Monday, March 11, 2013

Family Home Evening

On Monday nights, we hold something called Family Home Evening.  This Monday was special because my husband's parents were there with us too.

We started off with an opening song; Tyson played the piano while Jackson led the music.  After the song, Jordan gave the opening prayer and Abe conducted our family meeting.  Five yr. old Mariah gave the lesson.  We didn't help her at all, so we all wondered what wisdom she would impart to us tonight.  She brought out little toy prophets and warriors from the scriptures and told a story about repenting.

She said, "It only took one bad guy to not listen to the prophet and then a bunch of others didn't listen either."  Then, she held up the only female toy person and said,  "... but she listened and obeyed!!"  There were a couple of snickers from an older brother who recognized that the scriptures never mentioned the woman in that particular story.  Mariah flashed him a hurt look, and I flashed him a "you better stop it" look.  I realized right then that Mariah knew the power of a righteous woman.  She went on to explain how important it is to listen to the prophet and obey.  We all thanked her for her lesson.  Her testimony and lesson truly were inspired.

We ended our simple Family Home Evening with a prayer from my father-in-law.  After his prayer, my father-in-law spoke to us about the importance of having righteous traditions to follow.  I looked at both of Abe's parents feeling so much love in my heart for them and feeling so grateful for their righteous examples for our children.

Many, many years ago, Abe's parents allowed the missionaries to enter their home.  Abe's dad completely changed his life and converted to Christianity.  Abe's mom was always a Christian but felt a desire to listen to the message the missionaries were sharing as well.   

Just a few years ago, one of those missionaries shared an important part of Abe's parents' conversion story.  It is a miracle that they witnessed with Abe's parents; and their miracle has had a powerful influence on our lives and thousands of others. 

Abe was only 8 years old when the missionaries came to their home to teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They told Abe's parents to pray and ask God to know if what they were teaching was correct. 

When the missionaries returned, Abe's dad informed them that he had not felt anything after his prayer... he had not received an answer.  He also informed them that he was done with the missionary lessons; he even had their books in his hands ready to return them.  

One of the missionaries then felt inspired to ask:  "Well, how did you pray?"  Abe's dad said, "I asked God if it was true and ended my prayer saying, 'In the Most High God.'"  This fearless missionary pointed out that Abe's dad didn't say, "In the name of Jesus Christ" at the end of his prayer.  

Continuing in his boldness, the missionary asked him to pray again right at that very moment and to finish the prayer including the words:  "In the name of Jesus Christ."  This was a significant request because up to this point, Abe's dad was not even a Christian!

I'm grateful that he was humble enough to pray again!  

According to this Elder, the moment Abe's father ended his sincere prayer in Jesus's name, the room and their hearts filled with the Holy Ghost... Abe's parents had received their answer, and they were baptized shortly after.  One year after their baptism, they were sealed as a forever family through a beautiful ceremony in the Washington D.C. Temple.  

Since then, Abe's dad has served as a Bishop or a member in the bishopric in almost every ward they've lived in.  Abe's mom has been the president of almost every auxiliary at every level of leadership.  They also served as missionaries together in Sri Lanka for a year and a half.  I list all these wonderful opportunities they've had for service to point out 2 things....

One... I'm so grateful this missionary was bold in his service to God.  Because he did not fear, a family of great influence came to know Jesus Christ through HIS gospel.

Two... So many times we end our prayers too quickly almost mumbling the finishing words:  "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."  I'm grateful to be reminded of the power of speaking and having faith in HIS name.  I will speak those words with more respect and honor for HIM.