Strengthening Marriage & Family Life
based on "The Family: A proclamation to the world"
"The impact, power, and influence of the proclamation are found in the lived experience of quality family life—in husbands and wives who “love and care for each other and for their children” and “help one another as equal partners”, in children who grow up with the understanding that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God”, in families who find true happiness through “faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and whole-some recreational activities” (Successful Marriages & Families, Chapter 29)
On September 23, 1995, President Hinckley of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first read the Proclamation at the church's General Relief Society meeting. He stated the purpose was to "warn and forewarn" the world to the danger of deviating from its standards.
A Proclamation to the World
Living in this world right now is difficult. There are so many voices, and unfortunately the bad seems to outweigh the good at times. The Proclamation is here for all of Heavenly Father's children to help guide us in these last days. He knows what we are experiencing every day. He knows all of the confusion, all of the temptations, and hardships in the world. As we follow what is written in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, we will be safe, protected and guided. We will be able to discern right from wrong, and make the right decisions for ourselves and our families as we follow its principles.
In chapter 29 from Successful Marriages & Families, it states: "As members of the Church who have entered a covenant with Christ, we are not only “fellow citizens with the saints” (Ephesians 2:19), but we are also called to be “responsible citizens” who can share principles found in the proclamation with others in our communities and nations."
"History and contemporary studies have shown that marriage of a husband and a wife, with both contributing their distinctive natural traits to the family, provides the ideal context within which to rear productive, compassionate, and moral indi-viduals. . . . Individuals and groups who would overthrow the traditional concept of marriage and family would first mutate and then mutilate these long-established, time-tested social norms. The consequences of such changes would have far-reaching implications (p. 4)."
-President Russell M. Nelson
Here is the the Proclamation:
As you read, think of what stands out to you. Record your thoughts & insights.
A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD
The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The 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 is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This proclamation 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.
Below are some articles for couples and families on topics from the Family: A Proclamation to the World, and teachings from Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives
“Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3).
"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."
-The Family: A Proclamation to the World
"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."
- The Family: A Proclamation to the World
“Chapter 29: The Proclamation: A Guide, Banner, and a Doctrinal Summary of the Church's Emphasis on the Family.” Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives, Lloyd D. Newell., BYU Studies and School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, 2016.
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” (1995, November). Ensign, 25, p. 102.