In 1832, the Lord gave church members the following counsel:
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;Doctrine and Covenants 88:119
I’ve been thinking today about how I can follow this counsel and make our home a more holy place. Here are some thoughts:
- A house of prayer – Jesus said, “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed” (3 Nephi 18:21). We should pray with our families and also for our families. As we prepare for a new school year to begin, I will help ensure that we establish good patterns of prayer in our home.
- A house of fasting – Elder Carl B. Pratt described fasting as a family activity. He encouraged us to begin and end our fasts with a family prayer and to dedicate some of our fasts to family purposes (“The Blessings of a Proper Fast,” General Conference, October 2004). Beginning in September, I’ll endeavor to make our observance of Fast Sunday more of a shared experience in our home.
- A house of faith – In 1831, the Lord declared that parents have a responsibility to teach their children “to understand the doctrine of…faith in Christ the Son of the Living God” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:25). Sister Cheryl A. Esplin pointed out we aren’t simply to “teach the doctrine,” but to teach our children “to understand the doctrine” (“Teaching Our Children to Understand,” General Conference, April 2012). I will look for ways to help our children strengthen their faith in the Savior.
- A house of learning – President Gordon B. Hinckley described a room in his home when he was a boy. The walls were covered with bookcases filled with books. There was a table, several chairs, and a lamp. “We were never forced to read [the books],” he said, “but they were placed where they were handy and where we could get at them whenever we wished” (“The Environment of Our Homes,” Ensign, June 1985). I will look for new ways to provide my children with opportunities for learning and education.
- A house of glory – When I enter some homes, I immediately feel the Spirit of the Lord. The family that lives there has worked to create an environment which invites God’s influence. I will consider what we are already doing and what we can do better to make our home that kind of place.
- A house of order – King Benjamin taught us to to all things “in wisdom and order” (Mosiah 4:27). With the beginning of a new school year, we have an opportunity to update our routines, including chores, family meals, and morning and evening activities. I’ll work with other family members to ensure that we are well prepared for a successful school year.
- A house of God – President Russell M. Nelson said, “I promise that as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning, over time your Sabbath days will truly be a delight. Your children will be excited to learn and to live the Savior’s teachings, and the influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease. Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining” (“Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” General Conference, October 2018). We’ve seen those blessings in our home, and I want to continue to experience them more. In particular, I will be intentional about ensuring that our Sunday activities bring us closer to God and to each other.
I’m grateful for guidance from the scriptures and from church leaders about how to make our home a holy place, a sanctuary and a refuge, where each family member feels peace and love.