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Spoken Word

PARAGRAPH 7

 

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. 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. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these 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 ordained of God.

  • "Understanding the eternal nature of the family is a critical element in understanding Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. The adversary, on the other hand, wants to do everything in his power to destroy Heavenly Father’s plan. In his attempt to defeat God’s plan, he is leading an unprecedented attack on the institution of the family. Some of the more powerful weapons he uses in his attack are selfishness, greed, and pornography.

"Our eternal happiness is not one of Satan’s objectives. He knows that an essential key to making men and women miserable like himself is to deprive them of family relationships which have eternal potential. Because Satan understands that true happiness in this life and in the eternities is found in the form of family, he does everything in his power to destroy it."  Elder Richard G. Maynes “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”, April 2011 General Conference.
 

Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.
 

  • “Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children down through the many generations.”  President Spencer W. Kimball, “Oneness in Marriage,” BYU Devotional March 1977.

 

  •  “Eternal love, eternal marriage, eternal increase! This ideal, which is new to many, when thoughtfully considered, can keep a marriage strong and safe. No relationship has more potential to exalt a man and a woman than the marriage covenant. No obligation in society or in the Church supersedes it in importance.”  Elder Boyd K. Packer, “Marriage,” Ensign, May 1981.

 
Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.
 

  • “A home with a loving and loyal husband and wife is the supreme setting in which children can be reared in love and righteousness and in which the spiritual and physical needs of children can be met. Just as the unique characteristics of both males and females contribute to the completeness of a marriage relationship, so those same characteristics are vital to the rearing, nurturing, and teaching of children.”   Elder David A Bednar, “Marriage is Essential to His Eternal Plan” Ensign, June 2006.

  • "Once marriage vows are taken, absolute fidelity is essential—to the Lord and to one’s companion."  Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Children of the Covenant” Ensign, May 1995.

  • “Children need the emotional and personal strength that comes from being raised by two parents who are united in their marriage and their goals.  As one who was raised by a widowed mother, I know firsthand that this cannot always be achieved, but it is the ideal to be sought whenever possible…  We also need politicians, policy makers, and officials to increase their attention to what is best for children in contrast to the selfish interests of voters and vocal advocates of adult interests.”  Elder Dallin H. Oaks, ”Protect the Children,” Ensign, November 2012.

 

  • "The Church has the responsibility - and the authority - to preserve and protect the family as the foundation of society.  The pattern for family life, instituted from before the foundation of the world, provides for children to be born to and nurtured by a father and mother who are husband and wife, lawfully married."  Chapter 17 [Preserve and Protect the Family] of "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:  Howard W. Hunter."

 
Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 

  • “To be really happy in marriage, one must have a continued faithful observance of the commandments of the Lord. No one, single or married, was ever sublimely happy unless he was righteous. There are temporary satisfactions and camouflaged situations for the moment, but permanent, total happiness can come only through cleanliness and worthiness.”  President Spencer W. Kimball, “Oneness in Marriage,” BYU Devotional March 1977.

 

  • "The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children can be happy at home and that the family can continue through eternity. All Christian doctrine is formulated to protect the individual, the home, and the family."   Elder Boyd K. Packer, “Marriage,” Ensign, May 1981.

 

  • “Teach children gospel principles. Teach them it pays to be good. Teach them there is no safety in sin. Teach them a love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and a testimony of its divinity.  Teach your sons and daughters modesty and teach them to respect manhood and womanhood. Teach your children sexual purity, proper dating standards, temple marriage, missionary service, and the importance of accepting and magnifying Church callings. Teach them a love for work and the value of a good education. Teach them the importance of the right kind of entertainment, including appropriate movies, and videos, and music, and books, and magazines. Discuss the evils of pornography and drugs and teach them the value of living the clean life.”  President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Mothers in Zion,” Fireside for Parents, February 22, 1987.

 

Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
 

  • "The home and family have been the center of true civilization. Any distortion of the God-given program will bring dire consequences. The families worked together, played together, and worshiped God together." President Spencer W. Kimball, "God Will Not Be Mocked," Ensign, November 1974.

 

  • "We hope our parents are using the added time that has come from the consolidated schedule in order to be with, teach, love, and nurture their children. We hope you have not forgotten the need for family activity and recreation, for which time is also provided. Let your love of each member of your family be unconditional. Where there are challenges, you fail only if you fail to keep trying!"  President Spencer W. Kimball, "Families Can Be Eternal," Ensign, November 1980.

 
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.
 

  • “Fathers, yours is an eternal calling from which you are never released… a father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time. It is a calling for both time and eternity.” President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Fathers in Israel," General Conference, October 1987.

 

  • “The most important of the Lord's work you [fathers] will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.”  President Harold B. Lee, Strengthening the Home, 1973, p. 7.

 

 

  • “Our sisters do not wish to be indulged or to be treated condescendingly; they desire to be respected and revered as our sisters and our equals. I mention all these things, my brethren, not because the doctrines or the teachings of the Church regarding women are in any doubt, but because in some situations our behavior is of doubtful quality.  “The husband presides in marriage. In the beginning when God created man and the woman, he said to the woman, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule [but I like the word preside] over thee." (Genesis 3:16.)  The husband rules only by persuasion. "No power or influence ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood." (D&C 121:41.)

 

“Yes, brethren, as fathers in Israel you have a great responsibility to provide for the material needs of your family.”  President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Fathers in Israel," General Conference, October 1987.

 

  • "It is the will of the Lord to strengthen and preserve the family unit. We plead with fathers to take their rightful place as the head of the house. We ask mothers to sustain and support their husbands and to be lights to their children."  
    President Joseph Fielding Smith, "Counsel to the Saints and to the World," Ensign (July 1972), 27.

 

  • "The greatest responsibility and the greatest joys in life are centered in the family, honorable marriage, and rearing righteous posterity." President Ezra Taft Benson, "To the Single Adult Brethren of the Church," Ensign, May 1988.
     

  • “In a home where there is an able-bodied husband, he is expected to be the breadwinner. Sometimes we hear of husbands who, because of economic conditions, have lost their jobs and expect their wives to go out of the home and work even though the husband is still capable of providing for his family. In these cases, we urge the husband to do all in his power to allow his wife to remain in the home caring for the children while he continues to provide for his family the best he can, even though the job he is able to secure may not be ideal and family budgeting will have to be tighter.” President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Mothers in Zion,” Fireside for Parents, February 22, 1987.
     

  • "Both men and women are to serve their families and others, but the specific ways in which they do so are sometimes different. For example, God has revealed through his prophets that men are to receive the priesthood, become fathers, and with gentleness and pure, unfeigned love they are to lead and nurture their families in righteousness as the Savior leads the Church (see Eph. 5:23 ). They have been given the primary responsibility for the temporal and physical needs of the family (see DNC 83:2)."   Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Equality Through Diversity," Ensign, November 1993.

 

  • “Some see the good of fatherhood in social terms, as something that obligates men to their offspring, impelling them to be good citizens and to think about the needs of others, supplementing “maternal investment in children with paternal investment in children.” . . . While these considerations are certainly true and important, we know that fatherhood is much more than a social construct or the product of evolution. The role of father is of divine origin, beginning with a Father in Heaven and, in this mortal sphere, with Father Adam. The perfect, divine expression of fatherhood is our Heavenly Father.”  Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Fathers," Ensign, November 2010.

 
Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.

 

  • “The First Presidency has said: ‘Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind’ in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–75], 6:178. 

  • “A woman’s moral influence is nowhere more powerfully felt or more beneficially employed than in the home.”  D. Todd Christofferson, “The Moral Force of Women,” Ensign, November 2013.

 

  • "Women have the power to bring children into the world and have been given the primary duty and opportunity as mothers to lead, nurture, and teach them in a loving, spiritual environment."  Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Equality Through Diversity," Ensign, November 1993.

 

  • “A pernicious philosophy that undermines women’s moral influence is the devaluation of marriage and of motherhood and homemaking as a career. Some view homemaking with outright contempt, arguing it demeans women and that the relentless demands of raising children are a form of exploitation. They ridicule what they call “the mommy track” as a career. This is not fair or right. We do not diminish the value of what women or men achieve in any worthy endeavor or career—we all benefit from those achievements—but we still recognize there is not a higher good than motherhood and fatherhood in marriage. There is no superior career, and no amount of money, authority, or public acclaim can exceed the ultimate rewards of family. Whatever else a woman may accomplish, her moral influence is no more optimally employed than here.”  Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Moral Force of Women,” Ensign, November 2013.

 

  • “Mothers in Zion, your God-given roles are so vital to your own exaltation and to the salvation and exaltation of your family. A child needs a mother more than all the things money can buy. Spending time with your children is the greatest gift of all.”  President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Mothers in Zion,” Fireside for Parents, February 22, 1987.

 

  • "Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother's image is the first that stamps itself on the unwritten page of the young child's mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security, her kiss, the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world."  President David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, pp. 452.

 

  • “We realize that some women, through no fault of their own, are not able to bear children. To these lovely sisters, every prophet of God has promised that they will be blessed with children in the eternities and that posterity will not be denied them.”   President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Mothers in Zion,” Fireside for Parents, February 22, 1987.

 

  • "Motherhood consists of three principal attributes or qualities: namely, (1) the power to bear, (2) the ability to rear, (3) the gift to love. . . This ability and willingness properly to rear children, the gift to love, and eagerness, yes, longing to express it in soul development, make motherhood the noblest office or calling in the world. She who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions deserves the admiration and the plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose influence will be felt through generations to come, . . . deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God." President David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, pp. 453-54, Eternal Marriage Student Manual, "Women's Divine Roles and Responsibilities".

 

  • “In the eternal family, God established that fathers are to preside in the home. Fathers are to provide, to love, to teach, and to direct.  But a mother's role is also God-ordained. Mothers are to conceive, to nourish, to love, and to train. So declare the revelations.” Fireside for Parents, February 22, 1987.To the Mothers in Zion,President Ezra Taft Benson, 

 

  • “The Lord clearly defined the roles of mothers and fathers in providing for and rearing a righteous posterity. In the beginning, Adam--not Eve--was instructed to earn the bread by the sweat of his brow. Contrary to conventional wisdom, a mother's calling is in the home, not in the market place…  This is the divine right of a wife and mother. She cares for and nourishes her children at home. Her husband earns the living for the family, which makes this nourishing possible. With that claim on their husbands for their financial support, the counsel of the Church has always been for mothers to spend their full time in the home in rearing and caring for their children.”   President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Mothers in Zion,” Fireside for Parents, February 22, 1987.

 

  • “Mothers, teach your children the gospel in your own home, at your own fireside. This is the most effective teaching that your children will ever receive. This is the Lord's way of teaching. The Church cannot teach like you can. The school cannot. The day-care center cannot. But you can, and the Lord will sustain you. Your children will remember your teachings forever, and when they are old, they will not depart from them....  This is your divine calling.”  President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Mothers in Zion,” Fireside for Parents, February 22, 1987.

  • “You [women] were not created to be the same as men. Your natural attributes, affections, and personalities are entirely different from a man’s. They consist of faithfulness, benevolence, kindness, and charity. They give you the personality of a woman. They also balance the more aggressive and competitive nature of a man."  President EzraTaft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 547–48.

  • “Woman has filled a wonderful part in the march of progress, but most important of all the duties that have been laid upon the gentler sex, is the duty of bringing into the world and rearing, the children of our Heavenly Father” President George Albert Smith, Sharing the Gospel with Others, 139.

 

  • “One apparent impact of the women’s movement has been the feelings of discontent it has created among young women who have chosen the role of wife and mother. They are often made to feel that there are more exciting and self-fulfilling roles for women than housework, diaper changing, and children calling for mother. This view loses sight of the eternal perspective that God elected women to the noble role of mother and that exaltation is eternal fatherhood and eternal motherhood (‘To the Elect Women of the Kingdom of God,’ Nauvoo Illinois Relief Society Dedication, 30 June 1978)” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 548).​​

  • “Beware of the subtle ways Satan employs to take you from the plan of God [2 Nephi 9:13] and true happiness. One of Satan’s most effective approaches is to demean the role of wife and mother in the home...As a mother guided by the Lord, you weave a fabric of character in your children from threads of truth through careful instruction and worthy example. You imbue the traits of honesty, faith in God, duty, respect for others, kindness, self-confidence, and the desire to contribute, to learn, and to give in your trusting children’s minds and hearts. No day-care center can do that. It is your sacred right and privilege.

...As the prophets have counseled, to the extent possible with the help of the Lord, as parents, work together to keep Mother in the home. Your presence there will strengthen the self-confidence of your children and decrease the chance of emotional challenges. Moreover, as you teach truth by word and example, those children will come to understand who they are and what they can obtain as divine children of Father in Heaven” Elder Richard G. Scott, "The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,"Oct. 1996, 102; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 74–75.

In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.

 

  • During the time between that marvelous beginning in the Garden of Eden and now, the adversary has been quite successful in his goal to divide men and women in his attempts to conquer our souls. Lucifer knows that if he can damage the unity men and women feel, if he can confuse us about our divine worth and covenant responsibilities, he will succeed in destroying families, which are the essential units of eternity.


Satan incites comparison as a tool to create feelings of being superior or inferior, hiding the eternal truth that men’s and women’s innate differences are God given and equally valued.  Jean Bingham, "United in Accomplishing God's Work," April General conference, 2020

  • “There is no better setting for rearing the rising generation than the traditional family, where a father and a mother work in harmony to provide for, teach, and nurture their children. Where this ideal does not exist, people strive to duplicate its benefits as best they can in their particular circumstances.”  Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Moral Force of Women,” Ensign, November 2013.

 

  • “We had full equality as his spirit children. We have equality as recipients of God's perfected love for each of us. ... Within those great assurances, however, our roles and assignments differ. These are eternal differences -- with women being given many tremendous responsibilities of motherhood and sisterhood and men being given the tremendous responsibilities of fatherhood and the priesthood -- but the man is not without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 11:11). Both a righteous man and a righteous woman are a blessing to all those their lives touch.  Remember, in the world before we came here, faithful women were given certain assignments while faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood tasks. While we do not now remember the particulars, this does not alter the glorious reality of what we once agreed to.”  “The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,” pgs. 300-330.

 

  • “Most of what men and women must do to qualify for an exalted family life together is based on shared responsibilities and objectives. Many of the requirements are exactly the same for men and women. For example, obedience to the laws of God should be the same for men and women. Men and women should pray in the same way. They both have the same privilege of receiving answers to their prayers and thereby obtaining personal revelation for their own spiritual development....In this divine partnership, husbands and wives support one another in their God-given capacities. By appointing different accountabilities to men and women, Heavenly Father provides the greatest opportunity for growth, service, and progress. He did not give different tasks to men and women simply to perpetuate the idea of a family; rather, He did so to ensure that the family can continue forever, the ultimate goal of our Heavenly Father’s eternal plan.”   Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Equality Through Diversity," Ensign, November 1993. 

 

  • "The secret of a happy marriage is to serve God and each other. The goal of marriage is unity and oneness, as well as self-development. Paradoxically, the more we serve one another, the greater is our spiritual and emotional growth.”  President Ezra Taft Benson, “Fundamentals of Enduring Family Relationships," Ensign, November 1982.

  • “Our roles and assignments differ. These are eternal differences—with women being given many tremendous responsibilities of motherhood and sisterhood and men being given the tremendous responsibilities of fatherhood and the priesthood—but the man is not without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord (see 1 Cor. 11:11). …

“Even though the eternal roles of men and women differ, … this leaves much to be done by way of parallel personal development—for both men and women” President Spencer W. Kimball, “The Role of Righteous Women,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 102.

  • “We do not want our LDS women to be silent partners or limited partners in that eternal assignment! Please be a contributing and full partner.” Spencer W. Kimball, “Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 106.

  • “A man who holds the priesthood accepts his wife as a partner in the leadership of the home and family with full knowledge of and full participation in all decisions relating thereto. … The Lord intended that the wife be a helpmeet for man (meet means equal)—that is, a companion equal and necessary in full partnership” President Howard W. Hunter, "Being a Righteous Husband and Father,"  Oct. 1994, 68; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 50–51.

  • “Your wife is your partner in the leadership of the family and should have full knowledge of and full participation in all decisions relating to your home” (Elder Boyd K Packer, "The Father and the Family," Apr. 1994, 26; or Ensign, May 1994, 21).

  • “In the home it is a partnership with husband and wife equally yoked together, sharing in decisions, always working together. While the husband, the father, has responsibility to provide worthy and inspired leadership, his wife is neither behind him nor ahead of him but at his side” President Boyd K. Packer, "The Relief Society," Apr. 1998, 96; or Ensign, May 1998, 73.

  • “How should those who bear the priesthood treat their wives and the other women in their family? Our wives need to be cherished. They need to hear their husbands call them blessed, and the children need to hear their fathers generously praise their mothers (see Proverbs 31:28). The Lord values his daughters just as much as he does his sons. In marriage, neither is superior; each has a different primary and divine responsibility. Chief among these different responsibilities for wives is the calling of motherhood. I firmly believe that our dear faithful sisters enjoy a special spiritual enrichment which is inherent in their natures” Elder James E. Faust, "Keeping Covenants and Honoring the Priesthood,"  Oct. 1993, 54; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 38–39.

  • “An essential part of unity is loyalty. There can be no union where loyalty does not exist. Loyalty is a pretty difficult quality to possess. It requires the ability to put away selfishness, greed, ambition and all of the baser qualities of the human mind. You cannot be loyal unless you are willing to surrender. There is no growth, mental, physical or spiritual, unless there be some curtailment, some sacrifice may I say, on the part of him who would be loyal. His own preferences and desires must be put away, and he must see only the great purpose which lies out ahead” President J. Reuben Clark Jr., in Conference Report, Apr. 1950, 180.

 
Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.
 

  • "We need to recognize the hard mortal realities in all of this and must use common sense and guidance by personal revelation. Some will not marry in this life. Some marriages will fail. Some will not have children. Some children will choose not to respond to even the most devoted and careful nurturing by loving parents. In some cases, health and faith may falter. Some who would rather remain at home may have to work. Let us not judge others, because we do not know their situation nor do we know what common sense and personal revelation have led them to do. We do know that throughout mortality, women and men will face challenges and tests of their commitment to God’s plan for them. We need to remember that trials and temptations are an important part of our lives. We should not criticize others for the way they choose to exercise their moral agency when faced with adversity or affliction."  Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Equality Through Diversity," Ensign, November 1993.

 

  • “We realize also that some of our choice sisters are widowed and divorced and that others find themselves in unusual circumstances where, out of necessity, they are required to work for a period of time. But these instances are the exception, not the rule.”  President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Mothers in Zion,” Fireside for Parents, February 22, 1987.

 

  • “We recognize the agony of men who are unable to find ways and means adequately to sustain their families. There is no shame for those who, at a given moment, despite their best efforts, cannot fulfill all the duties and functions of fathers. 'Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.'” Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home,” April 2011 General Conference


Extended families should lend support when needed.
 

  • “Each of us should do all that we can, in the spirit of gospel self-reliance, to provide for ourselves and our families in a temporal and a spiritual way. Then, if it is necessary to reach out for help, we know we have first done all that we can. This includes helping the members of our immediate and extended families to the maximum extent possible so that the bishop is not faced with burdens that should be handled in the first instance by the individual or by the extended family.”  Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Bishop, Help!” April 1997 General Conference

 
 

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