Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Let Faith Be Your Rock

Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith (and) prayer. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, para. 7)
I just love this topic of faith and family. I feel so blessed to be a member of this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because it fills me with so much knowledge of my Savior and Heavenly Father and Their plan of Happiness. Life is hard! There's no getting around that. We all have trials, but it's how we get through them that determine the outcome and how we move on.
I have had many friends over the years that have joined this church and wondered how and why families are happy. What makes them press on in difficult times? Well, I say to them that it isn't just one thing, but a culmination of things, practices, beliefs, that encourage us. Most importantly for me, it is faith in Heavenly Father and the power of prayer. For some, especially those who weren't very religious before they became interested and then joined the church, they can see a difference of why religion, faith in something, or someone, helps them in their daily lives.
Please watch this very tender video about the need for faith in our lives.

From the textbook in my Family class, Joseph, a non-denominational Christian father said this:
"There's something that.... when as a family your hearts are pointed together toward the same thing, and it's God, then parenting and economics and space and food and disagreements and hassles and joys and celebrations and all that other stuff.... it works different, it seems different, it feels different.... Our family is all oriented in the same way. Christ is King, He's the center, He's what it's all about.... Our faith forms our relationships and everything about us." (pg. 191)
For those who might want further understanding on how religion and faith go hand-in-hand, ponder on what Emily, a married mother of 5, and a member of the LDS church had to say on the topic:
Faith is not "science"-based. It is believing something without having to have tactile proof of its existence. Whether it be faith in knowing something's going to happen for the better or faith in our Heavenly Father. If you have that faith, there is some kind of religion in your life, however a person deems a religion to be. That's one way of seeing it.

Another is more personal. I would say this: without faith and religion, it's like playing the lottery. Sure, you have a chance that your children will turn out just fine, that they'll make that choice to choose the right in circumstances they are faced with. A chance, like betting. But we all know how gambling goes, 90 times out of 100 you don't win. The odds are not ever in your favor. But if you do everything you can by promoting and exercising faith and your religion in front of your kids as an example your odds flip and it becomes "ever if your favor".

Children learn by example be it good or bad. They quietly watch and learn every little nasty habit we have emotionally and physically. And they also watch us with our goodness too, as in service we choose to perform and words we choose to say, integrity we posses. These things are helped by having faith and religion. Religion prompts the curiosities and faith helps answer and seal those. You also need religion with faith otherwise where do the origins of the faith seed that's planted in your heart come from? Religion is like a university with many different aspects to it that all come together to teach and to form a perfect degree in the end. Faith is the homework that is required daily in order to maintain those subjects. You can't succeed in college without doing homework. Likewise, if you are doing homework without direction of a class, you become stagnant. You do not progress and it eventually just becomes an unorganized mess that just creates confusion and then it is ultimately dropped for lack of direction.

I think Emily gave a great description and analogy. Along with what she said, I want to talk a bit about family rituals. What can they be? Prayer, scripture reading, attending church together; these create bonds that can tie families together and create a faith-based home. They might not be the easiest to implement if you aren't used to practicing them, but I can testify they are essential in building faith in ourselves and those in our families, and in the Savior. I know for me, when I become relaxed in my daily prayers or scripture reading my days don't fair as well and I realize I am missing something important in my life.

Faith is my rock I lean on to when I am vulnerable. When my first baby at 2 1/2 months old had a double lung transplant, when I was told I would have a 25% chance of having a baby with the same disease, when I was told she would not make it, and when we placed her sweet little body in the grave, I couldn't have gone through those trials without faith in my all-knowing Heavenly Father. It was only through faith and prayer, my husband and myself being equally yoked, that I was able to get through it. I've had 4 healthy children since the passing of my McKenna. Each pregnancy and birth were faith building experiences, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was able to get through the most difficult time of my life because of the faith I placed in Heavenly Father and His guiding principles.

I want to end this post by sharing a beautiful video of a woman who has gone through indescribable trials that, unless we've gone through them ourselves, we could not comprehend. Stephanie Nielsen is an example to me of faith in our Savior and Heavenly Father, Their plan for us, and her desire to raise her family based on her faith and trust. She is an inspiration to me, and has been for millions of people around the world. (She has a blog as well that is worth the read..... so faith building.)


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