Not long ago, as my kids and I were arriving at my son's basketball practice, an airplane flew over us. This one was quite a bit louder and faster than your average over-the-city airliner, so my daughter looked up to see what all the noise was about. There's an empty feeling every time I've finished delivering my kids to their mother, with little reminders all over my home: a living room strewn with toys, a juice box half empty on the table, clothes on bedroom floors. Our 5-year-old daughter, Dorothy, curiously peeked into the coffin at her grandpa's still form.
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The last time she'd seen him, the two had sat together in the Arizona sunshine. His baritone voice had spoken with excitement of the unique plants in the desert landscape. Now, he lay lifeless before her.
Focus on the Family Give the Gift of Family. Focus on the Family A Marriage Restored. There really is a point to this.
The waves crashed over the boat's hull as the storm threatened to capsize it. Unfortunately, some members of faithful families drift away because their own roots are weak. My heart aches when I learn of those who turn from the faith of their pioneer predecessors. One professionally acclaimed friend and gifted son of faithful ancestors has allowed one doctrinal doubt to dim his view of the fulness of the gospel and drive an ever-widening wedge between him and the temple.
Have these dear people become so fashionable that they have forgotten their roots? Have they forgotten what the Restoration really means and what it cost?
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Have they forgotten their pioneer heritage and their lineage as declared in patriarchal blessings? For a few fleeting favors now, would they forget and forfeit eternal life?
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Oblivious to the roots that have blessed them, they no longer enjoy the spiritual sparkle of Saints engaged in the work of Almighty God. Their disappointment will likely turn to sorrow, for fruit detached from roots cannot long survive. Just as our roots determine to a significant degree who we are, our branches are also an important extension of our identity.
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Personal branches bear the fruit of our loins. Now we are greeted fondly by those who know us because they know our grandchildren.
In much the same way, our religion is known by the fruit of its branches. Recently I met with government officials from a land far from here who were deeply impressed with the Church and its efforts throughout the world. They liked our teachings about the family and wanted copies of our proclamation to the world and guidebooks for family home evening.
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They wanted to know more about our welfare program and humanitarian help. We complied as we could and then shifted attention from what we do to why we do it. I explained with an analogy to a tree.
But you cannot savor this fruit unless you know the tree that produces it. And you cannot understand the tree unless you comprehend its roots. With our religion, you cannot have the fruits without the roots.
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So likewise the luscious fruits of virtue and chastity, honesty, temperance, integrity, and fidelity are not to be found growing in that individual whose life is not founded on a firm testimony of the truths of the gospel and of the life and the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fruits of the gospel are delicious to those who obey the Lord. We shun pornography and immorality, knowing that the peace of personal purity can be ours only as we live according to the laws of the gospel. Personal identity is much more than a passport photograph.
We also have roots and branches. The Power of the Root The poor humble root may not be much to look at. Spiritual Roots The same can be said about our spiritual roots. This was the opposite of what I wanted. From the surface, root work looks like nothing is happening. This is why so few people take the trouble or time to do the inner work: it is invisible. Action Plan The goal of this website and blog is to provide resources for individuals and families that want to grow deeper in their faith. Search Blog Search for:. First Name.