The Lord knew that our earthly existence would not be without its challenges; they were always going to be part of the 'Great Plan of Happiness' which we welcomed with cheerful hearts when it was presented to us in the pre-existence. And so, with the 'sweat of our brow' (Moses 5:1) we work our way through concerns knowing that where there is no struggle there is no growth.
As the shadow of gloom descends there is power and comfort in remembering that we are not alone in our struggle to overcome the challenges we are confronted with. No loving father would ever leave his children alone in their darkest hours and the same is true of our Heavenly Father.
To make certain that we never need be alone, our Heavenly Father first ensured that the same organization that existed in our pre-mortal life would exist in mortality and so we are born into families which are ordained of God. A father and mother living together in harmony in the home serve to strengthen the family. Occasionally, death or disability necessitates some adaptability but wherever possible parents should remain together to strengthen one another and the family.
To further strengthen the family, we are reminded in 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World' that 'Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of The Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and spiritually strong families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.' I testify that as these Christlike attributes are sought and practiced in the home by each person the entire family is strengthened, any sense of loneliness dissipates and all are better able to withstand the winds of opposition.
It is Satan's subtle plan to destroy the family as a center of strength and I therefore encourage you to 'lock the gates' through which he may try to enter. His cyber influence comes into the home in the form of R rated movies and television shows, violent internet games and pornography. None of us should allow the cunningness of Satan (2 Nephi 9:28) to be a barrier to having the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives and our homes. I encourage you to shun Satan by being engaged in wholesome family activities, scripture study, family prayer and those things you sense you need to do to have the influence of the Holy Ghost in your life and in your family.
A spiritually strong family is one that enjoys the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Let us be like the Nephites of old (3 Nephi 19:9) and pray that we can always live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained, 'The Holy Ghost is our comforter, direction finder, our communicator, our interpreter, our witness and our purifier.' (1996 Semi-Annual Conference) Every family needs to sincerely pray for and live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost so he can fulfill his role.
To parents, President Henry B. Eyring taught that, 'It is only with the companionship of the Holy Ghost that we can hope to be equally yoked in a marriage free from discord. I have seen how that companionship is crucial for felicity [happiness] in a marriage. The miracle of becoming one requires the help of heaven, and it takes time.' (October 2013 General Conference) A happy family is more easily built when one of the foundation stones is a covenant keeping mother and father who enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
I know from experience that a happy home is one where the companionship of the Holy Ghost is welcome. As we work to make our homes a little bit of heaven on earth there will be a corresponding increase of happiness in them and the lives of parents and children.