I'm preparing my lesson for tomorrow's Sunday School which is The Family is Ordained of God.
The family is central to God’s plan.
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).
The power to create mortal life is sacred.
“Children are the inheritance of the Lord to us in this life and also in eternity. Eternal life is not only to have forever our descendants from this life. It is also to have eternal increase. … “We can understand why our Heavenly Father commands us to reverence life and to cherish the powers that produce it as sacred. If we do not have those reverential feelings in this life, how could our Father give them to us in the eternities?”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: “The body is an essential part of the soul. … We declare that one who uses the God-given body of another without divine sanction abuses the very soul of that individual, abuses the central purpose and processes of life. … In sexual transgression the soul is at stake—the body and the spirit” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1998, 99–100; or Ensign, Nov. 1998, 76).
Parents have a sacred duty to care for each other and teach their children.
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “When you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Selfishness is the great destroyer of happy family life. If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on throughout eternity” (“Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, Dec. 1995, 67).
President Spencer W. Kimball said: “It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children. The Sunday School, the Primary, [Mutual,] and other organizations of the Church play a secondary role”
Successful marriages and families are based on righteous principles.
“Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:
“If there is to be a return to old and sacred values, it must begin in the home. It is here that truth is learned, that integrity is cultivated, that self-discipline is instilled, and that love is nurtured. …
“Sisters, guard your children. … Nothing is more precious to you as mothers, absolutely nothing. Your children are the most valuable thing you will have in time or all eternity. You will be fortunate indeed if, as you grow old and look at those you brought into the world, you find in them uprightness of life, virtue in living, and integrity in their behavior”
Recognizing and avoiding abuse
The proclamation warns that those “who abuse spouse or offspring … will one day stand accountable before God.” Church leaders have spoken out against abuse of any kind. The following quotation from President Gordon B. Hinckley to priesthood brethren can be applied to both men and women: “Never abuse your wives. Never abuse your children. But gather them in your arms and make them feel of your love and your appreciation and your respect. Be good husbands. Be good fathers”
Strengthening families is everyone’s responsibility
President Gordon B. Hinckley told a gathering of mayors and other public officials: “To you men and women of great influence, you who preside in the cities of the nation, to you I say that it will cost far less to reform our schools, to teach the virtues of good citizenship, than it will to go on building and maintaining costly jails and prisons. … But there is another institution of even greater importance than the schools. It is the home. I believe that no nation can rise higher than the strength of its families”
“The plan of the Father is that family love and companionship will continue into the eternities. Being … in a family carries a great responsibility of caring, loving, lifting, and strengthening each member of the family so that all can righteously endure to the end in mortality and dwell together throughout eternity. It is not enough just to save ourselves. It is equally important that parents, brothers, and sisters are saved in our families. If we return home alone to our Heavenly Father, we will be asked, ‘Where is the rest of the family?’ ”