“Family Joy Is Found in Righteousness,” Ensign, December 2016
God “established families to bring us happiness, to help us learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and to prepare us for eternal life.”1 Of God’s “great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8), President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said: “His plan declares that men and women are ‘that they might have joy’ [2 Nephi 2:25]. That joy comes when we choose to live in harmony with God’s eternal plan.”2
A Christ-centered home provides the greatest opportunities for success. Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles describes it as a place “where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds,” where families can live “an obedient life” and become “firmly rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”3
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “We can decide that we will do all we can to bring down the powers of heaven into [our] family.” And we’re most likely to promote love, service, obedience, and happiness in our homes by “[our children’s] hearing the word of God and then trying it in faith. If they do, their natures will be changed in a way that produces the happiness they seek.”4
We have role models of Christ-centered homes in the scriptures. After his father, Lehi, died, Nephi took his family and others who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God and who hearkened to Nephi’s words away from the land of the Lamanites. In this new place, the Nephites could keep the judgments, statutes, and commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses. (See 2 Nephi 5:6–10.) Yet even among the Nephites, some eventually became disobedient.
And while our family members can sometimes drift away from righteousness like the Nephites did, Elder Scott said that a Christ-centered home still “provides the greatest assurance for peace and refuge in our homes.” He acknowledged that “there will still be plenty of challenges or heartaches, but even in the midst of turmoil, we can enjoy inner peace and profound happiness.”5