This week’s lesson includes the story of Ruth and Naomi. It is a story of loyalty to commitments and covenants. It is a story that reminds us God provides a way. It is for sure a story that is also about the power of family.
Ruth and Naomi were not mother and daughter through biology, but their bond through law and covenants proved to be just as strong.
Paragraph 7 of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” teaches about successful families. Included with the roles of mother and father, extended family is taught as a means of support, encouragement and love. Likewise, academic studies share the following:
A growing body of research illustrates grandparent involvement is associated with improved mental health, improved resilience and pro-social behavior in grandchildren. … adolescents whose closest grandparent was involved in their lives following their parents’ separation or divorce, reported fewer emotional symptoms and more pro-social behaviors than those with less grandparent involvement. … across very different settings, results show that … frequent or emotionally close contacts between a grandchild and a grandparent may protect against developmental problems and boost a child’s cognitive and social abilities.” Source: Buchanan, Ann, & Rotkirch, Anna. (2018).
Many families will gather during the summer months to celebrate kinship. The restored gospel teaches these bonds are more than that; they are central and eternal.
Fostering them can fulfill sacred stewardships. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and others can be uniquely influential. For instance “Abraham changed Lot’s life as his uncle. Joseph of Egypt saved his brothers and families. Mary and Martha blessed each other and their brother, Lazarus. … Elisabeth and Mary supported each other as cousins through the challenges surrounding their pregnancies. Zoram, not blood related, was faithful support to Nephi and adopted as if they were family.“ (Ensign, September 2020)
Ultimately, Ruth and Naomi were examples of this broader view of family, one we can all try emulating.