I love this picture of my family. I love my siblings. I love my parents and grandparents. For the majority of my life it has been easy for me to feel peace and happiness in the presence of my family. We have fun together. Living under the same roof often requires that you at least try to understand one another. But what happens when time and distance separate a family? When communication breaks down, misunderstandings arise.
Every family travels rough roads from time to time. It is how we handle these bumps that determines whether we will become more united or further estranged. I believe that Satan has it out for families. He knows that we can experience the most joy and better meet our spiritual aspirations within a happy united family unit. His relentless attacks on family ties can affect even the most solid relationships. If we allow him to feed on our weaknesses and pride he will succeed in dividing us. That is why staying close to the Spirit and living by the counsel of modern prophets is so important for us today.
Looking for a little guidance on how I might become better at strengthening my own family relationships, I listened to a talk called "Our Hearts Knit As One" given by the Apostle Henry B. Eyring in the last General Conference of the church. I think his words apply equally to family units although he was referring to unity within the church.
He suggested that to be united, we must seek personal revelation, remain humble, and avoid pride, speak well of each other, keep the commandments, and be a peacemaker. He said that to be a peacemaker, we must help others recognize the common ground we share as children of God.
I am happiest when I am living in harmony with the people I hold most dear. So, I hope that I can take this advice to heart and try harder to strengthen my family near and far and to sew seeds of unity.