Joseph and I are starting a family tradition this year, as a way to kick off the school year in the right direction and with the right spirit guiding us through the year to come! We're getting started a little late this year, but the goal of our themes is to help us study the gospel with our children and each other in a more focused manner, and help us have a home centered around Christ.
This year during the Sunday afternoon session in conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard gave a wonderful talk called, "Stay on the Boat and Hang On," and in his talk he quoted Brigham Young's "the Old Ship Zion" metaphor for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We loved this metaphor and knew it had to be part of our theme. Joseph and I looked up Brigham Young's teachings in Journal of Discourses about "the Old Ship Zion" which led us to other teachings, so we pulled out key concepts we really want to focus on this school year.
Adams Family Theme (School Year 2014-2015)
If the people would live their religion, there would be no apostasy and we would hear no complaining or fault-finding. If the people were hungry for the words of eternal life, and their whole souls even centered on the building up of the Kingdom of God, every heart and hand would be ready and willing and the work would move forward mightily and we would advance as we should do. (JD Vol 13: 153)
We want to live so as to have the Spirit every day, every hour of the day, every minute of the day, and every Latter-day Saint is entitled to the Spirit of God, to the power of the Holy Ghost, to lead him in his individual duties. (JD Vol 10:296)
You know we are on the “Old Ship Zion.” We are in the midst of the ocean. A storm comes on, and, as sailors say, she labors very hard. “I am not going to stay here,” says one; “I don’t believe this is the ‘Ship Zion.’” “But we are in the midst of the ocean.” “I don’t care, I am not going to stay here.” Off goes the coat, and he jumps overboard. Will he not be drowned? Yes. So with those who leave this Church. It is the “Old Ship Zion,” let us stay in it. (JD Vol 10:295)
Joseph created this pretty broadside poster of our theme; I framed it and displayed it in our home, this way we'll always have it visible, refer to it often, and pull key concepts from it when we want to study with our family. I'm even challenging our children to memorize it!
Do you have family themes or something the like in your family?