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img_3198The Church encourages families to hold regular Family Councils. These Family Councils are in addition to FHE, which i wrote about yesterday. When, I had children at home we would meet together once a month, normally the first Sunday of the month, but there is no designated day for this to happen.

Elder M Russell Ballard spoke of there being four types of councils –

  1. A general family council, which includes all members of the family.
  2. An executive family council, which includes father and mother.
  3. A limited family council, includes parents and one child.
  4. One-on-one family council, one parent and one child.

1.  General Family Council.

Should meet on a monthly basis to discuss family problems, family finances, make plans or to give support to one another. This is the most formal of the family councils and should begin and end with prayer, inviting the Spirit into the meeting. All, members of the family should be encouraged to participate whenever possible and as each persons speaks, everyone else should be supportive and listen.

2. Executive Family Council.

This council is when parents can come together to discuss the needs of each family member and how they can best support them. Although, it is nor necessary to have prayer at this council, you may want to invite the Spirit, for guidance.

3. Limited Family Council.

When one member of the family is undergoing either specific problems or they are trying to make an important decision, this council may prove useful. This way the child feels supported and loved. This is also be a time when parents can help children set and achieve important goals.

4. One-on-one council.

These types of councils are most informal and can be carried out anywhere, but should be scheduled into the calendar, so that the child can look forward to the date and some alone time with either their father or mother.

What is important is that our families know we are there for them, that they are loved and that what they have to say is important. Except for the General Family Council, you can choose whether you invite the spirit, by offering up a prayer. At least the General Family Councils and on-on-one councils should be scheduled and so they are not missed. It is through regular family councils that we will be able to spot any problems and solve them, as a unit as soon as possible.

Now, brothers and sisters, there was a time when the walls of our homes provided all the defense we needed against outside intrusions and influences. We locked the doors, closed the windows; we shut the gates; and we felt safe, secure, and protected in our own little refuge from the outside world.

Those days are now gone. The physical walls, doors, fences, and gates of our homes cannot prevent unseen invasion from the Internet, the Wi-Fi, the mobile phones, the networks. They can penetrate our homes with just a few clicks and keystrokes.

Fortunately, the Lord has provided a way to counter the invasion of negative technology that can distract us from spending quality time with each other. He has done this by providing the council system to strengthen, protect, safeguard, and nurture our most precious relationships.

Children desperately need parents willing to listen to them, and the family council can provide a time during which family members can learn to understand and love one another.” (Elder M Russell Ballard, General Conference, April 2016. ‘Family Council.’)

My children are now all adults, they all have homes of their own and some even children and yet, i know that if there is a problem they come back to mum and occasionally dad! The bonds of love we build with our children when they are young, will help them build the same bonds with their own families in the future.