What’s the secret behind happiness? Glenn has certainly found something that works for his family: no video games! And, of course, more family game time.
“I told you about maybe three or four weeks ago that I’ve always had a hard time being diligent on reading the scriptures. I usually read them every night myself, but I have a hard time reading them with the family and, you know, my faith teaches that if you have family prayer and family scripture study every single night and a family home evening where you just play games, your world will change,” Glenn said on radio this morning.
The Beck family has experimented with no electronics and video games before, but never for an extended period of time. About a month ago, however, Glenn came home and insisted they rid themselves of superfluous electronics, especially video games, and if anyone violated the rule he threatened to throw everything in the bottom of the pool.
“The family has really worked hard on it. We went on our vacation here just this last week and it was the best family vacation we have ever had. And it was simple. We did nothing. We went up to the farm and we were just on the farm and we fed the horses, we rode the horses, we cleaned out the barn one day, we moved logs. I mean, that’s all we did. And we played cards, we played games, and I told you about three, four weeks ago that we started ‑‑ because I could not ever get the family to sit down because it would always be at the end of the night. We’d do it right before bed and then you’d be like everybody was tired and let’s just blow it off; we’ll do it tomorrow,” he said.
“I finally said, enough is enough. If you’re going to eat, you’re coming with your scriptures and we’re reading our scriptures. And so we read our scriptures every night during a meal and we just, each one reads a verse and we talk about one chapter every night.”
“Between getting rid of the video games, getting rid of the electronics and so now it is, television time is we all sit down as a family to watch it and so we’re all watching it together or we’re not watching it. Between that, reading our scriptures at dinner every single night, saying our prayers every single night, and dedicating ourselves to what the real priorities are.”
” I mean, I saw a real change in me even yesterday. Guy came with me from work. We had a whole bunch of work to do. I went home. It was 4:00 in the afternoon and I went home and Tania said, ‘Raphe has been, you know, invited over to his friend’s house to play soccer.’ And I said, ‘Well, I thought we were going to watch the rest of the football game this afternoon.’ And she said, ‘Oh, that’s right.’ And I said, just ask Raphe. Tell him I’m here. If he wants to watch the rest of the football game. Otherwise, he can go with his friends. Expecting he would go with his friends to play soccer. And he came downstairs and he was like, ‘No. Dad, I can play anytime. Dad and I are going to watch the football game.’”
“That’s huge. And so he watched the football game. And here’s the change in me. This friend of mine said, ‘You want to do ‑‑ you want to ‑‑ can we do some extra stuff now, or should we do it…’ and I looked at him and said, ‘No. See you tomorrow.’ And family was my priority.”
“My family made us the priority, and we have seen a massive change, massive change. And I have to tell you, I was truly afraid of losing my family or losing members of my family in the last year. It’s been hair‑raising. And as Pat knows, our family has gone through, you know, a few ship wrecks in the past and this one scared me more than any of them. And what a difference just reconnecting to the basics.”
“Everyone will tell you that vacations have to be fancy, they have to be whatever. Really, my kids were throwing rocks at posts and playing with sticks, and I know, for guns. I couldn’t stop it all. Playing with sticks as guns. And then we were playing cards and we did not turn on a television,” Glenn said.
Glenn said that in the end, the secret to happiness can be found in the time-tested simple things in life.
“Simplicity, things that are authentic, things that are time‑tested are the answer. It is not about running somebody to ballet class or a karate class, it is not about signing up for football, it’s not about having the right clothes, it’s not about having the right house,” Glenn said. ” We have the luxury of having everything that we need and then comparing it to what most people have, and what most people have is better than having everything. And I know that’s easy for me to say, but we have lived it and it is ‑‑ it’s worth appreciating that everything you need is already there. Everything that’s really important and the secret to your happiness is already there.”