Do We Put The ‘Cart Before The Horse’ When It Comes to The Church?


Recently I was conversing with a young father at church who has been blessed with many children. His plate is full with the responsibilities he has as a provider, father, husband and church leader. We conversed about the pressure one feels under the weight of such sacred duties. I reminded him that the church programs were there to support and exalt the family, not the other way around. It is a concept that is very clear in my mind and one that, on occasion our members forget in our zeal to do good. Several weeks went by and I had long forgotten the conversation when this brother stopped me at church and told me he had thought a lot about the advice I had given him. He shook my hand and thanked me for the counsel.  The counsel I gave to him is nothing new. It has been stated by the prophets for decades. In a conference talk, Boyd K. Packer quoted Harold B. Lee when he said:

“It seems clear to me that the Church has no choice- and never has had- but to do more to assist the family in carrying out its divine mission, not only because that is the order of Heaven, but also because that is the most practical contribution we can make to our youth- to help improve the quality of life in the Latter-day Saint homes. As important as our many programs and organizational efforts are, these should not supplant the home; they should support the home.” (“The Power of the Priesthood”, April 2010, GC).

We need to always remember the purpose and reason that we are here. It is to elevate ourselves and our families back to our Heavenly Father. Doing our part in service to the Lord’s church will usually be a contributing factor in accomplishing that goal. But let us always remember to be careful that we don’t put the “cart before the horse” and spill the precious contents therein. If we are wise we will seek direction from the Lord. He will guide us in His ways and we will know what to do and how to manage all the responsibilities that come our way.

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