Ten Ways to Help Your Family Be Closer to God
Raising a family may be one of the hardest but also one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do. With so many negative influences in the world today, focusing on family has never been more important. These ten suggestions will help your family grow closer to one another and to God.
Read God’s word together
When you are read the scriptures as a family, you will invite God’s Spirit to be in your home. As you read God’s word together, your children will learn how to apply God’s teachings in their lives and receive guidance from God for themselves. Even if you only read one verse together each morning, studying the scriptures will help your family draw closer to God.
Serve others together
Perform small acts of service together as a family. Whether you do formal volunteer work, rake the leaves in a neighbor’s yard, or simply bring cookies to a sick family member, compassionate service will bring your family closer to each other and to your Heavenly Father. We read in the scriptures, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
Learn how growing closer to God has helped these families.
“I am blessed with a happy family. A happy wife and happy kids. Everything we do is built upon the foundations of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are truly blessed because of it. I look into the world of confusion and see that the gospel has brought to pass nothing but good things.”
“The gospel blesses my family by helping me feel safe. Raising kids in the world today is a frightening task. However, I know that with the gospel, I will be able to teach my children correct principles and create a home where they feel safe.”
Charleston, South Carolina
“The gospel of Jesus Christ offers the plan of happiness, which holds the knowledge of eternal families. The gospel has played a vital role in holding our family together. And as we make Jesus Christ the center of our home and hearts, my family is happier, and we can see each other with Christlike eyes.”
“I know that I was put in the family I have for a reason. I am grateful for them and all the love that is shown in families.”
Salt Lake City, Utah
“We are always reminded to be kind and be caring and accepting of our differences and our flaws. Jesus Christ’s love for all mankind has inspired us to love one another and focus on the good and not the challenges we face as a family.”
Thousand Oaks, CA
“My family is the most important thing in my life. I felt that way as a child, and now I feel that way with my own family that I’ve created with my wife. My family makes me feel that there is nothing I can’t overcome. Problems and hard times come to all of us at some point in our lives, and besides my Heavenly Father, I know that my family understands what I’m going through and are always there to help.”
“It blesses my family in day-to-day activities. Always being aware that I have a Savior who has been through it all, knows me perfectly, and is willing to guide me and lead me back to my Heavenly Father is very comforting and strengthening.”
“The older I grow, the more I realize that you need a purpose in order to grow and feel content. Your family gives you purpose to work, learn, and give. I feel my family is my identity, and that is why family is important to me.”
New Delhi, India
Express love for each other often
Jesus Christ said, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Regularly remind each member of your family how much you love them. Even if you’re sure they already know, expressing love will always bring joy and invite God’s Spirit into your home.
Pray together as a family
God blesses families who pray together with increased peace, love, and happiness in the home. Whether you have small children or grown children, family prayer can help your family draw closer to one another.
Spend mealtime together
Make an effort to gather the whole family around the table during dinnertime. Regularly getting the whole family together during mealtime can help build better relationships. It will help increase the love in your home.
Teach good values
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your children good values and principles. Teach your children about God and Jesus Christ. Help them understand the difference between right and wrong. Good values lead to good choices, and good choices always lead to God.
Go to church together
Attending church together will help reinforce your family values and bring each member of your family closer to God. It can also provide you and your children with a sense of community.
Start traditions together
Traditions help your family members feel like they’re a part of something bigger. Carry on traditions you learned from your own family or start your own. Even if it’s something simple, like making brownies every Sunday or going caroling on Christmas Eve, the traditions you have will make lasting memories and help your family become closer.
Learn about your ancestors
Teach your children about your parents, your parents’ parents, and your ancestors that came before them. Learning about and recording your family history will help your children understand that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves—a beloved son or daughter in God’s eternal family.
Hold a weekly family night
With all the demands of everyday life, uninterrupted family time can be scarce. Latter-day Saints set aside one night a week for family night when they spend time together, eat treats, learn the gospel, and have fun. It’s a good way to keep family time a priority—because after all, what’s more important than your family?