It is important that we all understand and defend the doctrine of the family because the family is the basic unit of society and is under attack on every front. In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated, "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" (Ensign, No. 1995, p 102).
This is not a time to sit back comfortably in our homes. We must all raise our voices in defense of the doctrine of the family. We can give strength to families all over the world by simply letting them know that there is a doctrine on the family. We must do all that we can to strengthen our own families and to lend strength to other families.
There are many things that we can do in defense of families. The first thing we can do is to strengthen our own immediate family. Our homes need to be havens "against the storms and struggles of life. Spirituality is born and nurtured by daily prayer, scripture study, home gospel discussions and related activities, home evenings, family councils, working and playing together, serving each other, and sharing the gospel with those around us. Spirituality is also nurtured in our actions of patience, kindness, and forgiveness toward each other and in applying gospel principles in the family circle" (Spencer W. Kimball, "Therefore I Was Taught," Ensign, January 1982, p 3).
Parents, grandparents, and extended family members must commit to defending the family. We must be like Captain Moroni who tore his coat and wrote upon it, "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives and our children." He fastened his title of liberty on the end of a pole and prepared to do battle to preserve all that was important to him. (See Alma 46:12-13.)
The need to defend the family is as important for us as it was for Captain Moroni. We live in a world where families are under direct attack. It is a world "where Satan's aggression against the family is so prevalent, parents must do all they can to fortify and defend their families…. Our most basic institution of family desperately needs help and support from the extended family and the public institutions around us" (M. Russell Ballard, "What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest," Ensign, November 2005, pp 42-43).
Besides doing all that we can to strengthen our immediate and extended families, there is much that we can do in the world around us simply by being active members of our communities. "If our schools are inadequate or destructive of moral values, we must work with fellow members of the community to bring about change. If our neighborhoods are unsafe or unhealthy, we must join with the civic-minded to devise solutions. If our cities and towns are polluted, not only with noxious gases but soul-destroying addictions and smut, we must labor to find legitimate ways to eliminate such filth…. We have the responsibility to be a blessing to others, to our nation, to the world" (Robert S. Wood, "On the Responsible Self," Ensign, March 2002, pp 30-31).
There are people all around us and in our government that are trying to destroy families. They are trying to redefine marriage as well as family. They operate under the idea that if the principle can be destroyed, then the institution can be destroyed. Because marriage is ordained of God and because the family is the basic unit of society, we must defend the very doctrine of the family.