While proselytizing in Brazil, we were taught to focus out content and approach on families. There are so many wonderful teaching about the family in which leaders want to emphasize how seriously we need to be concerned with these units. I think that much of this is wonderful advise, particularly because the incredible joys that can come from them, although they also bring the risk of incredible pain. That pain in what we will be focusing on today, as I think there is always a need for a reminder.
There is an interesting phenomenon where you can say the meanest things to a family member, but if someone outside of the family said the same thing you could become extremely upset. I think that point to something nice which is the deep down loyalty and desire for the very best for our family, but if it is true that we care about them, why would we allow ourselves to fall into bad habits of sometimes treating them in ways that are extremely painful and harmful. It is my hope that we can recognize that no matter how good our family lives are, I hope that we can evaluate those things that we are doing which could be causing harm to this thing that we claim to love so much.
President Thomas S. Monson and taught something similar where he said “Brothers and sisters, some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes. Love should be the very heart of family life, and yet sometimes it is not. There can be too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights, too many tears. Lamented President Gordon B. Hinckley: “Why is it that the [ones] we love [most] become so frequently the targets of our harsh words? Why is it that [we] sometimes speak as if with daggers that cut to the quick?” The answers to these questions may be different for each of us, and yet the bottom line is that the reasons do not matter. If we would keep the commandment to love one another, we must treat each other with kindness and respect.”