Families grow stronger as they spend time together, and strong families bring strength to their communities and nations. Good family relationships require the investment of time, effort, and open lines of communication. There are lots of useful skills that can strengthen family relationships, but time together is one of the most valuable. There are many ways that families can spend time together in work or play.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that “families unite when they do meaningful things together.”
Families should pray together, kneeling night and morning to offer thanks for blessings and prayers for common concerns.
Families should worship together, participating in church services and family devotionals.
Families should study and learn together.
Families should work together. … Families should also play together, so that happy recreational experiences are associated with the activities of the family.
Families should counsel together, treating all matters of concern to the family and its members.
Families should eat together. Mealtime is a natural time for the family to assemble and communicate. It is a shame for such an opportunity to be lost in family bickering or to be fragmented by family members seizing food and scattering to the four corners as if the family kitchen were a fast food outlet.
My husband and I are celebrating 50 years as husband and wife. We invited our six children, their spouses, and all seventeen grandchildren to join our celebration on a week-long cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Seward, Alaska. The trip ends at our home in Anchorage where the togetherness continues for another week.
Nothing makes me happier than to have all my children around me, and this extended period of time together has been wonderful. I am grateful that our children enjoy being with us and with each other. Family togetherness strengthens families, and strong families strengthen communities and nations.