We can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by studying the document titled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and by following its precepts. One way to study the proclamation is one paragraph at a time. This is the eleventh article in this series.
Paragraph eight of the proclamation on the family states: “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.”
This paragraph clearly tells the importance of protecting families and individual members of families. God expects us to treat each other as He would treat us. If we do not, we will suffer the consequences.
Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke in October 2003 on this topic in a talk titled “Let Our Voices Be Heard.” He says, “The family is at the heart of Heavenly Father’s plan because we are all part of His family and because mortality is our opportunity to form our own families and to assume the role of parents. It is within our families that we learn unconditional love, which can come to us and draw us very close to God’s love. It is within families that values are taught and character is built. Father and mother are callings from which we will never be released, and there is no more important stewardship than the responsibility we have for God’s spirit children who come into our families.”
Heavenly Father sent us to earth to live in families. There He expects us to learn His ways and to follow in the footsteps of His Son, even Jesus Christ. The family is the basic unit of society here on earth and in the kingdom of heaven.
Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy also spoke of the importance of families. In his talk titled “Defending the Family in a Troubled World,” Elder Porter says, “In families more than anywhere else children learn the values, practical life skills, manners, and fundamental truths that enable them to rise up and be successful in the world. They learn the all-important attributes of love, unselfishness, sharing, giving, and hard work that someday will be essential for them to form families of their own and to rear up a new generation in order that the great wheel of life may roll onward. So vital is the family to the cycle of human life and the renewal of each generation that it is fair to say that if the family breaks down, everything breaks down. If families do not fulfill their divinely appointed purpose of carrying on the light of truth and the torch of civilization to the next generation, then we can throw any amount of money or ideas or programs at our world’s problems, and we will assuredly fail.”
As we can see from these two quotes from an Apostle and a Seventy, the family is critical to our success as society. We must protect the family!
As you study the eighth paragraph of the proclamation, you may want to share what you learn in a family home evening. This site has a wonderful family home evening program all outlined with lesson, music, activity, and refreshments. I hope that you will strengthen your family, community, and nation by fulfilling your family responsibilities.