Amid ballet class and basketball practice and piano lessons and playdates, moments of family togetherness may seem few and far between-it’s easy for quality time to get swept up in the whirlwind of to-do’s, particularly when life gets extra-busy.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered some advice from our speeches archive to help you find time for family time.
1) Avoid Busyness
“We live in a world of busyness. Traveling throughout the Church I sometimes privately inquire of local leaders-and these are good Latter-day Saints-“Are you holding family prayer and family home evening?
“Often I receive an embarrassed look and the explanation “We are so busy. Our children’s school and extracurricular activities, music and other lessons, social schedule, and Church functions keep them almost fully occupied. My spouse and I are tied up with work, Church, and other commitments. We are seldom together as a family.
“. . . If we are so busy doing good things that we do not have time for the essential things, we must find solutions.”
-Donald L. Hallstrom, “Living a Reverent Life,” 12 February 2013
2) Unplug the Distractions
“If we remember the nature of the beings with whom we interact, we are more likely to avoid two of the primary impediments to positive and eternal relationships in our digital age: distraction and anonymity. The former is evident when we divide our attention between those with whom we are physically present and those with whom we simultaneously interact online through texts and other messages. Surely if we were to be granted a personal audience with Heavenly Father, we would not take out our phones to check to see if someone else was trying to reach us electronically. If we remember the divine potential of all those with whom we interact, it may cause us to be more fully present and engaged with them when they are in our presence, rather than giving them only part of our attention, with the remainder reserved for our cell phone.”
-Kevin J Worthen, “It Is Not Good That . . . Man Should Be Alone,” 5 January 2016
3) Set Family-Oriented Goals
“[Obtaining an exalted eternal life] can only be realized, then, in the eternal family unit. That being the case, each of us must set goals which would help us to be effective family members-husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. When daily goals are set with this eternal perspective in mind, an individual is more likely to enjoy living. Greater satisfaction will come from doing what might otherwise be considered as routine or mundane tasks. Such an approach to living requires one to look beneath the surface of everyday affairs and associations.”
-Rex D. Pinegar, “Goals and Family Life,” 3 February 1976
4) Make Mealtime Matter
“[Meals don’t] have to be elaborate to create a time to connect and get a feeling for each person’s day. Outside distractions can be managed so that the emphasis is on passing food, talking, and interacting. Children learn to share family food instead of asking for individualized orders as they do in a restaurant. At home the regular mealtime experience gives children a sense of security because they know what to expect at the end of each day. Indeed, sociologist Robert Bellah has called the family meal the “family sacrament.” These simple everyday routines have great power in our lives. They are the deep ditches and ridges of earth that help prevent outside forces from overwhelming and distracting us from our eternal goals.”
-Shirley R. Klein, “Protect Our Homes, Renew Our Powers,” 5 April 2005