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Family Values Shared At The Dinner Table

Updated on October 15, 2011
A magic place where much more than food is served up.
A magic place where much more than food is served up.

A Home is More Than A House It is A Sanctuary

It has been a long day for everyone. The family has been scattered in all different directions throughout the day, but at last, the time has come for all to converge on the sacred refuge, separated from the challenges of the outside world, called home.

"Actually, a home is much more than a house. A house is built of lumber, brick, and stone. A home is made of love, sacrifice, and respect. A house can be a home, and a home can be a heaven when it shelters a family" stated,Thomas S. Monson, prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons.

There are many fixtures that are found in this sanctuary, but none that are quite as important as the dinner table. It is a multi-functional magic place. It is here we are fed, nourished, and replenished from the demands of the day.

1950 Family Date, Dinner In A 1950s Home- Boy, have things changed!

Fed, Nourished, and Replenished

A delicious meal and stimulating conversation.
A delicious meal and stimulating conversation.

Conversation and Sharing Each Others Company Is More Important Than What You Actually Serve

Think back to the times of "Leave it to Beaver" or "Father Knows Best", these television families spent a lot of time around the average kitchen table.

It was here that they broke bread together and ate the wonderfully delicious, and nutritious meals, that the mother had concocted. I don't know about your family, but in my family this is not always the case. Sometimes we have fast food, sometimes we have dad cook, and believe it or not, even the kids try their hand at being the "Galloping Gourmet."

One thing that we try to keep the same is eating together every night, or as much as we possibly can. This is a time where we actually sit down together and just partake of the joy of each others company. It is here that we can share much more than a morsel of food, in fact, the fare is not even that important. It is at dinner that we take the time to actually TALK to one another. We talk about the events of the day, joke and laugh, or even discuss topics of eternal importance.

Special Times

 Celebrations around the table.
Celebrations around the table.

The Table A Fun Place

We love to hang out at the table no matter where we are.                I am sure restaurants must hate us!
We love to hang out at the table no matter where we are. I am sure restaurants must hate us!

The Gathering Place, Central Location, or HUB of the House

The dinner table is a multi-faceted location.

It is the gathering place or the "Hub" of the house. It is here that we exchange ideas with one another, tell stories and jokes, and just plain chat. There are times when we will sit for hours after the meal is actually finished just chewing the fat and hashing over business.

It functions as our board room table where we discuss matters that affect us as a family unit. It is a school room table where we learn and grow in many areas, including gospel topics. Sometimes we just clear off all the dishes and break out the games and enjoy a television free night, making it a game table, too. Another of our favorite "table" activities is putting together an old fashioned jig-saw puzzle.

The table is a place of celebration, many a birthday candle are blown out on it, while choruses of Happy Birthday ring through the house. What ever the activity we choose, we find that as we gather around the table, the bonding and building starts to take place.

Table Manners or Rules of The Table, All Must Comply!

One of the reasons that we can enjoy the ambiance of the "table" is because we have established "table manners" that we try and live by. These are, more simply put, rules of the table. Some of them include:

  • 1) No cell phones at the table
  • 2) No texting at the table, see rule number one.
  • 3) Each meal is started with a prayer
  • 4) Mutual respect is required for whatever activity is taking place
  • 5) No feeding the dog from the table
  • 6) Limited television viewing access from the table, turning it off is preferred
  • 7) Friends are always welcome at the table
  • 8) Patience, courtesy, tolerance, love, charity, etc. are encouraged at all times at the table.
  • 9) No combing your hair at the table (yuck, hair in the food is nasty)
  • 10) Practice of over all good table manners required when eating at the table, no pigs are allowed at the table.

How to eat with bad manners at a table with Claudia.

No PIGS at The Table?

Well, at least most of the time, right?
Well, at least most of the time, right?

Life in a Big Family

Families Are Forever, A Traditional Mormon Belief

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), we believe in the continuation of the family unit for all eternity.

We feel lucky to have the wonderful relationships with each other that can be shared for time without end. These relationships are not just given to us without work. We are required to learn to live with one another in a way that we would desire to be together forever. This is a job, but it is worth it.

Practicing to live together now, in love, and finding joy with one another, is what we are trying to do. Spending time together is part of that process. We are so thankful for that scratched up, second hand, wooden fixture we call a table because it acts as a gathering place of love for our family.


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