While watching the video clips my brother put together of my family and the families of my siblings, I couldn’t help but think about the beautiful role that families play in society in building a foundation of love, unity, hope and faith. I am grateful to have been born into a family where life long values and principles were taught not only through the words of my parents, but in the everyday experiences that come from being part of a family unit.
Love filled our home from the beginning. Service and sacrifice on my behalf led me to the knowledge that I was valued and cared for. The sense of belonging and being needed took root early in my life through daily chores, family meals and a variety of activities. Unselfishness and patience was a natural condition of being raised in a large family by leaning to, albeit reluctantly, look outside of myself and forgo my wants for the needs of another. Family traditions gave me a sense of stability and unity, while humor and laughter lightened difficult circumstances and brought joy to the mundane. Faith grew gradually and naturally by participating in family prayer and scripture study, but mostly in my observation of my parent’s character through times of hardship and grief.
Not everyone has family relationships or experiences that bring such joy and gratitude upon reflection. What a blessing that most people have reason to hope for a chance in this life to create their own families with the opportunity to love and parent in a way they desire. I have found that it is in this parenting that I continue to learn more valuable principles that guide my life and shape my goals and desires. Although parenthood is filled with a million moments of joy and contentment, it is in the difficult times that I tend to be tutored the most. It is in the weaknesses I have as a wife and mother that often lead me to ask for help and strength from a loving Father in Heaven. It is through that unconditional love and patience extended to me as His child that gives me a pattern to follow in my own parenting, and it is the Savior’s grace that fills me with hope when I frequently fall.
I often picture my mother by the side of her bed praying for the help that I now so often seek. The first clip of the video was made thirty years ago only a few weeks before the passing of my father. The task that was ahead of my mom in raising eleven children alone must have seemed insurmountable, yet with one foot in front of the other, and one day at a time, she drew upon the powers of heaven and confidently arose to the occasion. She could not have realized the blessings that would come to her years later because of her decision to be steadfast, rely on faith and to teach her children to do the same. Her legacy of commitment and sacrifice for her family, and her ability to draw from a foundation of hope and faith will be felt for generations to come.
Though life will bring physical, emotional, and spiritual trials to our families it is through the love, unity and faith instilled within the walls of our home that we gain a glimpse into an eternal plan which brings peace and joy today and a hope for those things yet to come. As we forge ahead we will recognize patterns in our family that point us to a loving Father in Heaven and His plan of eternal families. It is with deep reverence and humility we realize our own family’s significance to God – and that is nothing short of glorious.
by Becky Brockbank Foster