"...Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise" --Alma 37:6

Friday, October 14, 2011

Family & Culture

Families, in their traditions and habits, differ from greatly. A family in Arizona, for example, has very different habits, traditions, and rituals than a family in Nebraska. Main events may remain the same, but what the individual family does for the event can be very different. Is this a bad thing? No, there is nothing wrong with two families celebrating Christmas, or Halloween in different fashions from each other.

In the March 1986 issue of the Ensign, a magazine distributed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, there was an article titled, "Traditions Worth Keeping". I would like to place an excerpt here for you to read:

"Family traditions are like spiritual and emotional cement in the foundation of a happy home. They create fond memories, and these memories bond us together as nothing else can.

Traditions influence the way we live and the way we look at life. They may be practices or beliefs handed down from generation to generation, or new habits or patterns we establish in our own families. Some will be based on commandments and righteous principles, others may evolve from our cultural or national heritage."

As the above excerpt says, family traditions are quite influential. They help shape who become later in life. Every person looks back on their family's traditions constantly. We may not realize it, but some of the traditions become habits and before we realize it, we are doing it without even thinking about it. The ensign article goes on to discuss cultural traditions:

"Cultural traditions can enrich family life too. Some families inherit unique national traditions and customs from their parents or grandparents. Other families adopt customs because of an interest in other cultures of the world. On May Day in France, for example, it is traditional to exchange flowers—lilies of the valley—as a symbol of friendship. In Mexico, the breaking of the pinata—a decorated container filled with gifts and candies—is a highlight of family fun on special occasions. Colorful traditions like these are to be found in all cultures."

Cultural traditions are not to dismissed or looked down upon. Cultural traditions can help a person define who they are what is important for, or to, them. By following family, cultural traditions, descendants are creating invisible bonds, or connections with their fathers who came before them. A part of our ancestry, or history, comes alive within us and tells us who we are, and who we can be.

Above all remember this: Family is the most important tradition of all to pass on. We must teach our children the importance of family and make sure they understand the "Family Proclamation" and all that is discussed therein.

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