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Church talk: Families are fundamental unit of society

Friday 26 January 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features


Church talk: Families are  fundamental unit of society
The family is the most fundamental and important unit in society. Even Christ was born into this mortality into a family. LDS/24012505

Family is perhaps the most important part of our earthly life and is at the centre of Heavenly Father’s plan, writes Tamatoa Jonassen of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

In this modern mortal world of uncertainty and turmoil, and where disaster and unrest dominate our newsfeeds, our relationship with our family, and even our relationship with our Heavenly Father, should be treasured and nurtured.

The establishment of the family in this world goes back to the six periods of creation. On the sixth day of creation God created man (Genesis 1:26-28), Adam being the first male. However, the creation was not complete until after he created woman, Eve being the first female, and commanded them to “be fruitful, and multiply” and have dominion over all that is living on the earth. Only after mankind was charged with having families was the periods of creation completed.

Marriage and families are ordained of God. Although not everyone will be able to have children in this mortal life, everyone is a precious member of God’s family, regardless of what our individual circumstances may be.

Joseph F. Smith, who served as the sixth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, said: “There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home, and every effort made to sanctify and preserve its influence is uplifting to those who toil and sacrifice for its establishment. Men and women often seek to substitute some other life for that of the home; they would make themselves believe that the home means restraint; that the highest liberty is the fullest opportunity to move about at will. There is no happiness without service, and there is no service greater than that which converts the home into a divine institution, and which promotes and preserves family life.”

The Family Proclamation states “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities …. In (their) sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.”

The family is the most fundamental and important unit in society. Even Christ was born into this mortality into a family. I can think of no labour more honourable than the righteous effort we put into our families.

President David O. McKay said: “No other success can compensate for failure in the home. The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of greater value to God and future humanity than any other riches. In such a home God can work miracles and will work miracles.”

All around the world, family-centred priorities cut across any political, economic, or religious differences. We are all the same when it comes to the hopes, worries, and dreams for children, and the love of spouse.

The Family Proclamation also gives us a warning and a calling: “We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

As we focus on strengthening families, we are also strengthening our communities, and fulfilling the charge our Heavenly Father has given us. Furthermore, if we cherish the family relationships we have, we must expand our perspective heavenward. Our focus should shift from the short-term and temporary towards a more long-term and eternal perspective. As we think heavenward, or think “celestial,” our hearts will turn to our families. We will not want the family relationships that we cherish to end when “death do us part”. An eternal family is built upon living the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

May we do more to strengthen families. May we each reflect on what we can do better to honour our parents and ancestors, and cherish the family relationships we have. And may our efforts in our families strengthen our commitments to living the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.