A Family Night Of The Heart To Remember!


Many years ago my father and three sisters came to visit me and my brother.   As always, I was sad to see them go but I was left with additional memories of great times spent together. I have been fortunate throughout my life to have had consistent contact with my family. Many people do not. Some of that has to do with the effort by all parties, the other on proximity. My siblings, father and I spent a number of night telling old stories and reminiscing about our younger days. We also spent time talking about gospel principles. One night we had the intention of playing a game of hearts. We began the evening with that intention, but the cards never ended up being dealt. Why? Because, as I stated at the end of the evening, “We came for a night of hearts, but a “family night of the heart” broke out instead!”

Of course, what I meant was that we had come to play a game, and ended up sharing stories from our heart. It is, or can be a marvelous thing…a family.  You can share with them things that you would never share with anyone else. You can say things you would never say, anywhere else. You laugh at things that no one else would think is funny. You cry over things that no one else would understand. You can talk for hours, or at least I can, and never get bored, although most of what you are talking about is what most people might consider “drivel.”  You can draw strength from the other members because you know they love you, regardless of your imperfections. In short, you share a love for each other that transcends it all. Or at least, in my mind, that is the way families were meant to be.

I speak often of families, yet I understand that many do not come from the ideal home. In speaking with many individuals over the years, it is evident that coming from a “model” family is becoming less and less the norm. Yet, as I have often stated to them, “Perhaps you can’t change the dysfunctional family you were born into, but you can establish one in the future that isn’t.” Years ago Neil A. Maxwell said something similar, but much more eloquently when he proclaimed:

“If we will hold fast to the Church’s proclamation on the family, we will see that we hold the jewels, as it were, that can enrich so many other things. Let the world go its own way on the family. It appears to be determined to do that. But we do not have that option. Our doctrines and teachings on the family are very, very powerful, and they are full of implications for all the people on this planet.” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Insights from My Life,” Ensign, Aug. 2000, pg. 7).

With each passing year I am more and more convinced of the sanctity of the family unit as revealed in these latter-days by living prophets and apostles. May all of us continually work on improving and enhancing our own families, so that when times get rough, they will be there to give strength and support. I know I would have had fun playing a game of Hearts that night, but I can’t help but think that my life was more richly blessed when a night of hearts broke out instead.

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