Families are strengthened when they “learn from the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future” (Thomas S. Monson).
There is much to learn from past experiences – good or bad, our own or those of others. The scriptures are full of stories depicting both good and evil. When faced with a choice, remembering those stories could help in our decision. For example, when Joseph faced the “opportunity” to become immoral with his boss’s wife, he remembered that adultery was forbidden and fled the scene. He suffered in prison for his decision but was later given great responsibility and honor. A study of family, American, or world history would produce many other experiences that could teach us important lessons. Remembering past years can help us too.
We must live in the present in order to be truly happy. We must not dwell on past problems or continue to brag on past accomplishments. Today is to be enjoyed. “Take time to smell the roses” and “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” are sayings that have real meaning. Live life fully today – but prepare for tomorrow.
Preparing begins with making plans and setting goals. Preparing also means getting appropriate education and saving for a rainy day. There are many ways to prepare for tomorrow.
Gordon B. Hinckley said, “I don’t worry too much about the future, and I don’t worry very much about the past. The past is gone, and you can’t change, you can’t correct. The future, you can anticipate, but you can’t necessarily do very much about it. It is the present you have to deal with. Reach out for every good opportunity to do what you ought to do” (Stand A Little Taller, 382).
President Hinckley is a good example of a person who studied and learned from the past, lived with enthusiasm, and prepared for tomorrow. Families can grow stronger when they follow his examples.