As Latter-day Saints, we believe that the family is ordained of God and that it is the central unit in His plan of happiness for us, His children. One of the ways we are encouraged to nurture those family relationships is by reserving one night each week for “Family Night.” On this night, we, as families, sing, pray, teach, learn, play, laugh, eat, encourage, and (hopefully) enjoy each others’ company. We grow in love toward one another and in our understanding of important gospel principles. Obviously these things should be happening every day of the week, but it is on “Family Night” that each family member puts all other social and professional obligations aside and focuses solely on the family.
Since “Family Night” is a weekly tradition I want to have in my “someday-family,” I’m trying to cultivate that habit now. It’s a little tricky (obviously, since I don’t have a family), and sometimes funny–mostly when Frit welcomes “all of us” to Family Night or when we sing the opening song (just the two of us). But I know that by staying dedicated to what I believe is important and wise counsel, I will adopt a habit that will bless my future home and family.
Tonight, I was in charge of the lesson and with Valentine’s day around the corner, I decided to teach about love. After the opening song (that we mostly laughed through) and an opening prayer, we opened our scriptures to 1 Corinthians 13 to read Paul’s sermon on charity. As we read we talked about what love really is at its purest form and what it means when Paul says that without charity we are nothing.
I asked Frit who (aside from Christ) had taught her what charity is, and what that has meant to her life. She shared her thoughts on her mom, a woman who has always been there, loving her in love’s most pure, basic, true form. She then flipped the question and I too could think only of my mother, who would do anything for anyone without any thought to how it would affect her life.
As we talked about the kind of women our mothers are, Frit said, “Do you think it’s because they love the Lord, that they know how to love others so well?” I hadn’t ever thought of it that way before, but yes. I do think that.
I think that when we, ourselves, feel the abundant love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we can’t help but love others. And not just love them, but love them with the same unconditional and genuine love God has for us. You can’t help it! You know how much you are loved. You know how much you are worth. And you see that worth in others.
It is easy, when we are far from the Lord, to forget just how much He loves us. We forget how merciful, kind, and gentle that love is. But the closer we get to Him, the more real and obvious that love is. It’s a love that is impossible to misunderstand.
I have felt His love increasing day by day as I try harder and harder to inch closer and closer to Him. But more importantly, I have seen His love fix my small and broken life, despite my own efforts. It is a love that is real and unmistakable.
It is a love I cannot live without.
It is a love I cannot wait to share.
(Oh, and just in case you were wondering … after the lesson, we wrote love notes to friends and family and ate pie.)