“No Room for Problems,” Ensign, Apr. 1981, 64
When Elder Marvin J. Ashton discussed “No Time for Contention” in his April 1978 conference address, he emphasized that “in place of arguments and friction between family members, ours is to build, listen, and reason together” (Ensign, May 1978, p. 8). In the weeks that followed, the idea remained strongly with my husband and me that the way to overcome contention and unhappiness in family life would be to focus on positive activities and attitudes, not on problems. As we pondered the idea and sought to translate it into our daily life, we began to receive answers to our prayers that made us increasingly aware of how important this principle is.
For example, when we prayed about teaching our six-year-old son Myron to do the right things, the answer seemed completely unrelated to the immediate problem. It was, “Get him a dog.” We couldn’t understand the reason for such an answer, but since we felt good about it, we got a puppy. As Myron worked at training “Cuddles” and caring for him, he grew to love the puppy and learned to sacrifice for him.
Another time, we prayed about discipline problems—and were prompted to make music more important in our home. Since I am a musician, I decided to give all the children piano lessons. I also wrote a book of songs for our family, and with my husband’s encouragement we sing these songs as well as hymns before dinner, before studying the scriptures, while doing the dishes, or while riding in the car. We have found that singing together and developing our talents together has brought us closer as a family.
These kinds of experiences have been uplifting and rewarding, and have encouraged us to look for other rewarding approaches to solving family problems. Truly, it is in the home that we find some of our greatest happiness in living the principles of the gospel. Suzanne H. Hill, Provo, Utah