*Pray as family
*Learn by study, faith*Love one another
Happiness does not involve a glut of luxuries, nor is it to be found in faraway places, but instead is discovered at home, President Thomas S. Monson declared Sunday morning.
President Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, said, "The home is the laboratory of our lives," and pointed out that "we are the builders of the homes we occupy."
He identified four "hallmarks of a happy home" consisting of "a pattern of prayer, a library of learning, a legacy of love, and a treasury of testimony."
Noting that he and his wife, Frances, would celebrte their 40th wedding anniversary on Oct. 7, President Monson recalled advice they received from Benjamin L. Bowring when he performed their marriage in the Salt Lake Temple. He offered them a formula to ensure that any misunderstanding would not last longer than a day. he counseled them to kneel and pray aloud together each night and any misunderstanding that developed during the day would vanish.
Regarding his second hallmark of a happy home, a library of learning, President Monson said reading is one of the most enjoyable experiences of life.
He cited the admonition in D&C 88:118 to seek wisdom by study and faith, and counseled members not to underestimate the capacity of children to read and understand the word of God.
Recalling a recent tour of the Church printing facilities that the Monsons took with their grandchildren, President Monson said they watched a missionary edition of the Book of Mormon being produced.
"I said to one of our 9-year-old grandsons: 'Tommy, the operator sid that you may have one copy of the Book of Mormon for your very own. choose one.' I think he watched a hundred go by, identical books, until he saw the one he wanted, and then he reached forth is hand, clasped the Book of Mormon. This is my book.'"
A legacy of love, the third hallmark, President Monson said, was left by his grandmother, who would place her grand-children on her knee and read to them.
President Monson recalled his boyhood days when he would accompany his father to pick up his father's Uncle Elias, who was stricken with arthritis.
"I would remain in the car. Dad would go in the house, and soon I would see him coming out the front door, carrying in his arms like a China doll his precious uncle. Tendrely and carefully he would place him in the front seat of the car so that he would have a finer view. I would hop in the back and away we would go."
President Monson commented that his father never read from the Bible to him about the good Samaritan. "Rather, he took me with him and Uncle Elias in that old 1928 Oldsmobile along the road that leads to Jericho."
He said President Ezra Taft Benson and his wife, Flora, exemplify a legacy of love. "We as a Church could well follow their example," he added, as the prophet, seated behind him, appeared emotionally moved. "They read the scriptures, they attend the temple, they enjoy life together."
President Monson said a home can be a treasury of testimony when children are taught the gospel while they are in their youth.
"A love of the Lord, a respect for His name and teachings, respect also one for another provide a fertile seedbed for a testimony to grow," he said.
Acknowledging that it is not easy to rear a family and teach them the truth, President Monson told of being at an airport briefly for a fueling stop in the mining community of Mt. Isa, Australia.
"When we deplaned, a lovely mother, Judith Louden, and her children, two of them, came forward and introduced themselves. They said, 'We are the only members of the Church in this vast area. We hunger to see other members. We hoped you would be on this flight.'"
He said he chatted with her about her home Primary, and then it was time to leave. But an announcement on the public address system notified passengers the departure would be delayed 30 minutes due to a mechanical problem.
"Judith Lowden lowered her head and said, 'My prayer has just been answered,'" President Monson related, drawing laughter from the congregation.
She said her husband was not a Church member and asked what she could do to bring him to membership, President Monson recalled.
"I asid, 'You be a living testimony of the gospel. Invite him to your home Primary and never, ever give up on him.' "As the plane lifted from the airport at Mt. Isa, I saw her tear-stained cheeks and noted that she and her children were waving a fond goodbye."
President Monson said years later he told the story at a priesthood leadership conference in Brisbane, Australia. One of the leaders raised his hand and introduced himself as Richard Louden, the husband of Judith. He said he had joined the Church due to her patience and persistence.
"My brothers and sister, let us make of our houses happy homes," he admonished. "Let us open wide the windows to our hearts that every family member may enter and be at home."