Frogley familyreunion

“Are you going to the family reunion?”

“No, I don’t think so. I don’t know anyone. There are few there my age, they are mostly just old folks.”

So what do you say? How can families turn reunions into “get to” and not “have to” experiences?

How often should reunions be held and by whom?

From Dad’s point of view, what is the cost-benefit ratio, especially when it might involve traveling, motels, restaurants, etc.

From Mom’s place, is it worth fighting kids in small cars, trying to pack everything needed, dealing with strange places and people, etc.

These and other “how-to” questions can be addressed individually if the “why-to” question is answered first…”Where there is no vision, the people perish.”[1]

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “…it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory, “the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth,” “even in one,” when 1) the Saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue, when 2) the Jews will be gathered together into one, 3) the wicked will also be gathered together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; …a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family.[2]

The implications of this vision, that family reunions are part of the great gathering of Israel, might include some “what ifs”. What if you knew that:

1.Your efforts, however much, were part of a great divine invitation, to you, to help finish the work of the sacred Atonement[3] and prepare your family for eternal bliss?

2.There are at least three different levels of family reunions, each with it’s own key purpose.

3.Active participation in family reunions is a means, in concert with other family history service, to influence your children even when they are out of your sight, at whatever age?

4.These reunions could be a key to learning and imparting shared eternal family values?

Let’s address these vision kinds of issues along with some very practical “whys” that stare us in the face:

1.Those who want money at any cost now have 24/7 access to our youth, their minds, their appetites, their money, etc. Like unsuspecting fish, our youth are subjected to lures more and more violent, degrading and addictive than ever before in history.

2.Though the family structure has been both historically and statistically proven to be the most functional base for a society to survive, it is under attack and in danger. Historically, in the rise and fall of past cultures, once the family disappeared or was weakened, the culture died.

3.Proven family values are caught rather than taught, explaining perhaps why grandparents seem to be so effective at sharing them because, not charged with discipline, they seek only companionship. With together time they tell stories, share memories, go places, etc. and in the process, values are shared and caught.

4.Large, busy vacation-resort-reunions with high entertainment allure aren’t always the most effective at bonding families or binding values. Grandfather/Grandmother reunions held frequently with all, small groups or one-on-one seem to bring these important benefits more effectively as a result of simple together-talk-time.

5.Both large and intimate reunions have vital but different functions. Small intimate grandfather/grandmother reunions allow for sharing true and tested family values, essential if we are to assist families during this destructive social climate. The purpose of the large, significant ancestor reunions should be to identify, and train on values that are true and tested as identified by the research of experts in family science and history.

6.We do not consciously realize the extent to which ministering angels affect our lives. President Joseph F. Smith said, “In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, or reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh.” Many of us feel that we have had this experience. Their ministry has been and is an important part of the gospel. [4]

If these “whys” are sufficiently motivating to you then the “Hows” that follow will serve as a resource of possible details that will help in putting together a fun and powerful family reunion. …stay tuned!

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[1] Prov. 29:18

[2] Joseph Smith, Teachings of The Prophet Joseph Smith p231-2, (May 2, 1842.)

[3] Doctrine and Covenants 19:18-21; 2 Nephi 29:9; D&C 103:9-11

[4] President James E. Faust, CR Ens 5/06 Quotes JFS, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. (1939), 436.