Thursday, December 20, 2012

it's about family.


My last post was written in a moment of extreme emotion, and I'm still pondering daily what can and should be done in this country to avoid another tragedy.   As time passes, I continue to evaluate what is truly the most important.  After reading numerous articles and statistics, and listening to many interviews and pundits, nothing "spoke" to me, until I read this news story on KSL a few days ago.

Estee Carter, a survivor of the Columbine school shooting, offers her perspective regarding last week's events and mentions that FAMILY and the bonds within that group, the love that is present as we watch over and care for one another is where we should focus our energy.  From the article:

Two months after the shooting, Carter was asked to participate in a youth violence summit. Her remarks were quoted in newspapers around the country. . . . 

“I said something when I was 17, and I still really believe it,” she said. “I think we focus so much on the periphery on the what, on the gun control, violent movies and we focus on the what and not the why. I think that the foundation of our society is our family. It is what is going on in our homes, and I believed it then and really believe it now.”

I could not agree more, because it is in families where we learn to value life, to express love and concern for family, friends, and strangers; where we gain confidence, and where we grow and learn about interacting with others and the world around us.  Unfortunately, our society has become so fragmented and families are disintegrating at an increasingly rapid pace.  Many children do not have the safety and security found within a loving home that is vital to their emotional, mental, and spiritual growth.  My last post detailed our responsibility to be that "village" and watch for those children who need comfort outside the walls of their own homes.

Indeed, we are our "brother's keeper" and should do all in our power to strengthen homes and families wherever we are in the nation, or we will continue to witness violence and tragedy.  The message from our modern prophets in the document, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" is one of pure truth, testimony, and hope.  The words of this proclamation have been running through my mind ever since I read the article, particularly this portion:

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” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and 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.

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.
It IS about family, it's all about family.  The nations with the strongest homes and families will be the most successful nations.  We should do all we can to maintain and strengthen our own families, as well as support those mothers, fathers, and children desperately looking for role models and friendship.

And if I don't get another blog post before Christmas, may each of you enjoy a very Merry Christmas and hold those most precious family members to you a little closer this year!

No comments: