If others have caused your family pain, try to forgive them and not blame them. While forgiveness might not immediately solve the problem, it will bring peace to your heart and make the problem easier to deal with.

The adversary is attacking families because their strength is so important to the Church and your community. So keep enduring. Keep going to church, holding family home evening, and living the gospel. Obedience enables you to feel the Holy Ghost, and His guidance is vital to finding the answers you seek. Living in a strong family, even one that has to overcome problems, is one of the most important goals you can have.

Use the Guides We Have Been Given

Perhaps a family is not strengthened until it has been tested. Fortunately, we do not need to face our problems alone; Heavenly Father wants us to succeed as individuals and families. To help us, He has provided important guides, such as the scriptures, a living prophet, other Church leaders, and the Holy Spirit. They can help us understand and apply the gospel principles that will bring joy to us and our families. In addition, never forget to tell your parents that you appreciate and love them. I know that the Lord will provide a way for your family to be united, strengthened, and lifted up. I know that the family is ordained of God.

Jared L., age 18, Mindanao, Philippines

Learn from Your Challenges

No matter how hard you try, there will always be challenges. These tests are to help us grow. It all depends on how you react to those challenges. The key is to learn from them. Take a step back and see what is actually going on around you. Pray about the trials you are going through and have faith that the Lord will help you get through them. They can become a strength to you, and in turn you can be a strength to others.

Makenzie C., age 18, Chihuahua, Mexico

Read the Family Proclamation

Problems come whether we say our prayers or not. They are not to punish us but to strengthen us. The problems we encounter in life provide an opportunity for families to work together. As my family pushes through stress, money problems, and just trying to find time to be together, we become closer to each other and our Heavenly Father. One thing we do when times are tough is read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” It reminds us of the holy bond we share and how important it is to keep our covenants.

Anna G., age 15, Georgia, USA

Accept Heavenly Father’s Will

I think that one way Heavenly Father tries us is through problems. What we must not forget is that He is our Father and as such He loves us so much and thus wants what is best for us. I know that the only way we can overcome problems is through perseverance and accepting the will of the Father.

José C., age 18, Ancash, Peru

Have Faith in the Lord

What helps me when I question why my family has problems, even when we are doing everything we can, is the story of Job and how much he went through. Job 19:25–26 reads: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” Job was faced with some of the most difficult challenges, and yet he still knew that his Redeemer lives! When we are able to think and live as Job did, I know that we will be able to see past our problems and see that we have a Redeemer, who is lifting us through these trials.

Megan B., age 17, Utah, USA

Face Problems with Hope

Problems make us stronger when faced correctly. What you need to do is to face the problems with hope and courage. You may be doing your best by attending church and trying to live the gospel, so you have to acknowledge the fact that your problems are to refine you and make you better in the end. Try also to identify something you do not do right and make an effort to correct it. Try often to help others, and as you do so, your problems will seem lighter. Above all, counsel with the Lord always. Pray about your problems and ask Heavenly Father to guide you.

Raymond A., age 18, Accra, Ghana

Endure to the End

The family is central to the Creator’s plan, so naturally the adversary is going to do all he can to stop us from living together as a happy, gospel-focused family. We know we can’t expect life to be easy or that once we go to church and have family home evening, life will be free of temptations. When things get rough, read your scriptures, pray, and just talk as a family.

Elder Dudley, age 21, Indonesia Jakarta Mission

Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.

Follow the Counsel of Prophets

Elder Robert D. Hales

“With the help of the Lord and His doctrine, all the hurtful effects from challenges a family may meet can be understood and overcome. Whatever the needs of family members may be, we can strengthen our families as we follow the counsel given by prophets.

“The key to strengthening our families is having the Spirit of the Lord come into our homes.”

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty,” Ensign, May 1999, 32.

Next Question

“How do you keep your anger under control when you are really upset?”

Send your answer by May 15, 2011, to:

Liahona, Questions & Answers 5/11
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