The Family


The Greeks have a word for it—philotemo.

Philotemo means a passion for honor, belief in the family, commitment to traditions. It includes respect for elders and delight in little children. It’s awareness and caring and dignity and courage. Some say it has to do with creating with one’s own hands and then proudly passing the skill from father to son. It’s fighting for freedom for those well loved. It’s having a fierce appreciation for one’s community, for working with excellence.

Philotemo is all bound up in the sterling quality of wholesomeness, with a rich, deep sense of the adventure in living.

It is something a Latter-day Saint knows a bit about, too. To us there is the added dimension of Latter-day Saint doctrine that assures us of familial ties that go backward and forward forever and reminds us of the eternal nature of the human personality and the worth of each soul.

There is a kind of majesty in kindred blood, in knowing you are loved—anyway! Long years of togetherness in the light and shadow of life make the memories dear and the people involved important one to another.

Philotemo … kinship … to be a family is God’s best blessing.

… we shall have her always under our eyes and be all one family, parents and children, grandchildren and sons-in-law, and so the peace and blessing of God will dwell among us.—anonymous

There must be a union of those who cannot exist without each other—namely of male and female—that the race may continue … mankind has a natural desire to leave behind them an image of themselves.—anonymous

The majesty of kindred blood. … —Sophocles

The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.—George Santayana

It is a reverend thing to see an ancient castle or building not in decay: or to see a fair timber tree sound and perfect. How much more to behold an ancient and noble family which hath stood against the waves and weathers of time.—Francis Bacon

A holy family, that make Each meal a Supper of the Lord. —Longfellow

He who joins in sport with his own family will never be dull to strangers.—Plautus

[photos] Photos by Eldon Linschoten