Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
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 Click here to get more information on this link. is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
1. Marriage between a man and a woman: "The covenant of eternal marriage is necessary for exaltation."
2. Family is central: "While the family is under attack throughout the world, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims, promotes, and protects the truth that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children."
3. Russell M. Nelson
4. Eternal destiny: "In these important pursuits we will never be left alone. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son live. They love us and know our circumstances."
David A. Bednar
ALL HUMAN BEINGS-male and female-are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
1. Male and Female:
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the night. 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
2. Divine Nature:
2 Peter 1:4-7
4. Whereby are given unto exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the diving nature, having escaped the corruption that is in this world through lust. 5. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to your virtue knowledge; 6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Three Gates Only You Can Open, President Thomas S. Monson
"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." Albert Schweitzer
President Thomas S Monson
4. Essential Characteristics:
Women of Righteousness, Elder M. Russell Ballard
"The premortal and mortal natures of men and women were specified by God Himself. ... [Sometimes women] ask: 'Is a woman's value dependent exclusively upon her role as a wife and mother?' The answer is simple and obvious: No. ... Every righteous man and woman has a significant role to play in the onward march of the kingdom of God..."
Things as they Really Are, President David A. Bednar
In this dispensation the Lord revealed that "the spirit and the body are the soul of man" (D&C 88:15). A truth that really is and always will be is that the body and the spirit constitute our reality and identity. When body and spirit are inseparably connected, we can receive a fullness of joy; when they are separated, we cannot receive a fullness of joy.
Always in the Middle, President David A. Bednar
Yes, there will be moments of beginnings and moments of endings throughout our lives, but these are only markers along the way of the great middle of our eternal lives. Whether we are at the beginning or the end, whether we are young or old, the Lord can use us for His purposes if we simply set aside whatever thoughts limit our ability to serve and allow His will to shape our lives.
IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
1. Sons and daughters: "Parents ponder their responsibility to teach, to inspire, and to provide guidance, direction, and example. And while parents ponder, children-and particularly youth-ask the penetrating question, why are we here? Usually it is spoken silently to the soul and phrased, why am I here? How grateful we should be that a wise Creator fashioned an earth and placed us here, with a veil of forgetfulness of our previous existence so that we might experience a time of testing, an opportunity to prove ourselves in order to qualify for all that God has prepared for us to receive."
-The Race of Life- President Monson, April 2012 General Conference
2. His plan: "Our hope and happiness lie in knowing who we are, where we came from, and where we can go. We are eternal beings, spirit children of an eternal God. Our lives can be compared to a three-act play: premortal life (before we came to earth), mortal life (our time here on earth), and postmortal life (where we go after we die). God has had a plan for our lives since the beginning of the first act-a plan that, if followed, provides comfort and guidance now, as well as salvation and eternal happiness in our postmortal life."
-Our Heavenly Father's Plan Video
3. Divine Destiny: "Compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God...My dear brothers and sisters, it may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember-you matter to Him!"
-You Matter To Him- President Uchtdorf, October General Conference 2011
4. Enables Families: Video Link- "Why Mormons Build Temples"
5. Return: "Enduring to the end requires faithfulness to the end, as in the case of Paul, who told Timothy, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7). Obviously, this is not an easy task. It is intended to be difficult, challenging, and, ultimately, refining as we prepare to return to live with our Father in Heaven and receive eternal blessings. Enduring to the end is definitely not a do-it-yourself project."
-How to Endure to the End- Elder L. Tom Perry "The Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ensign, May 2008, 46.
6. United Eternally: Video Link- "The blessings of the Temple"
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
1. Potential for parenthood:
· "Catch the teaching moments. This can be done anytime during the day...Mother, you are your children's best teacher. Don't shift this precious responsibility to day-care centers or babysitters. A mother's love and prayerful concern for her children are her most important ingredients in teaching her own." (Julie B. Beck, "A Mother Heart'" Ensign, May 2004, 75-Student Living Guidebook, Lesson 10 - Becoming Fathers and Mothers.
President Hunter said, "A righteous father protects his children with his time and presence in their social, educational, and spiritual activities and responsibilities"...Effective family leadership, brethren, requires both quantity and quality time. Next to your salvation, there is nothing so important to you as the salvation of your wife and children." (Howard W. Hunter, "Being a Righteous Husband and Father," Ensign, Nov 1994, 49-51-Student Living Guidebook, Lesson 10: Becoming Fathers and Mothers
2. Multiply and replenish the earth remains in force:
· "In 'the best of times [and] ... the worst of times,' the true Saints of God, acting in faith, have never forgotten, dismissed, or neglected 'God's commandment ... to multiply and replenish the earth.' We go forward in faith-realizing the decision of how many children to have and when to have them is between a husband and wife and the Lord. We should not judge one another on this matter" (Neil L. Andersen, "Children," October 2011 general conference). http://www.lds.org/service/serving-in-the-church/relief-society/teachings-for-mothers-october-2011?lang=eng&query=multiply+replenish+earth
· Genesis 1: 28 http://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/gen/1?lang=eng
· Sister Verde Mae Christian, BYU-I Devotional 1993, "Morality."
3. Between man and woman:
· "The power of creation-or may we say procreation-is not just an incidental part of the plan," says President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. "Without it the plan could not proceed. The misuse of it may disrupt the plan. . . . Protect and guard your gift. Your actual happiness is at stake."
Immorality cannot be made right by making it popular, President Packer continues. "The Lord's standard of morality commands that the sacred powers to beget life be protected and employed only between man and woman, husband and wife. To misuse this power is exceeded in seriousness only by the shedding of innocent blood and denying the Holy Ghost. http://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/why-stay-morally-clean?lang=eng&query="your+actual+happiness+is+at+stake"
· "Powers of procreation are to be reserved for marriage." Brittany Beattie http://www.lds.org/new-era/2012/03/be-a-defender-of-the-family?lang=eng&query=procreation+between
· "Obedience to the plan is a requisite for full happiness in this life and a continuation of eternal joy beyond the veil. Essential to His plan of happiness is agency-the right of personal choice. Also fundamental is the holy privilege of procreation to be exercised within the commitment of legal marriage. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan."
Richard G Scott
WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.
1. Importance in God's Eternal Plan: "The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth has never been rescinded. It is essential to the plan of redemption and is the source of human happiness. Through the righteous exercise of this power, as through nothing else we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fullness of joy, even godhood! The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness; it is the key-the very key." - Elder Boyd K. Packer, The Fountain of Life (BYU Fireside, 29 March 1992)
HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives-mothers and fathers-will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
1. Solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children:
· "What is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, 'They do not love that do not show their love.' We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.
President Thomas S Monson
2. And to teach them to love and serve one another:
· "Brethren, let's treat our wives with dignity and with respect. They're our eternal companions. Sisters, honor your husbands. They need to hear a good word. They need a friendly smile. They need a warm expression of true love. ..."To you who are parents, I say, show love to your children. You know you love them, but make certain they know it as well. They are so precious. Let them know. Call upon our Heavenly Father for help as you care for their needs each day and as you deal with the challenges which inevitably come with parenthood. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them."3 Joy in the Journey" (Brigham Young University Women's Conference, May 2, 2008), President Thomas S. Monson
· http://ce.byu.edu/cw/womensconference/archive/transcripts.cfm. The statement "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved" Barbara Johnson (see "Quotable Quotes," Reader's Digest, Jan. 1997, 161).
THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
1. Marriage between man and women is essential: Two of the vital pillars that sustain Father in Heaven's plan of happiness are marriage and the family. Their lofty significance is underscored by Satan's relentless efforts to splinter the family and to undermine the significance of temple ordinances, which bind the family together for eternity. The temple sealing has greater meaning as life unfolds. It will help you draw ever closer together and find greater joy and fulfillment in mortality.
Richard G. Scott
2. Mothers are Primarily responsible for:
· A Mother Heart, Julie B. Beck. Video Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3xR_JW0vV8&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL4B31E6592747122E
· Student Living Manual: Lesson 12, "Becoming Righteous Men and Women."
"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity" (Margaret D. Nadauld, "The Joy of Womanhood," Ensign, Nov 2000, 14-16).
· Student Living Manual: Lesson 6, "The Family Proclamation." "The man and the woman contribute differently but equally to a oneness and a unity that can be achieved in no other way. The man completes and perfects the woman and the woman completes and perfects the man as they learn from and mutually strengthen and bless each other." (David A. Bednar, "Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan," Liahona, Jun. 2006, 50-55).
· "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).\
· "To the Mother's in Zion," by Ezra Taft Benson. http://institute.lds.org/manuals/eternal-marriage-student-manual/u-w-women-3.asp
· Video- "Motherhood, an Eternal Partnership with God."
· Video- "The Women in our Lives."
3. Fathers are to:
· "Melchizedek Priesthood holders who are fathers in sealed families have been taught what they must do. There is nothing that has come or will come into your family as important as the sealing blessings. There is nothing more important than honoring the marriage and family covenants you have made or will make in the temples of God." -President Henry B. Eyring, "Families under Covenant", General Conference, Apr. 2012 Topics: Family, Temple Blessings Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women- Russell M Nelson. Apr 1999 Eph 5:13
· "Love Her Mother," Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LQ80TFOGvw
WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
· For the Strength of Youth
2. Abuse of spouse or offspring:
· http://www.lds.org/liahona/2002/07/personal-worthiness-to-exercise-the-priesthood?lang=eng&query=physical+abuse+warning In the marriage companionship there is neither inferiority nor superiority. The woman does not walk ahead of the man; neither does the man walk ahead of the woman. They walk side by side as a son and daughter of God on an eternal journey. She is not your servant, your chattel, nor anything of the kind. How tragic and utterly disgusting a phenomenon is wife abuse. Any man in this Church who abuses his wife, who demeans her, who insults her, who exercises unrighteous dominion over her is unworthy to hold the priesthood. Though he may have been ordained, the heavens will withdraw, the Spirit of the Lord will be grieved, and it will be amen to the authority of the priesthood of that man. Any man who engages in this practice is unworthy to hold a temple recommend. I regret to say that I see too much of this ugly phenomenon. There are men who cuff their wives about, both verbally and physically. What a tragedy when a man demeans the mother of his children.
President Gordon B. Hinckley
3. Accountable before God:
· Susan W. Tanner, My Soul Delighteth in the Things of the Lord. "Jacob taught that the Lord delights 'in the chastity of women' (Jacob 2:28). I delight in the chastity and purity of all women and men. How it must grieve the Lord to see virtue violated and modesty mocked on every side in this wicked world. The Lord has provided for His children great joy through intimate, loving relationships, as my grandchildren were learning. I delight in the clarity of the proclamation to the world on the family which warns that 'individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.' "http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=1783558fcc599110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1
4. Disintegration of the family:
· Be a Defender of the Family, Brittany Beattie "Don't underestimate the way you can defend the family unit by participating in your family unit."http://www.lds.org/new-era/2012/03/be-a-defender-of-the-family?lang=eng&query=disintegration
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.
1. Responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere: "All our nations religious citizens need to develop a respect for another... it is time for all religiously committed citizens to untie against our common enemy." Standing Together for the cause of Christ, Jeffery R. Holland http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/08/standing-together-for-the-cause-of-christ?lang=eng