Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Love of A Father Goes A Long Way

I'm a little bit behind, but I couldn't let the subject of father's get skipped. As we talked about the importance of a father's role in class I felt so grateful for my own Dad. He has always been there for me. He has been my provider and my protector. He is my example-- my role model. I know that I would not be who I am today if it weren't for my dad. He has inspired me in the best of ways. I love him, and I am thankful for the multiple roles he plays in my family. He is our leader. He is our comic relief. He is our voice of reason. He is our presider, our provider, and our protector. He is our supporter, and he really is 
my hero. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

With an Eternal Perspective, All Will Be Well

Two weeks ago I wrote about family crises and how my testimony of the gospel helps me to handle them. Today I came across this clip, and it perfectly conveys everything I was trying to say. 

I just had to share. 

Like Elder Nelson, I am so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the strength it offers me in these tumultuous times.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Family Council

I really liked last weeks discussion. We have never had formal "family councils" in my family, but after talking about it in class, it is definitely something that I want to implement for my future family. I know that these meeting can be greatly beneficial for all family members. It helps everyone to be on the same page, and gives everyone a chance to effectively communicate any concerns, problems, or news with the rest of the family.

In addition, I believe that these meetings can be a great opportunity to feel the spirit. When a family is united and in harmony with each other, the spirit is present and able to speak to those who are listening. What a blessing it is to have family council. It brings organization, family unity, and spiritual growth.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Family Crisis

Last week we talked about different crises that can take place in a family and how to deal with them. I really enjoyed this topic because it is very applicable. No matter how perfect a family is, crisis is something that will inevitably come at some point. Death, financial struggles, illness, etc. All of these things have major effects on a family, and I enjoyed discussing how to handle them.

Talking about these issues caused me to take a closer look at my own life, which, seems to be quite charmed. I found myself asking question like, "why doesn't anything bad ever happen to my family?" or "how are we so blessed when others seem to constantly struggle?" These questions filled my mind until I took another step back and realized that, yes, even my family has faced a lot of crises. In fact, we have faced 5 out of the ten things I listed.

Why then, have none of them had negative long-term effects on myself, or my family. The only answer that seemed to fit was the fact that my family seems to keep an eternal perspective. We remember Heavenly Father, and the Atonement. We live righteously so we can be at peace with our well being and the well being of our family members. The gospel is very much a part of our lives-- a part of our decisions, emotions, and behavior.  

When my mom got cancer, it was very hard for me and my family. I had never seen my dad so sad, and I hope I never have to see him that way again. However, as sad and scary as the situation was, it brought so many blessings. Most of all it strengthened testimonies. As my mom went in for surgery she reminded me and my family that we have nothing to fear. She had been faithful, and she knew that through the whole process, whatever that entailed, she, and we, would never be left alone. We had Christ on our side, and we could be at peace. 

After the cancer was gone and as she recovered, I noticed several blessings that came to my family because of her illness. We came together and it made me realize that, should anything like this ever happen again, I am surrounded by people who support and love me. I also gained a stronger testimony of the realness of the Atonement. Christ knows what each of his children are going through, and he will not leave you alone. Ever. In a way, I believe that my family was prepared for this simply because we each had a testimony of the Jesus Christ. We each understood his gospel, and we all knew that the teachings within it were true. The gospel of Jesus Christ is our foundation, and through Him, we can conquer anything.

Thinking about this also made me think about my mom's family of origin. She and her siblings have faced many major trials in their lives. However, they have each handled them with strength as they have stayed deeply rooted in the gospel and relied heavily on the Atonement. I believe that growing up in the gospel prepared them, starting at a young age, to face these problems with dignity. My mom's family always saved Monday nights for  Family Night. On these nights they would learn about the gospel, play games, and gain strong relationships with one another. Just last week, my mom sent an email to me concerning some of these issues that her siblings are facing. In it, she said, 

"I have such a strong testimony of Family Home Evening. You all know about my own family and the terrible things that happened in it. In spite of it all, we had great, meaningful Family Nights every Monday without fail where we learned the gospel and had lots of fun. I really believe that it is the reason we all came out as well as we did. Some of us had every reason to go off the deep end, but we didn't." 

If we stay rooted in the gospel and remember the eternal perspective, I believe that we can come out of anything with our heads up. It will not be easy. Most family crises are extremely difficult, and at times it may seem much easier to drop everything and bail. We simply cannot think of that as an option. As we rely on Christ, and our family members to strengthen us, problems can be solved, issues can be minimized, and our love for one another can grow more than we imagined possible.

Everything is possible with Christ. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011


This past week in Family Relations we talked about boundaries in a relationship and staying as far away as possible from "the line." I think this is an extremely important topic to discuss and understand because it seems like the line is getting between a lot of couples these days, Especially with technologies, such as texting and facebook.

I think these things are very dangerous to do when you are married. I agree that married couples should combine facebook accounts, not because of a lack of trust, but because it's a good way to distance yourself from the line, and any temptations that could come up, even if it wasn't your intention. Texting is also a thing that should stop once you are married or in a serious relationship. It's important to realize that just because you may have a strong marriage, or you feel like nothing could ever go wrong between you and your significant other, they can. However, by communicating and respecting each other's concerns issues like these can be prevented.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Children Change Things

This past week in class we talked about bringing children into the world and the changes that happen in a marriage because of that. Children are a big deal and even a tiny new born baby can create either a great amount of added joy, or some serious problems in a marriage.

One thing that Brother Williams talked about in class last week was the importance of including the father in the joys of having a new baby. Let him be a part of things, even though sometimes it might seem difficult, or even unnecessary. We learned in class that men like to be appreciated and they like to feel wanted. By including them in the little things, like feeling the baby kick, being in the delivery room, and letting him have one on one time with the baby. I know that a child's relationship with its father is vital and it starts at birth, maybe even before birth.

As we discussed these issues in class, and as a future wife and mother I cannot wait to one day have my own family. I know that there will be hard times, but from taking this class, I feel more prepared to handle them. I am so excited to see relationships develop between me and my children and my husband and children. I want him to be every bit a part of their lives as I am.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Marry Your Best Friend

Last week in class we talked about different types of love and different love styles. Brother Williams asked us to rate how important each type of love was. This was hard for me because I really believe that each one is very important. He then asked to think about what should be more consistent in a marriage relationship, a passionate relationship or a companionate relationship. This for me was easier. Companionate.

I want my marriage to be one that is very open. I want my husband to be my best friend and someone that I tell everything to. I want us to respect each other, be completely honest with each other, and have fun together. I think that if this is a priority the passion will come naturally. In the text for the class it says,

"Companionate love . . . does not mean that a relationship has lost its fire. Rather it means that two people have found a firm basis for a lasting relationship. And that relationship is likely to have times of passion as well as times of friendship. In a real sense, the transition to companionate love is not a loss but a gain." 

A companionate relationship is one that lasts through thick and thin. This is the type of relationship that is strongest, in my opinion. My best friends mom has told me before that "even in a marriage, you fall in and out of love." This is why its so important to marry your best friend, because even when there may not be passion, there is still friendship and a mutual understanding. This, to me, is the kind of relationship that lasts for eternity. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Roles Within the Family

Last week in class we talked about a lot of interesting things, most of which centered around family roles. We talked about how roles can change as time progresses and as family dynamics shift. I thought about this in terms of my own family, and I have come to realize that most of my family roles have been very balances. However, two big ones, and two very important ones have always belonged to my parents-- the provider and the nurturer.

Brother Williams said in class that these roles are not given as "suggestions" for a typical family. These are commandments from the Lord given to us through modern day prophets in The Family: A Proclamation To the World. Of course there are situations where a mother must work, or a father, for one reason or another, needs to stay home. However, we should do everything we can to follow this council.

Each gender is given a divine calling for this life. Men, husbands, and fathers are called to preside, provide, and protect. Women, wives, and mothers are called to be nurturers, and teachers within the home. Both of these roles are major and one cannot properly function without the other. I believe that these roles fit perfectly with the plan that Christ has for us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

You Never Know

This week in class we talked a lot about culture and diversity in families. We ended the week by talking about Mexican American families who are adjusting to a new life here in the United States. As we talked, we discussed and demonstrated the many hardships that come along with this big move to a new country. Aside from the major costs, these families are facing lots of hard times. They moved to open up opportunities for their children, yet in the process each family member has possibly lost their identity, changed roles, or lost all emotional connections. The family struggles to stay close, they work extra in order to support themselves, and some family members may even feel like they are no longer in the family circle.

As we talked about all these things, I realized that often times, I tend to make snap judgments, when really, I shouldn't. I may not have any clue what a family is going through. I can't see their struggles-- their worries, concerns, and financial standing. Yet, what I can see is that they are trying. In most cases these families are very hard working and striving for a better life.

I was glad that I had this realization. I now have an increased understanding of different cultures and families. I understand struggles that they may face. And I have learned to not be so quick to judge, because you never really know...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sub Systems

Last week we talked about the Family Systems Theory. I found it very interesting to analyze my only family and find out about the different sub systems that exist within it. Of course, there was a husband/wife relationship, mother/daughter relationships, father/son relationships, etc. However, the ones that I found the most interesting were the ones that had do with my and my siblings. Among the five of us, there seems to be a divide between us based on our personalities. 

I have always felt like I have a relationship with each one of my siblings, and each one is different. I love them all and have connected with each one of them at different times of my life. However, as we have all reached adulthood, I feel like I generally relate more to Haley and Griffin than I do with Logan and Allison. We seem to think more in the same way. We have the same senses of humor. I can talk to Haley for hours, and some of my funniest memories are with Griffin. We seem to view situations in a similar way.

Logan and Allison are both lots of fun too. It's just that at times, our personalities clash. They are both very strong willed, which is good in a way, but sometimes I can't handle it. There have been times that I have been chased away emotionally because I don't fully know how to handle their intensity. They like to debate and from what I have observed, they view the world mostly in shades of black and white with less grey areas.

 I want to make it clear that it is not a matter of "getting along." We all get along very well. However, in my eyes, our personality types have created somewhat of a divide based on different interests and styles.

These two personality types can also be viewed as sub systems within the family. These groups have been reorganized before, and I would not be surprised if they shifted again sometime in the future.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

True Happiness

This week as we have discussed some growing trends in our society such as cohabitation, single parenting, and premarital sex, I have realized just how grateful I am for my testimony. The gospel teaches us how and where to find true happiness.

My mom has frequently told me that the world can sometimes teach us that "what's right is wrong, and what's wrong is right." I, along with anyone who has ever turned on the T.V, read a magazine, or looked at the latest fashions knows that this is true. I realize that this may sound extreme. I do not mean to imply that the world is full of only bad things and people. This life is a gift, and I believe that there is good in every person, no matter what their beliefs may be. However, it is sad to me that high standards and values are so rare these days-- and in many cases, even laughed at. I believe that some things in this life are sacred. One of those things is the family.

I am so grateful for the examples I have in my life of happy families. Some of the best examples exist among my own brothers and sisters. My siblings have shown me the proper way to date, get married, and start a family. I have seen them experience true happiness as they have followed the direction of the prophets and the teachings of the gospel.

My brother, Logan, and his family
My brother, Griffin, and his family
My sister, Haley, and her family

I know that the family is central to God's plan for us. It is sacred and vital for our eternal progression. As we follow correct teachings, we will be able to live with our families, not only in this life, but for all of eternity

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Brief Explanation

Alright. Here we go. For my Family Relations class, I have been asked to keep a blog about my experiences, beliefs, and thoughts on the family. I'm very excited to get started, but for now I'll keep things short and simple.

This is my family. To me, they are what matter most.