We can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by studying “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 fourth article in this series.
The fourth paragraph of the proclamation states, “The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.”
This paragraph clearly explains that the sacred powers to create life – sex – should be employed only between a man and woman who are legally married to each other. This is God’s standard. If we have proper reverence for these powers and complete all the other requirements, we can continue to procreate in the next life.
President Henry B. Eyring states, “We can understand why our Heavenly Father commands us to reverence life and to cherish the powers that produce it as sacred. If we do not have those reverential feelings in this life, how could our Father give them to us in the eternities? Family life here is the schoolroom in which we prepare for family life there.”
We know that we should treat sacred things sacred. We must understand that the powers necessary to create life are some of the most sacred powers available to mankind. These powers are privileges given to gods for eternity and loaned to mankind for a few short years to see how we will reverence them.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in an epic talk about this subject says, “Secondly, may I stress that human intimacy is reserved for a married couple because it is the ultimate symbol of total union, a totality and a union ordained and defined by God. From the Garden of Eden onward, marriage was intended to mean the complete merger of a man and a woman – their hearts, hopes, lives, love, family, future, everything. Adam said of Eve that she was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, and that they were to be `one flesh’ in their life together. This is a union of such completeness that we use the word seal to convey its eternal promise…. But such a total union, such an unyielding commitment between a man and a woman, can only come with the proximity and permanence afforded in a marriage covenant, with solemn promises and the pledge of all they possess – their very hearts and minds, all their days and all their dreams.”
God commanded Adam and Eve to become “one flesh” and to become one in purpose. That purpose is to provide bodies for spirit children and to become an eternal family. We do this by learning the gospel of Jesus Christ, receiving priesthood ordinances and keeping all God’s commandments.
As you study the fourth 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 the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, legally and lawfully married.