A Home Where the Spirit of the Lord Dwells by Henry B. Eyring
Content by Elizabeth Shideler
One morning as we were gathering for our morning scripture study, my three little boys were anything but reverent. They were jumping off chairs, ramming cars into the wall, and doing just about everything but listening as I tried to get their attention for our morning prayer. My patience was dwindling very quickly, but I was adamant I needed to control the situation because hey!—one of my responsibilities as their parent is to teach and instill gospel truths in them starting at a young age, right?
Things began to spiral downhill, mainly because I was putting too much focus on my frustrations. Unfortunately, I threw in the towel and began to yell. At that moment, my purpose of inviting the Spirit to be with us was immediately replaced with contention. I’ve learned as we try to follow God and strive to have the Spirit in our home, we may often feel opposition from the adversary. President Eyring warns us that Satan is doing all he can to lead our families down a path where the influence of the Holy Ghost is diminished. Through more trial and error than I care to admit, I have seen the greatest way I can teach my children is not by controlling them, but by being a constant, loving influence for them.
I stopped in my tracks and apologized to these little boys staring at me, who seemed uncertain how to respond to my outburst. But after seeing their mother come to them asking for forgiveness, they knew exactly how to respond: they were quick to forgive and forget. Our children will recognize our humble efforts and pattern their lives after our examples. The desire and efforts to grow our children’s faith in Jesus Christ and in His gospel will come to a halt if we do not keep contention, pride, and sin at bay--not just within our children, but within ourselves. We all know that we lead best by example. This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect parents--it just means that we are trying to do our very best.
President Eyring says, “You will find some of your greatest joys in your efforts to make your home a place of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a place that is permeated with love, the pure love of Christ.” I truly believe this. Our children will remember how we made them feeland how their home made them feel. We will find great joy as we focus on having our home a place where His Spirit dwells.
FAITH IN ACTION
As parents, we have the greatest influence over whether or not the Spirit is felt in the home.
Ponder and pick one thing YOU can do this week to make your home a place where the Spirit can dwell. Maybe it’s listening to more uplifting music, or displaying another photo of a temple in your home as a visual reminder of your eternal family. Maybe it means being more diligent in starting your day with a morning prayer, or if you’re like me, not raising your voice at your children this week. We can do it!
Part of this week’s Come, Follow Me discusses the two great commandments: love God and love others as yourself.
Let's focus on showing love to our family this week. Write down the names of each member of your family, then pray and ponder how you can specifically show love to that person this week. Try to consider their love language when planning acts of love specific to each family member.
President Eyring testifies, "The temple is the best opportunity to gain a feeling for and a love of heavenly places.”
Share your testimony of how attending to the temple has influenced your home setting with your ministering sisters. Invite your sisters to attend a session with you this week or, if your ministering sisters have young children, offer to babysit so they can attend.