We can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by studying “The Family: AProclamation to the World” and by following its precepts. One way to study the proclamation is one paragraph at a time. This is the fourth article in this series.
The third paragraph of the proclamation states: “In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.”
This paragraph says that our Father in Heaven explained His plan for our eternal happiness while we lived with Him in the pre-mortal realm. It also says that we accepted His plan for us to come to earth to receive a physical body and gain the experience necessary to become like Him.
President Henry B. Eyring suggests that we study the proclamation on the family as if we were children. He states, “Understanding these truths ought to make it easier for us to feel like a little child, not just as we read the proclamation but throughout our lives, because we are children – but in what a family and of what parents! We can picture ourselves as we were, for longer than we can imagine, sons and daughters associating in our heavenly home with parents who knew and loved us. Also, we know that in the premortal world we were men or women with unique gifts because of our gender and that the opportunity to be married and to become one was necessary for us to have eternal happiness. But now that we are here we can picture ourselves home again with our heavenly parents in that wonderful place, not only as sons and daughters but as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, grandsons and granddaughters, bound together forever in loving families.
“There is only one place in heaven where there will be families – the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. That is where we will want to be.”
As you study the third 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 you will use this outline and strengthen your family, community, and nation by understanding the doctrine that our Heavenly Father has a plan by which we can gain eternal happiness and that we accepted His plan while still in the pre-mortal world.