Last week we had a relief society lesson about Families Can Be Together Forever. Now, that's a very broad topic and definitely a very common one. This was the best lesson I've ever heard on the topic, because being honest, that topic is pretty sore and sensitive to a lot of people, especially women and especially within the church when there is so much emphasis placed on the family.
There was an old, antique child's chair made of metal on the table for display. The teacher started out by sharing this quote from President Ezra Taft Benson, "From the beginning of their marriage, Ezra and Flora Benson made their home and family
their top priority. When their children were young, they began
emphasizing that they wanted their family to have no “empty chairs” in
The teacher stated how we all have a chair reserved for us in our eternal families. She asked us to think of the particular chairs in our families, all of the chairs, are there any empty chairs? She then went on to discuss divorce, death, falling away from the church, broken family relationships for various reasons, etc. and other examples of what can break families apart. She spoke of her own family and shared why and what each of her sibling's families look like and how she's the "black sheep" because she's the only that's been married for 30 some years. She has a lot of empty chairs in her family.
She explained what the best thing is that we can do for our families, to ensure that we have an eternal family - BE IN YOUR CHAIR! Whatever the reasons the other chairs are empty - bitterness, guilt, grudges, offense, divorce, death, falling away from the church - the best thing we can do to help fill those chairs is to be in our own chairs.