As part of the August Come Follow Me topic of “Marriage and Family,” I reached out to some of my friends and gave them all of the same questions. I love doing articles like this where everyone answers the same questions, it is like we are all together part of the same conversation.
If you haven’t already grabbed it, his new talk on CD, “Fighting For and Not With Your Family” is getting amazing reviews! I’m ordering mine right away!
Can you tell us about your family?
What started out as Beauty and the Beast has turned into the Magnificent 7! Sara (the Beauty) and I (the Beast) have 5 wonderful children.
What are some specific things you did before you were married, that helped prepare you to be a righteous husband and father?
One thing that helped prepare me to be a husband and father was learning to work hard. My dad loved manual labor. He loved to get us up early to work on the yard all day. He loved to wash cars and paint fences. For a while I just thought he was insane, but now I can see what he saw. He knew I would have to know how to work if I was going to be a successful husband and father.
What are some lessons you have learned about how to have and maintain a righteous home?
I can’t expect my children to have self-control if I don’t have self-control. How can I ask my children to control their tempers and tongues if I don’t? How can ask them to control all their God given appetites and passions if I don’t? I’ve learned that a parent is like an emotional thermostat that sets the temperature of the home. We are trying to cultivate the art of a soft answer.
Pick one line from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” that has had a great impact on your marriage and family. How has that doctrine influenced your home?
“Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” Almost all of the conflicts of family life can be resolved with this sentence. These topics are often our FHE topics. If we can master these 9 areas, we can solve almost any problem together. Everyone in our family loves the recreational activities!
What advice would you give to a couple about to be married that could help strengthen their marriage and family?
There is a difference between “the ideal” and “the real.” We all want the ideal family life. We want the smiles, the laughter, and the bonding that we dream of. That is the ideal. However, most days you are going to have to deal with the real – there are bills, sicknesses, sins, weaknesses, and a host of other things that can place stress on your marriage. Don’t be discouraged when you have to deal with the real. Be patient and understanding as you learn more about yourself and your spouse. Dealing with the real is worth it because there are beautiful moments when you reach the ideal.
How has your career impacted how you teach your children? What advice do you have for others?
The balance between career and family life is constant. You are always having to make adjustments to make sure you aren’t neglecting one for the other. Some days, weeks, or even months will need to be heavily focused on one and then balanced back out with priority given to the other. However, if you are going to err, make sure you err on the side of family. I doubt there has ever been a righteous father or mother on their deathbed wishing they’d spent more time at work. Chasing income can become a fool’s errand if you don’t realize you’ll never really be totally satisfied. There will always be something more you could do to earn more money. If you have sufficient for your needs (not all your wants), you have enough.
How would you answer this question that a parent might as you, “How can I teach my children about eternal families?
How you live is much more important than what you say. If you say your family is the most important priority in your life, but then spend valuable time watching television, playing pointless games on your phone, or scrolling through social media, your words mean nothing. Your teaching will actually do more damage than good because you’ll be seen as a hypocrite. My kids know how valuable my time is to me. When I spend a large portion of that time listening and interacting with them, they see themselves as very valuable as we
What are some specific traditions (yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily) that help strengthen your home and family?
We read and talk about the scriptures every day. We pray together twice daily. We all eat meals together as much as possible. We work outside together. We hold Family Home Evening every Monday night. Sara and I love to read to our kids when they get into bed each night. We make sure we have affordable family vacations every few months and we make each holiday, anniversary, and birthday a family celebration.
How have you and your spouse’s roles complemented each other?
In my opinion, Sara is the most amazing person on this planet. First of all she knows everything about me and still loves me. Second, her advice and counsel have proven to be invaluable in my career decisions. I’ve been able to provide well for my family and a great portion of that is a product of having a very wise wife. In return, I try to help her shoulder her load when I am home. I make an effort to come home upbeat and cheerful no matter what has gone on at work that day. When I come home from work, I want her to feel like her life just got a lot easier, not a lot harder.
What is a specific quote by a prophet that has influenced you and strengthened your family?
“Never speak to one another in loud tones, unless the house in on fire.” – David O. McKay
Check out our printable package with a 10 month family challenge to help implement better the ten principles that successful families and marriages have. You can find it HERE.
This goes with the August Come Follow Me lesson: How can I strengthen my family?