Sunday, June 24, 2007

Organization and Purpose of the Family

“Organization and Purpose of the Family,” Family Guidebook, 1


The family is sacred in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is the most important social unit in time and eternity. God has established families to bring happiness to His children, allow them to learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and prepare them for eternal life.

The home is the best place to teach, learn, and apply gospel principles. It is where individuals learn to provide the food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities they need. The father and mother, as equal partners, should help each family member:

  • • Seek the truth and develop faith in God.

  • • Repent of sins, be baptized for the remission of sins, become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and receive the Holy Ghost.

  • • Obey the commandments of God, study the scriptures diligently, offer personal prayers daily, and serve others.

  • • Share the gospel with others.

  • • Be endowed and be married in the temple to a worthy companion for eternity, create a happy home for the family, and support the family by love and sacrifice.

  • • Search for information about deceased ancestors and perform temple ordinances for them.

  • • Provide the nourishment required for spiritual, social, physical, and emotional health.

The father presides over the family and is responsible to teach the children and provide the necessities of life for the family. A worthy and eligible father in the Church has the opportunity to hold the priesthood, which is the power and authority to act in the name of God. With this power and authority, the father becomes the priesthood leader of his family. He leads his family in preparing to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. His wife is his most important companion, partner, and counselor. Husband and wife should counsel together on all matters that affect the family and home.

The father should provide for the spiritual needs of his family. He should see that they are taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and should do all he can to encourage them and help them obey the Lord’s commandments.

A father who holds the priesthood can bless his family members and provide for their spiritual needs. By the authority of the appropriate priesthood and with authorization from his priesthood leader, the father can:

  • 1. Name and bless children.

  • 2. Baptize children (and others).

  • 3. Confirm children (and others) members of the Church and confer upon them the Holy Ghost.

  • 4. Confer the priesthood upon his sons (and others) and ordain them to offices in the priesthood.

  • 5. Bless and pass the sacrament.

  • 6. Dedicate graves.

Without authorization from his priesthood leader, a father who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood can consecrate oil and bless members of his family and others when they are ill and give them special blessings at other times when the need arises. (See pages 18–25 in this guidebook for instructions on performing priesthood ordinances and blessings.)

The father is to see that his family is actively involved in three basic responsibilities:

  • 1. Personal and family spiritual and temporal preparedness.

  • 2. Sharing the gospel.

  • 3. Family history and temple ordinances for the living and the dead.

The mother is an equal partner and counselor to her husband. She helps him teach their children the laws of God. If there is no father in the home, the mother presides over the family.

The father and mother must be one in purpose. Their goal should be to prepare all members of the family to return to our Heavenly Father. They should be united as they work toward this goal. The Lord has established the Church to help fathers and mothers teach and take care of their families.

When children come into the family, parents are to love them, teach them the truths of the gospel, and be examples of righteous living. Children are to learn and keep the commandments of God. They are to honor and obey their parents.

The strength of the Church depends on families and individuals who live the gospel of Jesus Christ. The extent to which a family enjoys the blessings of the gospel depends largely on how well the father and the mother understand and perform their basic duties as parents. The Church never intends to give programs or responsibilities to fathers and mothers that will overwhelm or discourage them or cause them to neglect these most basic duties.


Because our Heavenly Father loves us, He wants us to become exalted as He is. To help us, He has given us a plan to follow based on divine laws of truth. Those who learn about the plan and follow it faithfully can someday become like our Father in Heaven and enjoy the kind of life He lives.

Part of the plan was for us to leave heaven and come to earth. Here we gain a physical body, learn through experiences, and prove ourselves worthy to live again in the presence of God. We prove ourselves worthy by freely choosing to keep His laws. (See Abraham 3:23–25; 2 Nephi 2:27.)

To help us prepare ourselves for life with Him, our Heavenly Father has organized us into families. Through sacred ordinances and covenants, our families can be united eternally.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Women Are Focus of New Museum Exhibit

The resourcefulness and skills of Relief Society women worldwide are being showcased in a new exhibit at the Museum of Church History and Art: Something Extraordinary: A Sampler of Women’s Gifts. The exhibit opened Saturday, 12 May 2007, and runs through January 2009.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Happy Family

"Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children..."

Jacob 3:7

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Family Home Evening™ Quick Tips

I have fond memories of the family home evenings my parents held when I was a child. We had lessons from the family home evening manual, played memorable games, and enjoyed treats. I always felt having family home evening would be the same for my own family someday. But when I became a mother I realized family home evenings would have to be adjusted to hold my young children’s interests. In teaching my little ones, I have learned the following:

1. Simplify the lessons, treats, and activities. Preparation can be fast and easy. For a quick lesson, I often use a picture from the Gospel Art Picture Kit (item no. 34730; U.S. $25.00) and tell the story on the back of the picture. For small children, summarize the story in a few short sentences. Keep in mind that a few minutes of sitting still are long enough for most young children. After our lesson, we serve treats that we reserve for family night. For simple activities we do things such as finger plays and action songs. The Children’s Songbook (35395; $10.00) is a useful resource, and many books in public libraries offer good activity ideas.

2. Use Church curriculum materials. The Family Home Evening Resource Book (31106; $5.00) includes tips for adapting the lessons for younger children. Church magazines offer articles and activities that would make good lessons. Some carry a family home evening logo (see above left) to indicate that they are especially useful for family home evening. The “Friend to Friend” section in the Friend magazine features a Church leader each month. These articles often relate personable stories that children can relate to. Church audiovisual materials are also available through distribution centers or your meetinghouse library.

3. Invite the Spirit of the Lord. During the opening prayer, we invite the Spirit. At the conclusion of our lesson, we bear testimony of the truthfulness of what we have taught. Then, as we feel the Spirit, we ask the children what they are feeling and help them identify those feelings.

4. Make family home evening a habit. It can be tempting to postpone family night when your family’s schedule is busy and it’s difficult to gather everyone together. Occasionally my husband is out of town on Monday night for business, and we forget to hold family home evening on Sunday before he leaves. When this happens, I have found it is better to go ahead with family night on Monday than not have it at all. But whenever possible, we include the whole family in an activity once a week, even if it is not Monday night.

The First Presidency has said: “We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles. . . . We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to . . . family home evening” (“Letter from the First Presidency,” Liahona, Dec. 1999, 1; emphasis in original). Though it can be a challenge to hold regular family home evenings with young children, our family has been blessed for heeding the First Presidency’s counsel to spend time together studying the gospel and having fun.

—Celestia Shumway, Edgemont Sixth Ward, Provo Utah Edgemont Stake

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Tips from families like yours

Families like yours have learned principles and skills to help themselves become happier and closer.

Their ideas can help your family, too.

"Make every minute count. You can strengthen your family bonds by spending as much time together as possible."

"We found that scheduling one evening together each week can strengthen family ties and increase unity. Use the time to have fun and to instruct your children."

"We make sure that we have meals together. We found that mealtime is an excellent time for family members to chat and catch up on what's going on in each other's lives."

"Don't let the television rob you of important time you can spend together. Instead, play games together, help children with homework, go for a walk, or get to know each other better."

More Tips

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Why are Families so Important?

According to Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

"A nation will rise no higher than the strength of its homes. If you want to reform a nation, you begin with families, with parents who teach their children principles and values that are positive and affirmative and will lead them to worthwhile endeavors. That is the basic failure that has taken place in America. And we are making a tremendous effort to bring about greater solidarity in families. Parents have no greater responsibility in this world than the bringing up of their children in the right way, and they will have no greater satisfaction as the years pass than to see those children grow in integrity and honesty and make something of their lives, adding to society because they are a part of it."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sweet Voices

I have spent most of the evening peacefully reading emails while my baby is fast asleep. One of the few moments I have to myself in a long day is when she is sleeping. It is good to be reminded, every once in a while, the great blessing it is to be a mother. My friend has a little boy, who at 18 months exhibited signs of delay in many developmental areas, namely his speech. He was diagnosed with autism shortly after. She expressed the following in an email:

"My son's Speech and Developmental Therapist made a world of difference in my son’s life. When I first started NEIS all I could say is that I wanted to hear my child say "Mommy". To help him accomplish this they first started with sign language in the hope of establishing at least some means of communication. A great deal of my son's frustration and anger came from his lack of communication. Through the aid of his Therapist my son was able to sign as many as three words together in a very short period of time...It was not until a little over the age of two that I finally heard "Mommy". It was and certainly still is music to my ears. It hurts me to hear parents in a store tell there children to just be quiet for a while and stop talking- if they only knew how lucky they were they would not dream of saying that. I thank God everyday I get to hear my sweet angel’s voice."

I still wait for the day my baby says mommy. I hope that we can remember that children are a blessing from Heaven. It is a joy to learn and grow with them!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Shine in public

I've only been a parent for a few years, but it's been long enough to know that as cute as little children are, it is often pretty difficult to raise them. The problem with this realization is that it seems like the world is coming to think of parenting only in terms of the difficulties that come with it. While it is true that parenting is a very demanding responsibility, those demands are Nothing compared to the joy that we feel when a two year old randomly decides to wraps his/her little arms around your neck and say "I just love you sooo much". I know that any parent can recollect countless experiences of amazing joy that have been sparked by their children. On the other hand, I'm sure that every parent has experienced the challenge of dealing with a naughty child in public. (This is where I would like to make my point) As I've been with my own children in public on countless occasions, I have often felt a desire to show forth the joys a parenting, and try very hard to minimize the difficulties as much as possible. I want the people around me to feel a little bit of the indescribable joy that I've felt as a parent. Again, as I stated before, I know that the difficulties are important, and that they are a part of parenting, but I just feel like if we as parents could let the light and joys of parenting shine forth more and more, that just maybe we could influence some around us to either start or strengthen their own family.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Enriching Your Marriage

Several key practices can contribute to enriching a marriage.

Prayer. Marriage relationships can be enriched by better communication. One important way is to pray together. This will resolve many of the differences, if there are any, between the couple before going to sleep. I do not mean to overemphasize differences, but they are real and do make things interesting. I believe our differences are the little pinches of salt that can make the marriage seem more flavorful.

We communicate in a thousand ways, such as a smile, a brush of the hair, a gentle touch. We should remember each day to say, “I love you.” The husband should say to his wife, “You’re beautiful.” Some other important words for both husband and wife to say, when appropriate, are, “I’m sorry.” Listening is also an excellent form of communication.

Trust. Complete trust in each other is one of the greatest enriching factors in marriage. Nothing devastates the core of mutual trust necessary to maintain a fulfilling relationship like infidelity. There is never any justification for adultery. Despite this destructive experience, occasionally marriages are saved and families preserved. To do so requires the aggrieved party to be capable of giving unreserved love great enough to forgive and forget. It requires the errant party to want desperately to repent and actually forsake evil.

Our loyalty to our eternal companion should not be merely physical, but mental and spiritual as well. Since there are no harmless flirtations and there is no place for jealousy after marriage, it is best to avoid the very appearance of evil by shunning any questionable contact with another to whom we are not married.

Virtue. Virtue is the strong glue that holds it all together. Said the Lord, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (D&C 42:22).

Divine presence. Of all that can bless marriages, there is one special enriching ingredient that above all else will help join a man and a woman together in a very real, sacred, spiritual sense. It is the presence of the divine in marriage. Shakespeare, speaking through Queen Isabel in King Henry the Fifth, said, “God, the best maker of all marriages, / Combine your hearts in one” (act 5, scene 2, lines 67–68). God is also the best keeper of marriages.

There are many things that go into enriching a marriage, but some of them seem to be of the husk of the relationship. Having the companionship and enjoying the fruits of a holy and divine presence become the kernel of great happiness in marriage. Spiritual oneness is the anchor. Slow leaks in the sanctifying dimension of marriage often cause marriages to become flat tires.

I believe that divorces are increasing because in many cases the union lacks that sanctifying benediction that flows from keeping the commandments of God. Marriages can die from a lack of spiritual nourishment.

Tithing. I learned in serving almost 20 years as bishop and as stake president that an excellent insurance against divorce is the payment of tithing. Payment of tithing seems to facilitate keeping the spiritual battery charged in order to make it through the times when the spiritual generator has been idle or is not working.

There is no great or majestic music that constantly produces the harmony of a great love. The most perfect music is a welding of two voices into one spiritual song. Marriage is the way provided by God for the fulfillment of the greatest of human needs, based upon mutual respect, maturity, selflessness, decency, commitment, and honesty. Happiness in marriage and parenthood can exceed a thousand times any other happiness.

Parenthood. The soul of the marriage is greatly enriched and the spiritual growing process is greatly strengthened when a couple become parents. For couples who can have children, parenthood should bring the greatest of all happiness. Men grow because as fathers they must take care of their families. Women blossom because as mothers they must forget themselves. We understand best the full meaning of love when we become parents. However, if children do not come, couples who are nevertheless prepared to receive them with love will be honored and blessed by the Lord for their faithfulness. Our homes should be among the most hallowed of all earthly sanctuaries.

In the enriching of marriage, the big things are the little things. There must be constant appreciation for each other and thoughtful demonstration of gratitude. A couple must encourage and help each other grow. Marriage is a joint quest for the good, the beautiful, and the divine.

The Savior has said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

May the presence of God be found enriching and blessing all marriages and homes, especially those of His Saints, as part of His eternal plan.

James E. Faust, “Enriching Your Marriage,” Ensign, Apr 2007, 4–8

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Tip of the Day

Mothers need to help their daughters learn to dress appropriately. Seek a modest, balanced approach by not allowing your daughter to wear skimpy, skin-tight outfits or bury her body in layers of big, baggy, shapeless items.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Book Recommendation

Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World
by Jill Rigby

“I love you too much to allow you to (go see that movie with
your friends, go to an unsupervised party, be
disrespectful to your parents…)

“I know you are smart, so I know you can choose to
listen. When you choose to listen, we’ll

- Avery

Monday, March 26, 2007

Motherhood: Choosing It Every Day

“Eeaah … EEAAH!”

I found myself yelling at the kids and the dog, at the washer for its creaks and croaks, at my husband and my dry skin, even at the shower for not staying clean. I was considered by many to be an example of motherhood personified. After all, I had talked at various wards and lectured at community and state functions about the joys of being a mother. And I had often sensed the eternal significance of my role. But now I was feeling like a failure and a hypocrite.

“What’s wrong with me?” I asked myself during one of those brief moments of solitude possible only after our six children are bedded and my husband is asleep on the couch.

Clearly, I was feeling out of control. And I had somehow drifted into a very negative state of mind. Slowly, I began to shift my thinking from complaints to solutions. I didn’t have a grouchy boss looking over my shoulder, setting my deadlines, timing my performance. I had a kind, loving husband and six healthy, beautiful children, and me! I could make my life whatever I chose.

But first I would have to put myself back in control—not the Church, the PTA, the community clubs, or even the children. So I began to reconsider the choices I had made without thinking and those I had allowed to be made for me.

I had always wanted to be a mother. I felt that God had given me the privilege of rearing these children, and I was happy I didn’t have to miss those growing moments, new words, and spontaneous hugs and kisses. In my enthusiasm to do my best, I had been baking, sewing, hair cutting, cooking, cleaning, washing, and PTA-ing—doing everything that seemed even vaguely related to being a mother. But I was “running faster than I had strength.” (D&C 10:4.) I was neglecting my own growth. As a result, I had less and less to give.

“What does it really mean to be a good mother?” I asked myself. Does it mean baking bread every day or sewing matching outfits for all four of your girls? No, clearly being a mother has most to do with tenderness and affection, with nurturing and teaching sound values, with conveying to children a positive attitude and a reliable sense of being loved. And it can be done well in as many different ways as there are mothers.

I realized then that I could be the most effective mother by creating a loving atmosphere in my own individual way, not by trying to live up to anyone else’s expectations of me.

As I considered how I could nourish my spirit and help myself bloom again, I made several very personal decisions. First, I realized that for me mornings are crucial to my sense of well-being. I began getting up with my husband before the children woke up, to exercise, put on my makeup, and groom myself. While doing that, I decided which things I felt were most important to accomplish that day. Then, feeling the master of my own day, I would begin the day’s activities. As I did this I found myself feeling more like smiling, more eager to receive visitors, more able to give willingly rather than grudgingly.

My second decision was to plan time to refresh myself, mentally and spiritually. Each day after lunch I allotted an hour or more of rest time. While the little ones napped, I could dream, explore, and learn. Rejuvenated, I could then more cheerfully devote myself to husband and family.

Even though the core of our family is the relationship between my husband and me, I had been filling every waking hour with never-ending chores for and worries about our children. I’d left very little time for my husband. Here, too, I needed to rearrange some priorities. I had to restore some balance to my life—my third decision.

My final resolve involved my own heart. No longer would I blame others for my feelings. Even facing gum in the carpet and “Mommy, I didn’t mean to, but I tore my new …” I must remember that I am to make the sun shine in my heart.

Once I made these major decisions, my feeling of being trapped seemed to dissipate. I have begun to appreciate once again the advantages of being a mother at home. I am my own boss. I set my own hours and deadlines. I create my own environment—including background music and home decor. I can dress to fit the activities of the day. I can control what food we eat and what system I use to manage my work in the home.

I now feel more keenly that I am exerting a positive influence in my home. Because I daily renew my sense of choice, I feel better about myself and about the life I have chosen.

Fay A. Daley, “Motherhood: Choosing It Every Day, ”Ensign,Feb 1985, 64

“The Name of Mother”

The holiest words my tongue can frame,
The noblest thoughts my soul can claim,
Unworthy are to praise the name
More precious than all other.
An infant, when her love first came,
A man, I find it still the same,
Reverently I breathe her name,
The blessed name of mother.

George Griffith Fether

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Some Benefits of Mothers Staying Home

Baby-sitters do not have the same love for children as their mothers do. During these special years the mother misses out on the joy of raising that child! Those years go fast and never come back They are gone forever!

The mother can observe their talents and help those talents increase. They have time to sit down and cuddle them when they need the most cuddling and loving. What a joy to children to have their mothers read to them as they are growing up. Teenagers need their mothers home at the crossroads of life. This is when they get into the most trouble if left free to do as they please. They need to learn the laws of being law-abiding citizens.

Let's put mothers back in the home and fathers the wage earners. Parents feel they have to work to give their children the financial advantage they need. But much more important to a child than "things"is to have a loving mother at home all the time!

- Rae Olsen

Stay At Home Moms

What an improvement we would see in our environment, if only mothers would stay at home and be good mothers to their children! Not only is this true while they are pre-schoolers, but even more importantly, when they are teenagers and need their mothers when they get home from school and have so many things to tell them!

One newly married couple decided when they first were married to live on only one of their salaries, which they did until the first child was born. By then, they were used to that and kept saving that extra salary as a down payment on their first home. Therefore, when they had to live on one salary after the children came they were not in debt and could keep living on the one salary.

One of the destructive things with mothers working is that their children are denied the great advantage of having their mothers there to read to them and take care of all their needs and teach them correct principles and how to be law-abiding citizens.

Children usually do better in their school work if their mothers are stay-at-home mothers. They can learn talents, can be cuddled more, and loved at the time they need the most loving. Mothers can keep their homes more organized and it is more conducive to eating family meals together where they can discuss the fun things they did that day. They are ready for Family Home Evening, Family Council Meetings, Family Prayer, and other wholesome things that the Adversary would rather not happen in homes. Satan is running rampant today, especially to destroy the traditional family, as he knows the family is the most important thing of God's creations. He wants to destroy everything connected with it. I was glad I was home and had time to read to my children, which made a big difference in their lives, especially in the life of my Doctor son.

Let's set the example and be at home where are children are and where we can influence them for good!

- Rae Olsen

Friday, March 23, 2007

Stay At Home Mom - And Lovin' It!!!

I taught at a preschool/daycare center for 3 years and thought I was pretty darn good at it. You think potty time is hard with one 2 year old. Try Eight!! It'll make you sweat. Although childcare does not pay well, I just couldn't get myself to quit. I loved those kids so much. I felt so fulfilled at the end of the day. My motto was "I'll treat your children the way you would". And I thought I was. . . Until I had one of my own. No matter how much I loved those 2 year olds, it wasn't the way I love my own. There is no equal replacement for mother.

And because I worked at a daycare center, I'll do whatever I can to not ever have to put my children in one. Are they abused there? No. Are they loved there? Sometimes. Do they get all the attention they need? Not always. And more importantly, that attention isn't coming from the one from whom they want it most - mother.


Feminist Dogma Debunked

This article is reprinted from the The World Congress on Families.

For years elite opinion has maintained that women are happier in marriages that represent a union of equals and where spouses share identical responsibilities in the workplace and at home. Even as very few couples actually live this way, a study by two noted University of Virginia sociologists debunks the feminist spin, finding that women - even those who espouse egalitarian ideals - are far happier in marriages that have a traditional division of labor.

Looking at a subsample of 5,000 couples drawn from the second wave (1992-94) of the National Survey of Families and Households, Bradford Wilcox and Steven Nock measured women's marital happiness, women's satisfaction with the emotional attention they receive from their husbands, and the time husbands spend with their wives against a number of independent variables associated with various theories of marriage.

Their findings reveal that the more traditional the woman and the more traditional the marriage, the happier the woman. Women are happiest when they tend to hearth and home and their husbands bring home the bacon (earning at least 68 percent of family income). This did not surprise the researchers because they also found that men who were married to homemakers are more likely to spend "quality time" with their wives. These traditional wives also expressed greater satisfaction with their husbands' emotional interaction with them. In contrast, women who aspire to having "companionate" marriages, thinking "equality" will deliver what they really desire - the emotional engagement of their husbands - actually end up spending less time with husbands than their traditional peers. And these wives are less satisfied with the understanding they receive from their husbands.

Also contributing to women's marital happiness is a dynamic generally missing from egalitarian marriages: a shared commitment to marriage as a social and normative institution, where each spouse views matrimony as a binding commitment that "should never be ended except under extreme circumstances." Wives also reported higher satisfaction with their husbands' affection and understanding when couples share high levels of church attendance.

The consistency of these findings across their statistical models led the researchers to suggest that cultural shifts in the last generation, from declines in church attendance to acceptance of divorce and premarital sex, have taken a toll on women's happiness. Yet they point to rising expectations of women for marital equality as especially problematic: "Our findings suggest that increased departures from a male-bread winning/female-homemaking model may also account for declines in marital quality, insofar as men and women continue to tacitly value gendered patterns of behavior in marriage."

(Source: W. Bradford Wilcox and Steven L. Nock, "What's Love Got to Do With It? Equality, Equity, Commitment, and Women's Marital Equality," Social Forces 84 [March 2006]: pages forthcoming.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Motherhood - No Greater Call

Our nation would be more free of Crime if our mothers accepted their role as Motherhood-No Greater Call and would stay at home with their children, where they would teach them correct principles and have time to read to them. What an improvement we would have in our environment.

Not only is this true while they are pre-school, but also as teenagers and need their mothers when they get home from school ordering the day when they may need to "talk" to their mothers.

Baby sitters never love your child as much as you do. One family discovered their daughter had a broken shoulder from having been yanked around by her baby sitter.

We all love our own children, but think if we work we can bring them more financial blessings. But it isn't "things" they need, it is their mothers cuddling them, reading to them, and loving them, as only mothers can do. Those early years slip by so fast they are shortly only memories and you can never bring back those years and re-live them. Make a policy to be the best mothers possible and enjoy your babies and children throughout their lives, have fun with them, write down their cherished words and experiences. You can't do it later as they are quickly forgotten.

By raising law-abiding children this nation would have the environment we all yearn for and wickedness would be on the way out!

- Rae Olsen

"Mother, Where Are You?"

Are you fortunate enough to have memories of coming home from school to the warm embrace and comfort of a loving mother? If so, consider yourself blessed, because what was once the norm, is quickly becoming the exception.

This trend seems to be evidenced everywhere I look, from my neighbors to my co-workers. A friend of my daughter currently finds herself in this situation. After school she goes from one friend's house to another or just roams the streets until her mother gets home from work. She is an occasional visitor in our home. I once overheard her telling my daughter that she has the best mom ever for always being there for her. On her last visit, she left for home about the time she expected her mom to be there; but after a few minutes she re-appeared at our doorstep because although her mom had arrived home from work, she was already asleep. The sadness in her eyes seemed to say, "Mother, Where are You?"

This single-mother now finds herself with few other lifestyle options. However, had the been trained in her youth of the actions to take in her life to prepare for motherhood and success in the family, she could be leading a much different life today.