It seems that everywhere you turn today families are being attacked. Whether it be from media, politicians, or individuals, families are being put on the back burner and the foundation of the family is being destroyed. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (frequently misnamed the “Mormon Church” by the media) the family is one of the most important aspects of this mortal life as well as the life after this one. The leaders of the LDS Church have proclaimed “The family is ordained of God.” This statement clearly states why the family is so important to members of the church, because it is so important to God. As a God-loving people, members of the LDS Church strive diligently to put family first.
Many people state that family is important, but often their actions do not support their claims. Members of the LDS Church have a very strong belief that the family is central to God’s plan of happiness. In fact, in 1995, the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared the following in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World“: “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” In a time where the sanctity of marriage is being attacked, the LDS Church is striving hard to keep the family a main focus and to help protect families from the onslaught of attacks.
When one thinks of their family, they should have thoughts of love, peace, support, and friendship. For those who are LDS and follow the guidance of their modern-day prophet to do all they can to have harmony in the family, blessings follow. The Church teaches that families can be together forever. This concept is often hard for people who are not members of the Church to grasp. Their marriage was most likely performed with the words “till death do us part.” Members of the LDS Church who are found worthy to enter Mormon temples can be married and sealed for eternity. This means their marriage and family unit can be bound together for eternity, if they are faithful to the covenants they make with God. There is a lot of joy that comes from knowing you will be with your children forever. It brings a new perspective to this life.
The time parents get with their kids should be precious. There is no time to waste, and opportunities to teach and show love towards your children should be a top priority for parents. Families in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are taught to love one another, to serve one another, and to be examples for one another. The foundation for all of these teachings is an active, strong faith in Jesus Christ. As families work together to strengthen their faith in Christ, they will find wonderful opportunities to show love and support for each other.
In order for families to be able to function well, there needs to be peace in the home. It is unfortunate that so much of what we see and hear in today’s world glamorizes contention. The LDS Church teaches that the home should be built up as a refuge from the world. The home can only be a refuge if there is unconditional love and harmony. There must be respect for one another and the willingness to serve each other. These are all principles that are taught in the LDS Church from the time kids start learning in Primary (Sunday School for children ages 3 to 11). As kids and parents are taught about what makes a strong family, they can then discuss these principles with each other. This type of communication can truly help break down barriers and create the opportunity for lasting relationships.
In an effort to help members of the Church with their efforts to create a strong family unit, all members are encouraged to hold Family Home Evening. This is where the family gets together each Monday night for an opportunity to have a lesson, activity, and hopefully a good treat. As families make this a normal part of their routine, they will see many great blessings enter their lives. Monday nights are set aside by the Church for this purpose. No other meetings or church activities are scheduled for Mondays, and families are strongly encouraged to use the time to spend solely with each other.
Families are also encouraged to work on their Family History or genealogy. When families work together searching out their ancestors, they will gain a deeper love for not only them, but also for each other. Again, many blessings will come to those who make Family History a priority in their life.
In that same proclamation to the world mentioned earlier, it ends with the following statement, “We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always promoted the importance of families and will continue to do so. As families work diligently together, parents will see a bright future for their children.
Seth Saunders is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon”). He is currently serving as Branch President of the Pembroke Branch.