By TONIA ANDRUS
Parenthood is one of the most important callings and a balance must be found between church service and time with the family, said Elder Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in the Saturday afternoon session.
“Parenthood stands among the most important activities to which Latter-day Saints may devote themselves,” he said.
Elder Packer spoke of the correlation between church service and the family.
“In church we are taught the Great Plan of Happiness. At home we apply what we have learned,” he said.
He said there are things vital to the well-being of the family which can be found only by going to church, and the curriculum and activities of the church have been coordinated with the home.
Yet he advised leaders, in their desire to provide a schedule of programs and activities, to not overlook the responsibilities of parents and the essential need for families to have time together.
President Packer also said that the church is not the only responsibility parents have. Schools, employers, community have a legitimate reason to call upon resources of the family and need to be balanced in.
He said he is aware of the busy schedule of many households but emphasized the importance of scheduling time for the family.
“Remember, when you schedule a youngster, you schedule a family — particularly the mother,” he said.
Elder Packer spoke of what he called a most difficult problem to solve. He said many young people receive little training at home, and they must be provided for. He said scheduling too many out-of-home activities to compensate for the loss in those homes may make it difficult for attentive parents to teach their own children.
“Only prayer and inspiration can lead us to find this difficult balance,” he said.
He said the ward council is the place to establish balance between home and church by coordinating the work of the organizations.
“Here the brethren of the priesthood, themselves fathers, and sisters of the auxiliaries, themselves mothers, can, with inspired insight . . . compare what each organization is providing for each parent and each child and how much time and money each requires.
“They can unite rather than divide families.”
President Packer closed his talk saying he had studied and learned from the scriptures and the words of prophets, but what he learned in his home helped him learn more of his Father in Heaven and his love.
“Most of what I know about how our Father in Heaven really feels about us, his children, I have learned from the way I feel about my wife and my children and their children. This I have learned at home.”