“‘Happiness Found at Home,’ President Monson Affirms,” Ensign, June 2000, 76
“Happiness does not consist of a glut of luxury, the world’s idea of a ‘good time.’ Happiness is found at home,” President Thomas S. Monson said during the missionary satellite broadcast on 20 February.
The 30-minute fireside was transmitted via the Church satellite system to stake centers in North America and, for the first time, to sites throughout Latin America. The broadcast was also received in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Haiti, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic. Church sites in Western Europe, Scandinavia, and the British Isles received the broadcast a few days later.
Stakes in all of those areas were encouraged to organize missionary open houses in conjunction with the broadcast. It was an opportunity for members to introduce friends of other faiths or less-active friends to the gospel and the strengthening blessings it offers families.
“All of us remember the home of our childhood,” President Monson said. “The home is the laboratory of our lives, and what we learn there largely determines what we do when we leave there.”
Although there are a variety of home situations—from large families to single parent families to households with just one occupant—the same identifying features are found in every happy home, he said. “I refer to these as ‘Hallmarks of a Happy Home.’ They consist of a pattern of prayer, a library of learning, a legacy of love, and a treasury of testimony.”
“So universal is its application, so beneficial its result, that prayer qualifies as the number one hallmark of a happy home,” he said, noting the importance of both individual and family prayer. “If any of us has been slow to hearken to the counsel to pray always, there is no finer hour to begin than now.”
Speaking of a library of learning, he said we can learn from the Lord and from others who have wisdom to share: “Reading is one of the true pleasures of life. … The Lord counseled, ‘Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith’” (D&C 88:118).
“We must ever be committed to the success of our marriage,” President Monson counseled. “Seemingly little lessons of love are observed by children as they silently absorb the examples of their parents.” He cited his father’s example of service in teaching the importance of loving others.
“It isn’t enough for parents alone to have strong testimonies,” President Monson added. “Children can ride only so long on the coattails of a parent’s conviction.”
He counseled that the parental example of “a love for the Savior, a reverence for His name, and genuine respect one for another will provide a fertile seedbed for a testimony to grow.”