Love At Home


One of the saddest things I’ve seen recently in a TV show or movie was during an episode of The Cosby Show. Two of the sisters have a disagreement and start fighting. I know many people watch that and laugh at the ridiculousness of it but it brought me to tears. There is nothing I find more disheartening than discord in homes. Seeing or hearing families fighting, arguing, or yelling at one another in anger is always profoudly disturbing to me.

I understand getting angry and annoyed but anger is almost always ugly. People have a difficult time thinking clearly when angry. Things are said or done that normally would not be said or done. Those less-than-thoughtful words and actions then exacerbate the problem, creating a feedback loop that can degenerate into something more hideous – a terrifying chimera of anger, distrust, and hate. Not all anger devolves into this, certainly, but our homes should be temples of peace and love and kindness rather than battlegrounds.

Our homes should be places of refuge and safety. Our homes should be full of kindness, service, and love. When we become angry and vent on family members, when we allow anger and fighting to enter our home, we drive away the Spirit of God and in essence desecrate the temple that should be our home. Anger and fighting have no place in our homes. The great prophet king Benjamin taught us to not:

“suffer that [our children] transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” (Mosiah 4:14-15).

I’ve been married for more than 10 years. Not once have my wife and I fought. We’ve only rarely disagreed about things. I cannot even recall (should I even want to) a time when I was annoyed with my dear wife. I try to not do things or say things that could annoy my wife. Marriage is a sacred relationship; temple marriage, in particular, is founded upon covenants of righteousness and consecration. What this means is that everything we do should strengthen our marriages. One of the key things we can strive for and have to strengthen our marriages is unity. There is little my wife and I value more than unity as a couple and family. This leaves no place for anger or fighting. We need to be kind and gentle in all that we do.

We have been commanded to “Cease to contend one with another; cease to speak evil one of another.” (Doctrine and Covenants 136:23). This leaves no place for arguing or fighting. If we want our children to be kind to one another we need to be good examples for them, which means we need to cease responding in anger to them. One of the best ways to reduce bad behavior is to encourage good. Jesus taught through the words of Isaiah that “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” (3 Nephi 22:13). Peace in our homes and hearts comes when we are taught of the Lord. Peace comes through testimony and the Spirit as we strive to follow Jesus.

I started this post this morning and then after stake conference watched a new Mormon Channel music video that I feel is appropriate here.

“Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.”

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2 thoughts on “Love At Home

  1. Marcelaine

    I think you make an excellent point, but it is important to realize that peace comes more naturally to some than to others. Some have a spiritual gift to be peacemakers, but for some a hot temper is a weakness that they struggle every day to overcome. I have a few friends who are very good people but struggle to control their anger, and I have found that what they need most from me is charity as they work (with the Lord) to preserve their marriages despite their weaknesses. In families it is also important to remember that we are not perfect and to forgive and ask for forgiveness when we make mistakes. I know that I personally have felt annoyed or even angry at times with my husband, but when that happens I try to ask for Christ’s help to change my heart before I say or do things I will regret. It’s not easy, but with the atonement it is possible.

  2. Jared

    It certainly is easier for some people to not become angry/annoyed than it is for others. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Having a temper or being quick to anger isn’t a sign of being a bad person, it is largely depended on the wiring of the brain (which is influenced by genetics). The Lord is angered at times and the Savior cast out moneychangers from the temple with anger. But most of the time He taught with kindness and love. As you pointed out Marcelaine, one of the beauties of the gospel and the Atonement – weaknesses can become strengths. As with everything in the gospel, there is progression. Once we stop striving for improvement, we stop partaking of full blessings of the Atonement.

    One quote I enjoy is from Pres. Hinckley: “Who can calculate the wounds inflicted, their depth and pain, by harsh and mean words spoken in anger? How pitiful a sight is a man who is strong in many ways but who loses all control of himself when some little thing, usually of no significant consequence, disturbs his equanimity. In every marriage there are, of course, occasional differences. But I find no justification for tempers that explode on the slightest provocation. . . . You may think it is the macho thing to flare up in anger and swear and profane the name of the Lord. It is not the macho thing. It is an indication of weakness. Anger is not an expression of strength. It is an indication of one’s inability to control his thoughts, words, his emotions. Of course it is easy to get angry. When the weakness of anger takes over, the strength of reason leaves. Cultivate within yourselves the mighty power of self-discipline. (“Our Solemn Responsibilities,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 49)

    The issue with anger isn’t the flaring up of it, it’s in the acting on the anger and stoking its ember into a conflagration. Some people don’t even try to control their anger. That’s where the problem lies – in not admitting there’s a problem in the first place and then not doing anything about it.

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