From the outside, one might assume that the Steve and Karen Hudson family of Spruce Grove, Alberta, is a garden-variety Latter-day Saint household. In 1989, the couple was sealed in the Seattle Washington Temple and four children have since blessed their family--three boys and one daughter.
The Hudson family emulates much of the counsel emphasized in January 2015 Surrey, BC Stake Conference by Elder Paul Christensen, North America Northwest area seventy. “We need to strengthen parents’ obligation to raise up a righteous generation,” he said. “There is a shift from relying on the community and the Church teaching values, to the parents needing to take the responsibility. In the future, we will look for parents taking ownership of teaching their children.”
“It isn’t only about having family home evening and prayer,” emphasizes Steve Hudson. “It’s also what we do after we get off our knees. Mitch get’s up a half hour earlier than he needs to to go to seminary. We‘re not dragging him out of bed at 7 a.m. He’s often up at 5:45. We had some acreage and we would garden, all of us. Even the two-year-olds would hang out with us and do things that they see we do. A lot of what we do is on our knees, including working in the garden, snowmobiling, praying and reading the scriptures.”
In case anyone is counting, the rules of the Hudson household are evenly applied. Parents also practise the precepts that they profess.
“They are willing to do whatever they are asked. It's tremendous,” notes their Bishop Kevin Woloszyn. “The Hudson’s visit less active members, accomplish home teaching regularly, and children invite others to activities. They are not shy about gospel service.”
What is engrained at home guides family choices before they are presented. “A big part of the gospel, is self-volunteering,” says Brother Hudson, “like putting away chairs after an event or other service.”
Nor are family members recluse when it comes to exposing their faith to others. “Sister Hudson has worked with Welcome Wagon and she talks about her Church in conversations there,” observes Bishop Wolozyn. “Families like these are willing to go above and beyond. We have a lot of families like that, willing to serve church members and serve also in the community.”
In early 2015, nineteen-year-old Rachel submitted her papers for a mission. “She speaks German well and she had lived in Germany for three months as a foreign exchange student. She’ll be happy to go anywhere. Her experience with speaking German has given her confidence that even if she is called on to speak another language, she will suceed and do her best.”
Over the years, the Hudson family is realizing important returns on their investment of counsel and trust. “With one return missionary home, we now have much deeper study sessions,” notes Sister Hudson. “Everyone is very active in seminary. Today Foster was preparing a talk for church. Rachel was memorizing Doctrine and Covenants verses.
“As we live the gospel, not only through scripture study, prayer and going to church, but also all the time; that’s part of the key. There is no double standard for parents and children. We are all in the same boat and this is how we approach life and prepare for eternity.”