I asked everyone  to talk about a favorite message or story from General Conference for Home Church.  Then I remembered at the last minute that we were fasting, so we had a testimony meeting instead.  Here is what I would have said.

Marriage and children are an adventure.  The more children, the merrier the adventure.

The Proclamation on the Family was prophetic in many ways.  Transgender, gay marriage, sex roles, collapsing birth rates.


THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.


Sister Beck gave a talk on motherhood that I have always likened unto fatherhood.

Mothers Who Know Bear Children

Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are “becoming less valued,” in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children. Prophets, seers, and revelators who were sustained at this conference have declared that “God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.” President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that “in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.”

Faithful daughters of God desire children. In the scriptures we read of Eve (see Moses 4:26), Sarah (see Genesis 17:16), Rebekah (see Genesis 24:60), and Mary (see 1 Nephi 11:13–20), who were foreordained to be mothers before children were born to them. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.

The blessing of seed is the blessing of Abraham.  We spiritualize his blessings and see them as something refined and holy.  Sure, no problem.  But we miss out on an important part of it if we don’t think of children themselves as something to be almost materially greedy for.  God was telling Abraham the money printers would burn out running through his dollars.

The father of many is the lottery winner.

Who doesn’t enjoy Elder Uchtdorf on the call to adventure.


most self-respecting hobbits want nothing to do with adventures. Their lives are all about comfort. They enjoy eating six meals a day when they can get them and spend their days in their gardens, swapping tales with visitors, singing, playing musical instruments, and basking in the simple joys of life.

However, when Bilbo is presented with the prospect of a grand adventure, something surges deep within his heart. He understands from the outset that the journey will be challenging. Even dangerous. There is even a possibility he might not return.

And yet, the call to adventure has reached deep into his heart. And so, this unremarkable hobbit leaves comfort behind and enters the path to a great adventure that will take him all the way to “there and back again.”

Your Adventure

Perhaps one of the reasons this story resonates with so many is because it is our story too.


There must have been parts of the mortal adventure that worried and even terrified God’s children, since a large number of our spiritual brothers and sisters decided against it.4

By the gift and power of moral agency, we determined that the potential of what we could learn and eternally become was well worth the risk.5

And so, trusting the promises and power of God and His Beloved Son, we accepted the challenge.

I did.

And so did you.

We agreed to leave the security of our first estate and embark on our own great adventure of “there and back again.”

The Call to Adventure

And yet, mortal life has a way of distracting us, doesn’t it? We tend to lose sight of our great quest, preferring comfort and ease over growth and progress.

Still, there remains something undeniable, deep within our hearts, that hungers for a higher and nobler purpose.

In story, adventure occurs by movement through space.  You travel for it.  “There and back again.”  In life, adventure occurs by movement through time.  You marry, you have children, you raise them, and set many a ball rolling.

In closing, something I wrote a few years back.

They say that marriage and fatherhood takes away your fire and turns your blood to water.  Daddies, they say, play it safe.


Only a father would have the dash and abandon to pile five kids and a wife into a minivan and drive 1800 miles cross country merely because there was a work conference that would help subsidize the trip.  Having just moved in to your house, plumbers still plumbing, boxes still unpacked.

When I was a young man, I would have reeled in horror.  So much roil for so little gain.  But now, one does these things.

Safe is for singles.



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