If your life were compared to an auto race and your time divided between the asphalt oval and the necessary stops for gas, oil, and tires, would family life be the race or the pit stop?
Perhaps you find it increasingly difficult to relate to your life at home. As a result of the knowledge explosion, you spend more and more time getting what is called an education. Three or four decades ago there just wasn’t as much to know. Now it seems that to be prepared for what you do in life, you must learn continually. To do this successfully you must usually severely limit the time you spend at home.
The school, working on the assumption that the family unit cannot satisfy our needs and wants, innocently conspires to make extracurricular activities substitute for family-sponsored projects. What they are saying in effect is: “Football, a capella, pep team, drama, yearbook, and school dances can do more to prepare your child for the future than taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, and keeping a clean room.”
The community agrees that the home does not seem to do its job. Society, after all, is the best teacher for there are so many homes that fail. “Take the child out of the inadequate environment of the home,” they say. “Let us teach him. You have confidence in your government, don’t you?”
Do schools supplement the home in its purpose or is the home simply a pit stop conveniently placed along the school race track? Do mothers change tires and fill up the gas tanks of their children so they can rush off to the race again? Do even good Mormon homes fail because they are ruled by the dictates of the school and community? Mothers were foreordained to be queens in Zion not grease monkeys humbly slaving in the pit stops called homes.
If your home is the pit stop and the race is going on elsewhere, remember, of all the organizations we belong to, only the family is eternal. To build an eternal family, home activities must become more sacred and not auxiliary to the world at large. In other words, clean up your room before you debate the pollution of the country. Home must operate well before our do-good spirit overcomes us with service to the community. Dishes are as important as algebra in building character in young ladies—and young men. When school takes its proper place in our minds and does not dictate our lives, then the family can rule itself through the divine patriarchal order, selecting from the gentile world only those things that will make our lives more full.
Grant Alma Wolsey