. . . Wherefore thy duty is unto the church forever, and this because of thy family. Amen. Doctrine and Covenants 23:3
As our oldest son was about to leave on his mission, I was struck with the realization that the "childhood" phase of our family was fast coming to a close. My wife and I had tried to follow the counsel of our Church leaders regarding family home evening, family scripture study, family prayer and other activities. Yet I still wondered if my service in the Church had been fair to my young family. For many years, priesthood assignments had prevented me from sitting with my family during Church meetings, and I often felt that Church and family jealously competed for my time during the week.
Our family decided to go to the temple to perform baptisms for the dead one last time before our son entered the Missionary Training Center. As I stood in that holy place, I looked at my wife and our children all dressed in white. At that moment, the words the Lord once spoke to Hyrum Smith in Doctrine and Covenants 23:3 came to my mind: "Wherefore, thy duty is unto the church forever, and this because of thy family."
Through these inspired words, the Lord helped me to see what a blessing Church service had been to our family. Teaching others has increased my desire to effectively teach the gospel at home. Seeing the joy temple blessings have brought to others has strengthened my resolve to help my family receive those blessings now and in eternity. Though having ample room for improvement, I am confident that Church service has brought an added measure of spirit and perspective to our home and has helped me to be a kinder, gentler and more attentive husband and father.
How grateful I am for the miracle of service in the Lord's Church and for the blessings such service can bring into our homes. Berne Broadbent, Magna, Utah