I know your family doesn’t need one, but a family motto is unifying, empowering, helpful, fun, and unique! Our family is still in the process of fine-tuning our family motto, with a mission statement to follow (hopefully) soon thereafter. I thought it would be beneficial to hear what other families use as their family motto, in the hopes that it will inspire ours. Maybe it will inspire you to create your own too.
What is a family motto?
First things first – what is a family motto?
A family motto is usually a short quip, something easy to memorize, repeat, and recall, that typifies your family’s beliefs or view about life.
Some family mottoes are silly. Other family mottoes are inspirational. And many family mottoes encourage better behavior and choices among family members.
How do you choose a family motto?
There isn’t really a wrong way to pick a family motto. I would venture many mottoes happen naturally over time as someone in the family struggles with something and is frequently cheered on by the same phrase. Parents may organically have their own life mottoes or philosophies they pass onto their children. Some use their favorite scripture verse as their motto.
Other families need help in intentionally creating and crafting a family motto that is all their own. Some families will inevitably have the same slogan, but as long as the family decides it best fits them, who cares if the [Fagans] also use it?
A family motto is best chosen with the help of all family members. We asked our five year-olds for input, but, well, they are five and don’t really get what we’re getting at. However, we involve them nonetheless. It’s a reminder to us to keep it simple so our children understand it.
Some good starting points are writing down adjectives that describe your family, values your family believes in, and goals you want to achieve. From there it’s a matter of fine tuning, whittling down unnecessary words (mottoes should be short!), and making sure you like how it rolls off the tongue.
The Fagan Family Motto
Did you know that there are traditional surname family mottoes? I didn’t either until doing a little searching on the internet just now! Look up your name on this genealogy site and see what it says for yours! I love reading all the great mottoes for the multitude of family names listed there.
Fagan is traditionally “Faithful to God and country.” My maiden name’s family motto is “I will again hope” or “Be just and fear not.” I love all three of those!
My husband and I are still fine-tuning our family motto, but that’s kind of the great thing about it – they can change. There’s no rule saying they can’t. In fact, some families create new mottos every school year, in order to better meet the challenges they may be facing in the coming year. I think that’s a pretty cool idea.
Right now our Fagan family motto is “Stay Strong. Work Together. Trust God. Family’s Forever.”
My husband really wants it to rhyme, so we talked about “Admit Wrongs” instead of “Trust God” but trusting God is pretty important in our family (as is admitting wrongs, but, you know, God trumps). I’m still a little iffy about the “Family’s Forever” part simply because it’s not a verb-noun pattern like the rest of it is, although the reminder that “family is forever” is good. This creating a family motto things is tricky!
For a long time I think our family motto was “We don’t give up.” We told our children that often, but there are moments when we should give up.
When our twins were younger, I think our motto was “If you make a mess, then you clean it up.” I liked this one because a mess could be more than just a spill, it could be a situational “mess” like hurting someone’s feelings, or making a poor choice which then could be “cleaned up” through apologies or certain actions.
One fun thing we do as a family to help with family unity is to put our hands all in the middle, one on top of each other, and then have someone count to three, and then yell “Fagans!” and lift our hands high into the air. Our children love doing this, and so do my husband and I.
Family Motto Examples
I asked around in some groups on Facebook for what people used as their family mottoes. I wanted to know what real families were using, not some stock suggestions of feel-good memes. I wanted real families, with real mottoes, to see the variety and differences among them, and to be inspired by their creativity and insight. I hope you’ll be inspired by them in order to create a family motto unique to your family.
Here are 35 Family Motto Examples from Real Families
“We can do hard things.” – Both Kerry S. and Shannon Q. use this one in their families, based on the scripture Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
“Davises are kind, hard working, and Christ-loving.” – Celeste Davis
“May we dedicate our lives to serving the Lord and not worry about offending the devil.” – This is a quote by James E. Faust that Montserrat W. uses as their family motto.
“Everything real was imagined first.” – This is a quote from the Velveteen Rabit that Lena G. has hanging in their kitchen.
“Press Forward Slades” – A motto from the Slade Family
“Kindness, always kindness.” – Ann W.
“Enjoy, don’t destroy.” – Melissa of Fireflies and Mudpies
“It might not be pretty, but we will survive.” – Catherine E.
“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” – Amy F uses Alma 37:6 as their family verse and family motto.
“This, too, shall pass” – Sarah L admit it’s not really inspiring but it gets her family through.
“Your future is as bright as your faith” – Quote from Thomas S. Monson that Jacquelin A. uses in her home.
“It’s not whose right but what’s right.” – Dawn M.
“Remember who you are.” – Dawn M.
“God first, family second, self third.” – Dawn M.
“Life is Good” – Sara D.
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37 used by Diane P.
“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” – Kelley K admits it’s not the most inspirational but it’s used many times.
“Be good and learn something” – Lisa D.
“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” – 1 Nephi 3:7 used in Pamela H’s home.
“Don’t wait to be told” – Helen T
“If you see something needs to be done, do it!”– Helen T
“Fake it til you make it”– Helen T
“If you want a friend, be a friend” – Helen T
“I feel healthy. I feel happy. I feel terrific!” – Used whenever someone started feeling sick or sad or whatever by Helen T’s family.
“Don’t go away angry, just go away.” – a family with a big sense of humor.
“We’re happy. We’re obedient. We’re responsible. We give service.” – Harris Family Camping Rules that are used all the time.
“Do something nice for somebody.” – Tarrah M’s family scripture is Mosiah 2:17 so their motto goes along with it. The father tells them this everyday before school and follows up afterward.
“We lived after the manner of happiness” – 2 Nephi 5:27 is the verse Cristi VH uses for their family motto.
“Life is hard and then you die” – Alyse K’s motto growing up which helped her have a sense of humor about things.
“Come what may and love it” – is Alyse K’s more positive version of the previous one, a quote from Joseph B. Wirthlin
“Life is full of surprises!” – Jill N.
“Always follow the Prophet” – along with their family cheer “Go Cougars! Go Hansens! Follow the Prophet!”
“What we do with our lives is our gift to God” – Kathleen C.
“Be strong! Be brave! Be true!” – TaNiel D
What is your family motto? How did you create one unique to your family?
*Photos by Jennifer Borget of Baby Making Machine.
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