Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Families Are Forever

                    Families are strengthened by the knowledge that family life is meant to last for eternity and when priority is put on the family.  The Proclamation on the Family tells us:  "Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God….  The family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." (See "The Family:  A Proclamation to the World," Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 102.)

                    We know that Heavenly Father brought Adam and Eve together in marriage and then commanded them to have children (see Genesis 1:28).  He revealed to them that one of the purposes for marriage is to provide physical or mortal bodies for His spirit children still in heaven.

                    President David O. McKay said, "With all my heart I believe that the best place to prepare for … eternal life is in the home" ("Blueprint for Family Living," Improvement Era, April. 1963, p. 252).  It is in our homes that we learn to love, to share and to serve each other.  It is in our homes that we learn self-control, sacrifice, loyalty, and the value of work.

                    I recently purchased a small placard that I really like.  It says, "Family:  Other things may change us, but we start and end with family."  I found this same thought in the posting of a friend on Facebook:  "FriEND, BoyfriEND, GirlfriEND, Best FriEND.  Every close relationship has an END except FamILY!  Family has three letters that say I LOVE YOU."

                    This is so true.  I always make time for family whenever I return to my home area, but I seldom have time to visit friends.  In fact, in the past fifty years, I can remember only a few visits since graduation with my very best friend from junior high school and high school.  Even our letters and telephone calls have become infrequent.  Yet I stay in close contact with family.

                    One of my very favorite songs is about families.  It is entitled "Families Can Be Together Forever" and was written by Ruth M. Gardner.

I have a family here on earth.
They are so good to me.
I want to share my life with them
Through all eternity.

Families can be together forever
Through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.

While I am in my early years,
I'll prepare most carefully,
So I can marry in God's temple
For eternity.

Families can be together forever
Through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.

                    Families gather in circles for many different reasons - blessings, confirmations, ordinations, etc.  Families gather to share reunions, weddings, baby showers, and other happy events.  Families also gather together in difficult times such as serious accidents, fatal illnesses, deaths, funerals, and the reading of wills.  Sometimes friends become as close as family, but usually "blood" is thicker than friendship.  Friends are very important in lives, but we must put our priorities on family.

                    Marriage as ordained by our Heavenly Father was not meant to end in divorce or at death.  It was meant to last for all eternity.  I firmly believe that husbands and wives, fathers, mothers, and children can be together for eternity because love lasts for eternity.  Prophets have taught that heaven is only an extension of an ideal home, and I believe this is true.  Families are forever!

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