Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Family Councils

                Using the council system strengthens families, wards, stakes, companies, organizations, communities, and nations. The council system existed in our pre-earth life when Heavenly Father called all His spirit children together in a council meeting. He also used a heavenly council during the creation of this earth.  Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “I believe councils are the most effective way to get real results.”

                Elder Ballard is known for speaking about the importance of councils, and he spoke about family councils for the first time in the April 2016 General Conference.  “Family councils have always been needed. They are, in fact, eternal. We belonged to a family council in the premortal existence, when we lived with our heavenly parents as their spirit children.
                “A family council, when conducted with love and with Christlike attributes, will counter the impact of modern technology that often distracts us from spending quality time with each other and also tends to bring evil right into our homes.”

                Elder Ballard said there are at least four different types of family councils: (1) a general family council with the entire family, (2) an executive family council of mother and mother, (3) a limited family council with both parents and one child, and (4) a one-on-one family council with one parent and one child.

                I would like to add one more type of family council, the extended family council. Every year as part of our family reunion, my siblings and I meet together as a council to discuss any business needs of the family, family history, the next family reunion, and similar items of interest. When my husband’s parents were living and needing assistance, my husband, his brother, and his sister often met in council to decide the best way for caring for their parents.

                After discussing his four types of family councils, Elder Ballard said, “Now, brothers and sisters, there was a time when the walls of our homes provided all the defense we needed against outside intrusions and influences. We locked the doors, closed the windows; we shut the gates; and we felt safe, secure, and protected in our own little refuge from the outside world.
                “Those days are now gone. The physical walls, doors, fences, and gates of our homes cannot prevent unseen invasion from the Internet, the Wi-Fi, the mobile phones, the networks. They can penetrate our homes with just a few clicks and keystrokes.
                “Fortunately, the Lord has provided a way to counter the invasion of negative technology that can distract us from spending quality time with each other. He has done this by providing the council system to strengthen, protect, safeguard, and nurture our most precious relationships.
                “Children desperately need parents willing to listen to them, and the family council can provide a time during which family members can learn to understand and love one another….
                “Finally, please remember that a family council held regularly will help us spot family problems early and nip them in the bud; councils will give each family member a feeling of worth and importance; and most of all they will assist us to be more successful and happy in our precious relationships, within the walls of our homes.”      
                There is not much I can add to the words of Elder Ballard except to add my own personal testimony. I know beyond any doubt that family councils can solve a lot of problems. My husband and I have not used the council system regularly, but it works every time we use it. I highly recommend it and encourage all my readers to institute councils in their family organization. Sometimes there is resistance on the part of a spouse or a child, but the reward for winning them over is well worth the effort. Family councils can bring order, organization, and peace to our homes. I know that we can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by holding regular family councils.

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