I believe Mr. Steurer to be right on point. Aside from the Gospel being restored and the atonement occurring, there is no other singular event more important to us than family. I am understandably biased coming from a family that several years ago had our 50th annual reunion with an attendance of more than 500 cousins ,aunts, uncles, mothers and daddies. Quiet a few years ago, I foolishly took a long " timeout" from the church and also experienced a "family " attitude similar to that of the lady posing the question. I am so thankful that I regained my sanity regarding my spiritual future, and how much my family means to me. Thank you for allowing me to express these thoughts.
I don't know that I agree with the author of the article. If nothing changes, nothing changes. I might want to inventory myself and what I am adding or detracting from these relationships, and how deep my commitment is to continuing to attend the family gathering, given there is nothing changing in the family dynamics. Sometimes it takes a brave soul in the family to get things heading into a different direction. Maybe there can be more meaningful activities at the family reunion which could help bond the family or get the real feelings more to the surface and headed into a positive direction.
i am saddened by families who are not close, or who hardly even know each other, or want to. For some reason, my family of seven children are very close, even though some are not active in church, and we have great times together whenever we can, which is often. Also, they are always willing to help when help is needed by any of them. The only thing I can say for those who feel as this person is to go to family get-togethers with an attitude of excitement and love for each other. You don't know what heartache is happening inside each of your family members' hearts that can be removed with your love and caring about them. Reach out openly, encourage the person you have in front of you to talk, and you look at them and really listen with your heart, with the attitude that you really want to get to know them and for them to know that they are important to you. That goes for everyone in the family - talk about each of you drawing closer and that you want to have more understanding and love between all of you. Then keep reaching out, show love to everyone, and make plans to do more together to get to know each other better, and to also be there for each other when there is any need. Be sure you all have each other's addresses, phone numbers and emergency work numbers. And then keep in touch yourself with them all, one way or another. Keep all the family informed of any special happenings, and celebrate those by communicating with each other. Get together often for any reason, share memories, photos, etc. Take a family picture any way you can, even if it is only around the picnic table! The more you reach out to the family members, and encourage the children to as well, share love, the more closeness you will feel, and by encouraging these behaviors, you can become each others' best friends. Remember you are or can become, an eternal family together. It does require caring and effort, but it is so worth it, I promise!
"I could write ten columns about the effect our individualistic culture has on our relationships. It keeps us focused only on what’s best for us. We act like consumers in relationships and become dissatisfied easily and expect our loved ones to live up to our expectations. These attitudes untie us from the moorings of family, neighbors, and community connection."
This is brilliant. Thank you. I think this is a huge reason we have trouble in our relationships and in our personal lives. It is NOT all about me and what makes me happy. And Ironically, as you explain the paragraph following this one, our happiness actually depends on our ability to focus on others rather than ourselves. Those who will only do what makes THEM happy become less satisfied with life than those who form connections with others, even when those connections are not perfect.
Just some personal evidence from my kids, but my husband's family had family reunions for about 10 years every other year. I reluctantly drug my kids to them just because I thought that was the only way they would ever know any of their family members since we live overseas. Now that they are back in the states, they've done several things with their cousins which they never would've had the opportunity to do or the inclination to do without having known these cousins at these family reunions. My side of the family never had any reunions and they've only met their cousins on that side at a funeral--not exactly the best place to forge positive relationships.
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