Strengthening families, understanding technology and using the Atonement

Published: Thursday, June 9 2011 6:30 a.m. MDT

Speaking of his decision to turn the experiment into a book, Brian said, “It seemed like a message that people needed to hear. If I can do something to help people understand that it is within their power to change the dynamic and not rely on the other person, that could be a message that could potentially have an impact on the world.”

Leslie Graff: Standing up for families

Graff displayed a series of paintings at the conference depicting women engaged in domestic work.

The distinguishing characteristic of the “Domestic Series” is that the female figure in each painting is depicted from the shoulders down, dressed in a skirt and high heels — both of which raise a lot of questions, Graff said.

“We often fail to use art for what it can be,” she said. “Art can be very powerful in terms of sending a message or making us feel things. When we create art, the viewer brings his or her own background and experiences to the piece and has a unique experience with (it) that is different from anyone else.”

Graff, who received a master’s degree in marriage and human development from BYU, said she intended to raise questions with these paintings. She hopes to cause people to reevaluate the actions and the roles we do that define who we are and that define what family is and what family does.

“For me it’s about not being afraid to stand up for what we believe about families and not being afraid to be vocal about what we believe about families,” she said.

Scott and Angelle Anderson: Using the Atonement

To conclude the conference, the Andersons discussed how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can literally make our family relationships “at-one” with each other and with the Lord.

“(Christ’s) desire is to be one with us, not just to help us overcome weakness, or sin, or mistakes,” Scott Anderson said. “His at-one-ment can transform our relationships and can make a difference.”

Angelle Anderson explained how the pattern the Lord uses to manage his church and his family here on earth can be used to organize our families, “that we may become closer, more connected, more one.”

Just as wards and stakes delegate callings or assignments to church members, the Andersons found success giving callings to their seven children. They believe President Gordon B. Hinckley’s instruction that every newly baptized member of the LDS Church needs a friend, a calling, and nourishment from the good word of God, applies to our children as well.

“We need each other,” Angelle said. “Sisters, husbands, sons, daughters; we need parents, brothers, grandparents. We are woven together in a tapestry of love, tears, frustration and joy.”

Scott reminded attendees that the Savior’s Atonement is to help forgive just as much as it is to help be forgiven.

“Don’t look at the Atonement in the past tense,” he concluded. “It is not something he did for us; it is something he is doing actively right now. At-one-ment is real this very hour.”

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