It is Christmas time and we talk and sing of “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” For my purposes in this article, I would like to paraphrase by suggesting “Peace on my spot on earth — the spot where my house stands — and goodwill toward men — my husband and children.”

In the Preface of the Peacegiver by James L. Ferrell we read:

We live in a world at war. I am referring not only to wars between countries but also between former friends, siblings, spouses, parents, and children. Conflicts between countries are perhaps more dramatic, but the hot and cold wars that fester in the hearts of family members, neighbors, and friends bring more pain and suffering to this earth in a single day than have all the world’s weapons since the beginning of time. If there ever is to be peace on earth, we first must find the way to peace in our hearts and homes.

In striving toward peace in our homes and personal lives, we are greatly blessed, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, to understand the power of the Atonement in healing and helping us in our quest. We are fortunate that inspired writers and speakers have given us inspirational information about how the Atonement can be our answer through faith in the Lord, our efforts to repent, and our willingness to forgive. As mothers, we can do a lot to exemplify and encourage faith, repentance, and forgiveness in our homes.

Furthermore, as mothers, we are the heart of the home, and as such it is within our realm of influence to foster peace in some very specific, practical ways in our homes. This we can do, in spite of challenges and problems, by helping things go right.

Help things go right by expressing love. “The measure of love is to love without measure.”
(Unknown)

Help things go right by rendering simple acts of service. Service can bring out the best in both the giver and the receiver, thereby enhancing a feeling of peace in the home.

Help things go right by not provoking your children or spouse to anger. Avoid harsh, unreasonable discipline, sarcasm, or inappropriate teasing. Be kind and respectful toward family members; the manner in which you treat them will likely be how they in turn interact with you and others.

Help things go right by using positive reinforcement. Appreciate whatever is noble in your husband and children. Live by the ten-to-one ratio: express ten compliments for every correction or criticism. Learn to use words of affirmation liberally. When you speak, talk of hope and encouragement. Help family members feel that you believe in them, assure them that success is within the reach of their efforts and abilities.

Help things go right by having a sense of humor. A good laugh or a clever comment can do wonders to dispel tension or turn a potential crisis into something funny. A two-year-old got into a large container of flour one day while his mother was busy in another part of the house. In her words, “he had created the dust storm of the ages.” For a moment, she didn’t know whether to “pound” him or take a picture. Then she exclaimed, “Wow, Frosty has come alive right in our house!” and ran for the camera.

Help things go right by following the programs of the Church for the home. Remember to hold daily family prayer and scripture study. Emphasize weekly family home evenings and Sabbath observance. Even though a righteous father and patriarch may declare, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," it is generally the mother who manages the household, meals, and activities to make it actually happen.

Help things go right by creating an environment conducive to peace and harmony and the spirit of the Lord. A house that is orderly can enable family members to avoid frustration by being able to find what they need. Nourishing meals, served reasonably on time can help keep tempers in check. Planning ahead, as much as possible, can alleviate crises and help things to be calm and peaceful at home.

Yes, it is Christmas time and we talk and sing of “Peace on earth, good will toward men.” There is not a lot we can do about peace in the world, but we can focus on peace in our homes. Mothers who endeavor to help things go right can then sing one more song, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”