The Proclamation on the Family was published to the world in 1995 by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This proclamation defines the responsibilities of fathers, mothers and other members of families. It explains that each person in a family holds an important place and plays a vital role. Prophets have long proclaimed how fathers, mothers, and children should feel and act toward one another. We should learn what the Lord expects of us and then take action to accomplish those expectations; by doing so, we can live together as families for all eternity.
Husbands and wives are equal partners in a marriage, but they carry different responsibilities. According to the above referenced proclamation, husbands and fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness, provide for the necessities of life, and to protect them; in other words, the husband is to be the head of the family. Mothers are responsible to nurture the children. Husbands and wives are responsible to love and care for each other as well as help and support each other; fathers and mothers are both responsible to love and care for their children.
Both fathers and mothers are responsible to each the gospel to their children. In fact, the Lord said that the sins of the children will be upon the heads of the parents IF they do not teach their children about faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Parents are also to teach their children to pray and to obey all of the commandments of God (see Doctrine and Covenants 8:25, 28).
Parents can best teach these principles to their children by their personal example. By their words and their actions, husbands and wives can show love and respect for each other and for their children. All members of the family should remember that each of them is a child of God who deserves love and respect.
Children also have the responsibility to help their family to build a loving and happy home. The children have the responsibility to keep the commandments of God and to cooperate with each other. One of the Ten Commandments teach us that we are to honor our fathers and mothers that we may live “long upon the earth” (Exodus 20:12). When we honor our parents, we show them love, respect and obedience.
Children should be taught to work and to share the responsibilities of the home and property. They should be given appropriate chores for their age and expected to accomplish them. They should be taught to share in the responsibility and joy of having a clean and orderly home and yard. Children are capable of accomplishing many tasks and should be taught to help with home, yard, or garden.
All families experience difficulties, but all families can also be happy together if they so choose. The Family Proclamation states that “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” By following this counsel, we can all enjoy harmony in our homes and families.