I will never forget hearing these words from President Nelson at the October 2018 General Conference:
The new home-centered, Church-supported integrated curriculum has the potential to unleash the power of families, as each family follows through conscientiously and carefully to transform their home into a sanctuary of faith. I promise that as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning, over time your Sabbath days will truly be a delight. Your children will be excited to learn and to live the Savior’s teachings, and the influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease. Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining.
At the time, I had no idea what the “home-center, Church-supported” curriculum would entail. But soon thereafter we as a family started studying the “Come Follow Me” curriculum five days a week. And the changes have literally helped save us during difficult times.
At the beginning, there was some resistance to a Family Home Evening type of environment five nights a week. My three sons did a bit of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Just a bit.
But now, believe it or not, my sons, all of them Young Men, look forward to our Come Follow Me time of scripture study and Gospel discussion.
It is not an accident that Come Follow Me was introduced soon before the pandemic. While so many people suffered through the unnecessary and tyrannical lockdowns, we were able to concentrate on the Gospel an hour or so a day as a family. Two of my three sons suffered severe depression from the forced isolation and closing of schools. I believe it was the Come Follow Me program that helped keep them alive.
Now my sons — and the rest of the family — are stronger and filled with faith. What does not kill you makes you stronger, and that applies here.
The Sabbath day is even more of a delight. The influence of the adversary has decreased, and the changes in our family have been dramatic and sustaining. I feel like the Come Follow Me program has created an invisible shield around our home. This does not mean that nothing bad will happen to us — we are certain to have challenges in the days ahead just like everybody else. But we will be stronger and more able to face these challenges.
At the April 2018 General Conference, President Nelson famously said: “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” The Come Follow Me program helped increase that influence in our home, and it has helped us survive spiritually.
So, what will we hear at General Conference this weekend? I predict many messages that will continue to help us survive spiritually. It will be a delight.