This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey.
With the Sunday afternoon session of the October 1974 General Conference, we’ve come to the end of our eighth general conference. It’s hard to believe that we started this Odyssey way back in December 2015. There were several talks that I really liked from this session, but the one I’m writing about is President Spencer W. Kimball’s Ocean Currents and Family Influences.
The central metaphor is right in the title: “Currents have much more power to control its course than the surface winds.” President Kimball urges us to develop powerful currents in our homes:
I have sometimes seen children of good families rebel, resist, stray, sin, and even actually fight God. In this they bring sorrow to their parents, who have done their best to set in movement a current and to teach and live as examples. But I have repeatedly seen many of these same children, after years of wandering, mellow, realize what they have been missing, repent, and make great contribution to the spiritual life of their community. The reason I believe this can take place is that, despite all the adverse winds to which these people have been subjected, they have been influenced still more, and much more than they realized, by the current of life in the homes in which they were reared. When, in later years, they feel a longing to recreate in their own families the same atmosphere they enjoyed as children, they are likely to turn to the faith that gave meaning to their parents’ lives.
But here’s the line that stood out to me the most:
My brothers and sisters, the home is our peculiarity—the home, the family, is our base…family life, home life, children and parents loving each other and dependent upon each other. That’s the way the Lord has planned for us to live.
It connected two different themes: the family and being a peculiar people. In addition to President Kimball’s talk, President Hinckley’s talk (A City Set Upon a Hill) and Elder Victor L. Brown’s talk (The Blessings of Peace) also talked about being “a peculiar people.” In what sense are we becoming a peculiar people? Well, as the world goes in one direction, the Church will refuse to go along. And, apparently, a central point of divergence will be the family.
Something to keep in mind in coming years.