Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What does your church teach about family life?

This is part three of a ten-part post. Elder Cuthbert of the First Quorum of the Seventy suggested ten questions which members of any church might ask our missionaries or any other member of the Church.

Question number three: What does your church teach about family life?

*For the official teaching of the Church on the family and for the testimony of the living prophets and apostles, see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” pictured below.

Elder Cuthbert’s answer:

The strength and moral fiber of a nation are in its families, and any church purporting to be Christian must cherish family life, both as a precious, God-given heritage and as a priceless, promised inheritance. I shall be eternally grateful that our missionary teachers expanded our vision of family significantly. They encouraged us to gather our children around us night and morning in family prayer. We were then introduced to family home evening, an institution in Latter-day Saint homes throughout the world. It is indeed a great anchor and fortress to gather together at least one evening a week to discuss applications of gospel principles, have happy, healthful activity, develop talents within the family circle, and to pray together. We often reminisce about the family home evenings we have had over the years, but there is something to be prized even more. Although previously married “until death do you part,” we have now been married in a Latter-day Saint temple for “time and eternity.” Our family can be forever!

My testimony:


As I said in the previous post, one way I know my Heavenly Father loves me is His plan of happiness for us and our families. When sealed in His Holy Temples, family relationships are perpetuated beyond the grave. Think of the profound eternal significance of this doctrine and knowledge! Those who have lost loved ones—you will see your mother or father or sister or brother or grandparent again!


Families are the central unit in the plan of God; since before the foundation of the world families have existed. God is our Father, we are His spirit children and He wants us to return to live with Him forever. We should strive so that our family relationships on earth reflect the ones we had as a spirit family with our Father in Heaven. We must love, support, and raise our children that they are prepared and able to make the right decisions in this world of shifting and changing values.


One of the greatest downfalls of our society is the breakdown of the traditional family unit. So many are trying to redefine and reconstruct the family. Let me be clear: a family is a mother, a father, and their children. No other definition of the family is from God and no amount of voting or popular opinion changes the truth for truth is defined by God and God alone. This I believe about the family: as long as we try to redefine the family and live contrary to what God teaches, our society will continue to degrade and crumble until we have nothing good left to hold on to. (See President Boyd K. Packer, “Cleansing the Inner Vessel,” Ensign, Nov 2010, 74-76.)


Of course situations occur beyond our control that stray from this ideal: a woman may not marry, a couple may not be able to have children, a spouse may die or a divorce may be the only solution, children may stray, we each have our agency and no one makes perfect decisions. Each of these situations unfortunately happens with relative frequency. To those in less-than-ideal situations, all is not lost; in fact, you will not miss out on any blessings as long as you are keeping your life finely tuned to the principles and doctrines taught by the Savior. “Through your faith and righteousness and through His atoning sacrifice, all the inequities, injuries, and pains of this life can be fully compensated for and made right. Blessings denied in this life will be given in the eternities.” (See Atonement, True to the Faith, 2004, 20.) All that is unfair in life is made right through the Atonement of Christ.


I love my family. In my family I learned of gospel of Jesus Christ. I saw the gospel lived and I saw the inherent blessings received. Things haven’t been perfect and for a while I was the source of much of the discord that existed in my home. But as I continue to grow, I recognize and understand better how important my family is and how much of a vital, positive influence they have been in my life.


See also:

Topic: Family on LDS.org