Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LDS Writer Blogfest:Establishing a Christ-Centered Home

I don't often share my faith on this blog. Maybe because it's so intensely personal, but perhaps more so I'm afraid of turning people away. Which is silly. After all, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said at this last General Conference, "we have a glad message to share, and we have a message of joy." Why not share my message of joy?

I was very glad when Krista Van Dolzer organized the second annual LDS (aka Mormon) Writer Blogfest. This year everybody participating (see link list below) is sharing their favorite General Conference talk. Twice a year the leaders of our church address us for two days: a beautiful two days when members of the church can gather in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City and listen to counsel and feel the Spirit. An uplifting, happy, renewing two days when all 14 million members of our church worldwide can watch the same conference by live broadcast. (In my case, in my own living room. Thank you BYUTV.)

The conference talk I've chosen was given by Elder Richard J. Maynes regarding Establishing a Christ-Centered Home. Now, if I was to discuss his entire talk, this would be a very long blog post. So I'll narrow my focus just a bit.

One thing, among many, I love about this gospel: a forever family! We believe marriage is forever, not just in this life. When I looked into my husband's eyes in the temple and agreed to marry him (and he to me!) we were agreeing to eternity. We believe that when we die and return to our Father in Heaven, we will still be married and we will still call our children our own. This family relationship is infinite, and our entire lives and beings are focused on returning to our Father in Heaven someday so that we can be together forever.

And that starts at home. It starts with teaching our children about Jesus Christ. Elder Maynes said, "Learning, teaching, and practicing the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our homes helps create a culture where the Spirit can dwell."

A pretty straight forward formula for a Christ-centered home seems to be reading the scriptures and praying together. Also, in our church, families set aside Monday evenings for "Family Home Evening," an evening the family gathers for a lesson, song, prayer, and activity. Right now, our Family Home Evenings are brief because our four year-old is well...four years-old. Last night, for instance, we talked about the Resurrection of the Savior, and how we can return to live with our Heavenly Father, that our bodies will also be re-united with our spirits one day because of what He did.

We try to read scriptures with our son every day. And pray with him every day. And TALK about Jesus every day. However, lest you be confused, I'm not perfect. In fact, I am the perfect example of an imperfect person. Some days it's late and by the time my son is lying in bed in the same room as his slumbering sister, I say, "Hmmm, a bedtime prayer might wake her up." And sometimes I forget who gave me life and who gave me the possibility of forever...and who gave me everything beautiful in this world. And sometimes I forget to tell my son. But I try, and I hope it's enough that he remembers. I want him to grow up with the knowledge that his parents loved their Father in Heaven, loved Jesus Christ (and were infinitely grateful for His Atonement), loved him (our son!) and his baby sister and each other, and that we are looking forward to forever with all of the above.

Annette Lyon: “Desire”
Annie Cechini: “The Spirit of Revelation”
Ben Spendlove: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Chantele Sedgwick: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Charity Bradford: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Jackee Alston: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Jenilyn Tolley: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Jennifer McFadden: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jolene Perry: “It’s Conference Once Again”
Jordan McCollum: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Kasey Tross: “Guided by the Holy Spirit”
Kayeleen Hamblin: “Become as a Little Child”
Kelly Bryson: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Krista Van Dolzer: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Melanie Stanford: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Michelle Merrill: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Myrna Foster: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Nisa Swineford: “Desire”
Sallee Mathews: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Sierra Gardner: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Tamara Hart Heiner: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”
The Writing Lair: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”


  1. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing something so personal. We try really hard to do many of the same things in our home. We don't always succeed, but the point is we keep trying and our son is learning what is important to us.

  2. I loved that talk. Like Candice, we try to do the simple things that will make our home more Christ Centered. It's hard when they get older and busier, but you really need to make time for it.

  3. That was a great talk! It reminded me that the people I need to be kindest to are the people in my life I see every day.

  4. I love how the leaders of the Church give us simple solutions to the things we face. We could make it really hard on ourselves, but no. It's not that bad. Read and pray. Sunday School answers. Great post!

  5. It does seem harder to hold family home evening now that my children are older and there are more distractions. But I need to remember that while they fight me on it now, they will learn something. Great post!

  6. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I'm trying to get around to all the other LDS bloggers participating in the blogfest so I can read all of the wonderful posts!

    One thing I started doing with my children when my oldest started school was to have a morning devotional. I was serving as a leader at Youth Conference when I got the idea, because we had morning devotionals with the youth every day while we were there. For my little ones, I use the Friend magazine, and the whole thing takes less than 5 minutes. We start with a Primary song, then we read a story from the Friend, maybe discuss it briefly, and we finish with a prayer. It's just a nice way for us to be calm and connect and remember what's important before we all run off to our various daily activities. :-)

    Thanks again for your beautiful words!

  7. You nearly brought tears to my eyes. We just had a great fhe last night and each time it comes together, it makes all the nights of protests and crying worth it.

  8. I don't share my faith as much on my own blog either - I think for the same reasons. Which isn't to say it isn't the most important thing to me - and that I don't intensely love reading about other's faith... like this. So thank you for sharing this.

    We've managed to stay very much a family-oriented home, and even as my oldest is 12 and I'd expect less of that (or more struggle) our favorite times are still doing things together. Friday nights are definitely our "together" nights where we have fun, and every night is prayer, and all the time we talk about faith and God. It's a lifestyle I hope they look back on and realize have given them foundation in this unstable world.

    Thanks for your words!

  9. Beautiful post- the best we can do is always keep trying. And our kids will remember that over anything else when they get older.

  10. I'm the same way. I never shared my beliefs on my blog either because I didn't want to turn people away. Then I thought of what a huge impact on my life it has and figured I'd be fine sharing a few things. We are all supposed to be missionaries right? ;)
    We try to do FHE every week, but sometimes we end up watching a movie or making a treat instead of doing a lesson. I think we are doing a pretty good job though. The kids will at least remember we were together on that day right? ;) We do have family prayer every night, and I wish we could do it in the morning too, but it's so hard to get everyone up when my hubby leaves so early. Maybe someday... Thanks for this post!

  11. I think we're all perfect examples of imperfect people. I loved your beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing this!

  12. I'm at that crazy stage with teenagers and schedules that make it hard for everyone to be home at the same time for prayer and scripture study--but we're trying, and I guess that's the important part. Great post.

  13. Like you, I'm imperfect, but I do love telling the kiddos about Jesus and pointing out different ways God is at work in our everyday lives.

  14. Thank you for sharing! It seems we all struggle in our own ways, but those small things you do will bring blessings. It sounds like you are doing great!

  15. Such a great testimony. Thanks for sharing, Jessie! It's good to be back on your blog--I've missed it! Hugs!

  16. "I'm the perfect example of an imperfect person." Love your honesty, Jessie! Your family is blessed to have you for a wife/mommy!

  17. We're not perfect about getting everything done that we should either, but just tonight our youngest wouldn't let her daddy go to bed until he read scriptures with us. She's such a cutie. Thanks for sharing this.

  18. Thanks for sharing. I'm perfectly imperfect as well! I have four kids from ages 1-6 and FHE is kind of a joke sometimes. Our new thing is to act out a story from the scriptures. It's working so much better. I think the 'doing' part of the activity keeps their attention. And hopefully they're learning :)

  19. I've shared my faith on my blog, but I know I do not share it in all areas of my life. Reading bible stories was a way to have God in our thoughts at least once a day when the children were very young. And a prayer table. But those times have passed but I love how you said family is forever, and we're still together when we're Home.