Family can be hard to deal with when you’re just feeling out your independence. Doing anything as a family can seem like a chore on top of chores. Who has time with all the homework you have, and don’t your parents know that Saturday’s the only day in the entire week you can spend with friends?
What might sometimes be hard to remember is that your family is one of your greatest potential sources of strength and happiness. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called the Mormon Church, teaches that the family is the basic unit of both temporal and spiritual society. Families can last forever, and every member should be concerned about every other member’s welfare.
Mormons believe that parents and children should be open with each other and should be unified as a whole. The Mormon Church sets aside Monday nights as family nights to learn strong values and to spend time together. Families are encouraged to have daily scripture study and family prayer.
Family togetherness is very important, but teenagers tend to be a little less interested in family togetherness and more interested in gaining independence and doing their own thing. That’s natural. But the joy that comes through serving our families, striving to make their lives easier by thinking beyond our own wants and needs, is unavailable anywhere else in the world. It cannot be bought or obtained in any other way than by sacrifice and love.
Your parents are wonderful sources of knowledge. They have experienced many of the same things you are now experience. They know and understand much more of the struggles you are going through than you know. Siblings may be also source of support for the same reason, and you can be a source of support for them. Being an example for younger siblings can be a tough responsibility, but it can also help you think out some decisions before you make them. It may be easier to wonder “what would my little sister or brother think if I did this?” than to worry about what your parents would think.
We should be enthusiastic about spending time together with our families. We need to take joy in the time we spend together. The more valuable time we spend with our family, the closer we grow to each other. Families can be a great source of strength. We should protect them and value them.