But then there would be no purpose

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week covers the Sunday morning session from the October 1974 Conference.
Elder John H. Vandenberg reflects on his experience driving alone on a lovely, peaceful morning, and then hearing the news on the radio:
During the next several minutes the announcer commented, as I remember, on a burglary, a shooting, an accident, a hijacking, people being held hostage, and worry over the economic conditions. The news brought to my attention that the world could be full of peace, but that it was not. 
Naturally, one fond of peace wonders why this is so, recognizing that if there were no people on earth, all would be quiet and peaceful. But then there would be no purpose in the earth. We know that its purpose is to receive God’s children where they may dwell in mortality and prove themselves in the test against the forces of good and evil. In this process there will be strife as well as peace.
I love a quiet, peaceful home. I love stillness and silence and cleanliness. But…I have seven children. And I really needed this reminder, which sounded like this in my head:

If there were no people in your home, all would be quiet and peaceful. But then there would be no purpose in your home.

The noise, the arguing, the misunderstandings, the clutter. Certainly we fight it where we can. But it has a purpose. We are training bodies and spirits. We are proving ourselves. We are learning to find the peace underneath it all.

Other posts in this series:


  1. Oh thank you for sharing that quote and typing your wise insights! I am going to try to think that often because I do forever wish for my home to be cleared of coats and shoes and school work and mess, and I wish for quiet and calm, but I love what you've said -- what SHOULD have been obvious to me: that what would be the purpose of me or this home if it wasn't to grow and learn and do whatever my part is to further God's work? And right now, my part in that is to raise children and teach them, etc. Loved this.

    1. I think it's particularly bad right now, with Christmas clutter everywhere and everyone underfoot without the usual routines. It's kind of different and fun, but I have also thought so many times, "If only I lived alone, how peaceful and clean life would be!" Ha ha. So I definitely needed the reminder myself.

    2. Yes! And Mike decided it would be a great Christmas joy for the kids to finally move into and out of rooms (the basement is finished but still busy with paint cans and mess). He was right. They were thrilled, but I was panicked at his resolve!! He just saw all the bed and dresser moving, but I knew the terrifying truth of the clutter and disaster it would inevitably involve! The last few days have been just all the Christmas clutter mixed with clothes and toys and papers and junk pulled out of rooms, etc. It's finally starting to pull itself together -- and, in retrospect, I'm thrilled the bulk of the insanity won't have occurred right when new baby comes. It's happy to think it might be mostly settled by then (which I hadn't thought possible), but goodness! So much craziness around here!!

    3. Well, yes. It WILL be so nice for you to have all the moving done! But such a fuss to actually REACH that point! :) We are gearing up for moving a couple of our girls downstairs too. I will have to email you about how you're arranging everything!

  2. Man alive I needed this reminder today!


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top