The Family is Ordained of God

By | September 23, 2015

“With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn. In furtherance of this we of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles now issue a proclamation to the Church and to the world as a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history. I now take the opportunity of reading to you this proclamation …” President Gordon B. Hinckley

The Family: A Proclamation to the World was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Watch the announcement here.

This immensely important and prophetic proclamation has provided both an anchor and a direction for me in my life. Its timeliness proved to be prophetic as spiritual tsunami after spiritual tsunami has raged against the family in the two decades since.

Ponder the truths declared in the proclamation:

Marriage

  1. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
  2. Marriage between man and woman is essential to God’s eternal plan.
  3. Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.

Family

  1. The family is ordained of God.
  2. The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
  3. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave.
  4. 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.
  5. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  6. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

Parenthood

  1. The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife.
  2. God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.
  3. God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
  4. The means by which mortal life is created is divinely appointed.
  5. Life is sacred, and it is important in God’s eternal plan.
  6. 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.
  7. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
  8. 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.
  9. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.
  10. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
  11. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

Children

  1. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3).
  2. 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.

Gender and Identity

  1. All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God.
  2. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.
  3. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
  4. 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.

WARNING to the People of the Earth

  1. 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.
  2. The disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

Invitation

  1. 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.

God organized the earth and created man and woman after His own image and likeness, male and female. After God created Eve, Adam said, “this I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.” (Moses 3)

Adam and Eve were given powers of procreation. God’s “man” were organized as husband and wife capable of having children and being organized into families.

God’s first commandments included to, “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Moses 2:28)

Concerning these first commandments, God’s prophets said, “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.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

All of God’s creation was meant for man—meaning both male and female. God said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)

We are all children of God. Families were organized after God’s heavenly pattern. Among the many reasons God sends our spirits to Earth is the opportunity to gain experience getting married and raising a family.

“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.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

The family unit is the foundational building block of all other societal structures. That is why it is so worrisome that the family unit is under such a ferocious attack. If the family falls, society falls.

President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “Why do we have this proclamation on the family now? Because the family is under attack. All across the world families are falling apart. The place to begin to improve society is in the home. Children do, for the most part, what they are taught. We are trying to make the world better by making the family stronger.” (“Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, Aug. 1997, 5)

I give thanks to God for the proclamation on the family. It has helped me in so many ways. It is a powerful pronouncement of pure doctrine that can anchor the willing soul to Jesus Christ during the raging storms of the last days.

I proclaim, along with President Hinckley, that the family is indeed under attack by forces both seen and unseen. If we really want to make the world a better place, we need to embrace the doctrines found in this righteous proclamation. We need to be pro-family. We need to defend the truths in this proclamation. We need to repent and come unto Jesus Christ.

Of particular urgency, in my view, are the following points:

  • God created us male and female. Gender has eternal significance.
  • Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
  • Fidelity in marriage is immensely important.
  • Life is sacred, and it is important in God’s eternal plan.
  • The sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
  • As citizens, we have a solemn duty to promote those laws and measures designed to strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Let’s recommit today to hold this sacred proclamation up as a standard given by the Lord, for that is exactly what it is.

Also read: Mary Ellen Edmunds: 20th Anniversary of the Family Proclamation

Share:

2 thoughts on “The Family is Ordained of God

  1. Shannon Schlesinger

    The Proclamation of the Family is one of my FAVORITE documents of the church. It’s brought SO much peace, and SO much understanding to my life. I thank Heavenly Father for it everyday.
    Thanks for sharing this Josh!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*