Around the Table

“Around the Table,” Friend, June 1996, inside front cover

Around the Table

(Adapted from an April 1995 general conference address. See Ensign, May 1995, pages 82–83.)

Home can be a heav’n on earth (Hymns, no. 298).

Picture a family gathering around a table, perhaps the kitchen table, talking about the gospel, talking about sacrament meeting and its messages, talking about the current Ensign or the current New Era or the current Friend, talking about school, talking about general conference, talking about Primary lessons, talking about listening to good music, talking about Jesus Christ and His teachings.

Think of the potential of a family kneeling around a table (without television)—praying, pleading for help, thanking our Father for blessings—teaching all ages the importance of a loving Father in Heaven.

Visualize a family surrounding a table with the scriptures open, discussing the many truths and lessons in them. This indeed is a table encircled with love!

I have stated before that home should be a happy place because all work to keep it that way. It is said that happiness is homemade, and we should endeavor to make our homes happy and pleasant places.

To have a time when the family meets at the kitchen table may take considerable adjustment and careful planning, but what could be of more importance to the unity of the family, to the spiritual growth of the family, to the bridges built between members of a family as they talk, listen, and respond, surrounded by love?

My plea today is that each of us will look carefully at our homes and at the kitchen table and continually strive to bring heaven there and come unto Jesus Christ.

Illustrated by Beth Whittaker