Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) believe their families are their most important possessions, and that they should do all they can to create righteous and happy families. Prophet David O. McKay said, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."
Sacred Nature of Families
From LDS Family Guidebook:
The family is sacred in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is the most important social unit in time and eternity. God has established families to bring happiness to His children, allow them to learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and prepare them for eternal life.
The home is the best place to teach, learn, and apply gospel principles. It is where individuals learn to provide the food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities they need.
Family Proclamation 1995
The Proclamation to the World on the family, issued by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, teaches several important truths regarding the centrality of the family and its eternal destiny. These truths are centered on the concepts of the Plan of Salvation: Before we came to the earth, we lived with our Heavenly Parents in a pre-mortal world with a Heavenly Father and Mother who, Church members believe, are the parents of our spirits. There we prepared to come to earth in the time established by the Lord. Our heavenly home was a sacred place where we were able to progress and develop. However, we all knew that in order to further develop we needed to come to Earth to obtain a physical body and be tested.
Purpose of the Earth
Jesus Christ, under the direction of our Heavenly Father, created the earth to be our mortal home. In this physical world our first parents (Adam and Eve) received the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. The same commandment is given to all men and women, but special rules apply to using the power of procreation. Men and women need to be legally married to be able to use the sacred powers of procreation in the way that is acceptable to the Lord. Mormonism declares the supreme importance of eternal marriage, a marriage that is performed only in sacred places called temples. According to the doctrine of Mormonism, only when we are married for time and all eternity in a sacred temple, and we live faithful to God's commandments until the end of our lives, are we entitled to receive the special privilege of living with God the Father and Jesus Christ in the highest level of Celestial glory in their Kingdom.
When husband and wife fulfill their obligations as righteous spouses and parents, they will find joy and the Lord will bless them.
Building Good Homes
Mormons devote their best efforts to creating homes where their children can properly grow and develop, preparing for the challenges of life and learning to rely on the promises of the Lord to all the faithful.
Mormons believe that their families can be eternal. This means that if they live righteously and according to the covenants made in the temple, they can live with their families forever, even after this life. Since the blessings associated with eternal families are so glorious, it's easy to understand why Mormons are so concerned about their families. They want their earthly homes to be places that allow further progression of their children, who are nothing less than children of God.
Essential Elements of Family Life
The leadership of the Church stresses the following as components of a successful family life:
- Continual emphasis on Christ—through family and individual prayer, scripture reading, and Family Home Evening
- Instruction for children through teaching and example, emphasizing moral cleanliness and honesty
- Self-reliance and a good work ethic
- An emphasis on education and the magnifying of talents
- Charitable service to others
- Wholesome recreation
Friends of other faiths need not assume that Mormon families aren't enjoying themselves. Fun is an integral part of family life, and indeed, Mormon culture.
Good Parenting Goals
The LDS Family Guidebook suggests the following ideals for families: The father and mother, as equal partners, should help each family member:
- Seek the truth and develop faith in God.
- Repent of sins, be baptized for the remission of sins, become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and receive the Holy Ghost.
- Obey the commandments of God, study the scriptures diligently, offer personal prayers daily, and serve others.
- Share the gospel with others.
- Be endowed and be married in the temple to a worthy companion for eternity, create a happy home for the family, and support the family by love and sacrifice.
- Search for information about deceased ancestors and perform temple ordinances for them.
- Provide the nourishment required for spiritual, social, physical, and emotional health.
The LDS Family Guidebook suggests the following ideals for fathers and mothers:
The father presides over the family and is responsible to teach the children and provide the necessities of life for the family. A worthy and eligible father in the Church has the opportunity to hold the priesthood, which is the power and authority to act in the name of God. With this power and authority, the father becomes the priesthood leader of his family. He leads his family in preparing to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. His wife is his most important companion, partner, and counselor. Husband and wife should counsel together on all matters that affect the family and home.
The mother is an equal partner and counselor to her husband. She helps him teach their children the laws of God. If there is no father in the home, the mother presides over the family.
The father and mother must be one in purpose. Their goal should be to prepare all members of the family to return to our Heavenly Father. They should be united as they work toward this goal. The Lord has established the Church to help fathers and mothers teach and take care of their families.
For the Strength of Youth
From LDS.org For The Strength of Youth: is a special section on the family:
Being part of a family is a great blessing. Your family can provide you with companionship and happiness, help you learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and help you prepare for eternal life.
Strong families require effort. Your family will be blessed as you do your part to strengthen it. Be cheerful, helpful, and considerate of family members. Many problems in the home come from family members speaking and acting selfishly or unkindly. Seek to be a peacemaker rather than to tease, fight, and quarrel. Show love for your family members each day. Share your testimony with your family through words and actions. Your righteous example can make a difference in strengthening your family.
Honor your parents by showing love and respect for them. Obey them as they lead you in righteousness. Willingly help in your home. Participate in wholesome family activities and traditions. Join your family in family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evenings. Keeping these commandments strengthens and unifies families. If your family does not do these things together, pray and study the scriptures yourself. Your example may encourage your family members to join you.
Facts about Mormon Families
Families are central to Mormon doctrine. Mormons believe that marriages can last forever, not just until death. These kind of eternal marriages are called sealings. Statistically, of all the United States, Utah is...
- First in children with two parents
- First in birth rate and family size.
- First in number of married couples.
LDS Couples that marry in Mormon temples have the lowest divorce rate "among all U.S. social and religious groups studied." The divorce rate is 5.4% for men and 6.5% for women.
For sources, see AllAboutMormons.com
- The Gospel Blesses Families and Individuals on Mormon.org
- Steve Young and Sharlene Hawkes address misconceptions about the Church and Mormon families
- A website for Mormon women
- Mormon leaders featured speakers at International Conference on Families
- Family Happiness LDS.org - directory of articles about increasing family happiness and success.
- Importance of the Family - L. Tom Perry - April 2003 LDS General Conferenceru:Семьи