Try an experiment. Think of your best friends; then list their names on a piece of paper.

Did your list include family members? Good friends are important, but families are eternal. And even in this life you’ll have more lasting ties with family members than with any other friends. As one New Era reader put it, if you treat your family as if they are your very best friends, they will be your best friends. Here are some more suggestions readers give for bringing your family closer:

  • Have family prayer. Remember a family member’s big test, game, or event in your prayer.

  • Have family home evening and have every family member participate.

  • Read the scriptures together.

  • Spend time together each day if possible, even if it’s just to ask “How was your day?”

  • Help each other with homework or other assignments.

  • Work together—it’ll bond the family relationship. Have family cleaning “parties.”

  • Play together. Plan family activities or vacations together, making sure they include everyone’s interests. Play games together.

  • Keep a sense of humor. Humor can smooth the way through little irritations.

  • Communicate. Talk openly with family members. Really listen with a desire to understand each other’s feelings. Admit when you’re wrong and apologize when you need to.

  • Write or call often if you are far from each other. Write to family missionaries.

  • Express your love to your family. Ask, “What can I do to show I care about you?”

  • Give sincere compliments, and tell family members how much you appreciate them. This will help them feel good about themselves and want to be kind, too.

  • Make a family goal or mission statement together and decide how to achieve it.

Photography by John Luke