Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife Patricia participated in Family Discovery Day during the 2021 Rootstech Connect virtual conference.
As part of their presentation, Elder and Sister Holland recorded the following message that has been a healing balm to those who received it with gladness.
Elder Holland spoke to those who struggle with the concept of family. He said:
“We know there are many of you who, for whatever reason, struggle with the idea of what is often termed the “traditional family” or the “perfect family.”
Perhaps abuse has darkened the brightness of what might have been a celestial home. Perhaps divorce has left you on your own searching for answers about the past and protection for the future. Perhaps you’re prayerfully and patiently still waiting for the blessing of being united to your own eternal companion or having children you cannot yet bear.
For our faithful LGBT friends, perhaps your heart and mind are struggling to find hope and peace your place in the eternal picture. Please, all of you know this, we see all of you and we love all of you. If you will be faithful and keep your covenants with the lord, I promise you that every opportunity and every blessing enjoyed by others will be afforded you in the lord’s divine timetable – and i mean every opportunity and every blessing.
No matter when in the unfolding of our eternal lives those future blessings are given to you, you are now – and you will be then, part of a family. Now try if you can, and I know you can, avoid getting tripped up by the phrase “traditional family” and instead replace it with a phrase like “eternal family.”
With an eternal perspective comes understanding that we are all part of one big family – the family of God. That is why we call each other brother and sister.
Imagine a world where people understood our true family tie to one another. What civility would we cultivate? What division would we avoid? What love would we let warm our devotion and divine connection to one another?
Now hear me out on this crucial point. I promise you that it is engaging in our personal family history and the temple experience it leads to that we discover the reality of our eternal relationship as brothers and sisters in the family of God.
That great realization can repair family rifts – if there be any. It can heal bruised hearts – if there be any. And it can unify otherwise strained relationships – if there be any – all in an undeniably powerful way.
If we understood this truth, how we would treat one another differently! How we would lift up hands that hang down and strengthen feeble knees! Let’s not just call each other brother and sister. Let’s show one another what it means when we realize we are one big eternal family. That will change overnight, many of the thoughts, and the deeds, and our actions.”
Sister Holland then shared the following words. They are short and succinct but truly brought a powerful spirit as she spoke them.
“We are missing the mark if, when we tap into our family roots, we fail to recognize our divine roots, our foundation, and our connection to our Father in Heaven. He loves us, He worries about us, and He hopes we will listen to the counsel He wishes to give us. Bonds. Ties. Connections. Eternity.
I love thinking that my husband and I, and our children, are safe in Heavenly Father’s arms forever if we keep His commandments and truly desire that blessing.”
To listen to the full Family Discovery Day presentation the Holland’s gave, which included video of them visiting the meaningful spots of their family’s history in St. George, Utah, USA – you can click this YouTube link.