Lesson #19 in the Spencer W. Kimball manual for the 2007 course of study was “Strengthening Our Families.” The Kimballs themselves were influential examples of the importance of family, teaching and guiding their children toward proper choices and showing affection. Their children remember their formative years with great fondness because of their parents.
As we begin the lesson, we learn that the family is essential to Heavenly Father’s plan. It is a clear pattern for how things are run in the after life. There is a father, there is a mother, there are children, and they together form a family unit. The family is eternal.
No institution on the face of the earth can succeed if the family fails. Even the Church is only as strong as its families. I quote directly from the lesson: “We have no choice . . . but to continue to hold up the ideal of the Latter-day Saint family. . . . we cannot set aside this standard, because so many other things depend upon it.”
One of the most important tasks of a parent is to build a reservoir of spiritual strength in their children so that when the storms of life come upon them, they know how to react. Proper teaching in the home will be invaluable as your children go into the world. The school, the church, and the babysitter are not responsible to teach your child. The role of the parent should never be turned over to some other source. Your child will follow the example you set. Even those children who rebel tend to fall back on their earliest teaching when they come to understand that they have been wrong.
We must fortify our homes from evil influences. Drugs, pornography, and immorality are portrayed wherever we go. Our homes can and must be shelters from these storms. As we keep the commandments, we can create such a safe haven, especially as we keep the atmosphere of our homes free from these things.
President Kimball compares family home evening to a spiritual umbrella that we can spread over our families. We should gather with our families, teaching them the true principles of the gospel and encouraging them to stay close to their Father in Heaven. As we strive to do the same, we can strengthen our families and stave off the attacks of the opposition.