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Family

Get answers to questions about the standards of the Church. Choose a topic above to see more.

  • It seems that my brothers and sisters and I fight all the time. We’re supposed to be an eternal family, but how can I spend eternity with people I don’t get along with?

    “It is likely that some of you may not always get along with your brothers and sisters. Remember that even though you squabble and argue with them, they are very important to you. Hopefully, they will be your best friends one day.

    “We should treat our families with love not only because it is a commandment to love one another but because this is the way to be happy. If you are having difficulty with someone, the best way to solve the problem is not to try to get the other person to change, but to try to love him or her more” (Cecil O. Samuelson Jr., “Friend to Friend,” Friend, June 1996, 6).

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  • Why should I participate in family prayer?

    “Through regular family prayer, you and your family members will draw nearer to God and to each other. . . . You will all be better prepared to serve others and withstand temptations. Your home will be a place of spiritual strength, a refuge from the evil influences of the world” (True to the Faith, 122).

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  • Why does the Church focus so much on families?

    “The family is the fundamental unit in the Church, and home is the most important place for gospel learning. No other organization can take the place of the family. Even as the Church continues to grow, its purpose will always be to support and strengthen families and individuals in their efforts to live the gospel” (True to the Faith, 34).

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  • My family situation is not good. Is there any hope for my future family?

    “Even if you have not had a happy family life in the past, you can seek to have a happy, eternal marriage and a loving relationship with family members. . . . Prepare yourself carefully for marriage. Remember that there is no substitute for marrying in the temple. Prepare to marry the right person in the right place at the right time. Live worthy now of the kind of person you hope to marry” (True to the Faith, 97–99).

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  • How can I improve my relationship with my family?

    “We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like family dinner and family home evening and by just having fun together. In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home. We talk with, rather than about, each other. We learn from each other, and we appreciate our differences as well as our commonalities. We establish a divine bond with each other as we approach God together through family prayer, gospel study, and Sunday worship” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Things That Matter Most,” October 2010 general conference).

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  • Sometimes the humor in my family crosses over into teasing that hurts. How can we get out of this habit?

    One way you can help your family is to stop participating in this kind of humor yourself. Don’t tease your family members, and don’t react when they tease you. Show your love for them instead. The For the Strength of Youth booklet advises to “speak kindly and positively about others. Choose not to insult others or put them down, even in joking” (20). It may take time and effort, but you can learn to be kind to one another.

    Elder Marvin J. Ashton said: “One of the adversary’s tactics in the latter days is stirring up hatred among the children of men. He loves to see us criticize each other, make fun or take advantage of [each other], and generally pick on each other. . . . The way we treat the members of our families . . . is as important as are some of the more noticeable gospel principles we sometimes emphasize” (“The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” April 1992 general conference).

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  • I feel like I’m the only person in my ward without a perfect family. What can I do?

    “No doubt everyone would like to be part of a perfect family and live in perfect harmony in a perfect home,” said Elder Marion D. Hanks. “Yet no one is or does, since no one of us is yet perfect” (“Fitting into Your Family,” New Era, June 1991, 4).

    Elder Hanks, whose father died when Elder Hanks was young, grew up in a single-parent home. He learned how to deal with the challenges of a nontraditional home, and he gives good advice for anyone in a similar situation:

    “Those whose families are not what we wish they were can be thankful to parents who through God’s gift have given us life, and we can do everything we can do to minimize conflict and enhance harmony in our homes. Some small miracles occur where there just doesn’t appear much probability that one young person can make a difference” (“Fitting into Your Family,” 8).

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  • Why should I have a good relationship with my family?

    “Life’s greatest joys are found in the family. Strong family relationships require effort, but such effort brings great happiness in this life and throughout eternity” (True to the Faith, 97).

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  • My younger brother tags along with me everywhere I go. I know we should get along, but he often says and does things that embarrass me when we’re together. What should I do?

    “Patience with family members and others who are close to us is vital for us to have happy homes,” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said. “However, we often seem more willing to be courteous and polite with strangers than with those in our own family circles” (“Patience, a Key to Happiness,” April 1987 general conference). When you can, include your brother in your activities, and try to find time you can spend with just him. Elder Marvin J. Ashton said, “When we realize that parents and family members can be more than blood relations and are in very deed friends, then we will have a glimpse of how our Heavenly Father wants us to live, not only as brothers and sisters but as very close friends” (“The Significance of Friendship,” October 1969 general conference).

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  • I argue with my parents all the time. I love them, but we just don’t seem to get along. What can I do?

    “I urge you children to be patient with your parents,” said Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. “If they seem to be out of touch on such vital issues as dating, clothing styles, modern music, and use of family cars, listen to them anyway. They have the experience that you lack. Very few, if any, of the challenges and temptations you face are new to them. If you think they know nothing about the vital issues I just mentioned, take a good look at their high school and college yearbooks. Most important, they love you and will do anything they can to help you be truly happy” (“Patience, a Key to Happiness,” April 1987 general conference).

    Remember these words from President Gordon B. Hinckley: “You are precious to your parents. You may not think that sometimes, when you get a little careless about what you think of your father and your mother. All of their hopes and dreams rest in you. They pray for you. They worry about you. They think of you. They love you. Be good to your parents. Treat them with love and respect and kindness. It won’t hurt you once in a while to tell them that you love them” (“Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, Aug. 2000, 4).

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  • How can I get along with my sister if she treats me badly?

    When someone treats us badly, it’s easy to want to reciprocate the behavior. But remember that repeating bad behavior has never resolved a conflict and never will. Elder Robert D. Hales said: “When we do not retaliate—when we turn the other cheek and resist feelings of anger—we too stand with the Savior. We show forth His love, which is the only power that can subdue the adversary and answer our accusers without accusing them in return” (“Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship,” October 2008 general conference).

    It is our responsibility to respond to anger with kindness and service, just as the Savior did. The more your sister realizes you love and care about her, the more she will want to be closer to you as a friend.

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  • My less-active brother isolates himself from our family. How can I reach out to him?

    “All of us have family members or friends who need the gospel but are not now interested. To be effective, our efforts with them must be directed by the Lord so that we act in the way and at the time when they will be most receptive. We must pray for the Lord’s help and directions so we can be instruments in His hands” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Sharing the Gospel,” October 2001 general conference).

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