Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lesson: Eternal Families

The Family Can Be Eternal, Lesson 36, Gospel Principles, by Debbie Horton

Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. … The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children
(The Family: A Proclamation to the World Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

After Heavenly Father brought Adam and Eve together in marriage, He commanded them to have children.

He has revealed that one of the purposes of marriage is to provide mortal bodies for His spirit children. Parents are partners with our Heavenly Father. He wants each of His spirit children to receive a physical body and to experience earth life. When a man and a woman bring children into this world, they help our Heavenly Father carry out His plan.

At home, with our families, we can learn self-control, sacrifice, loyalty, and the value of work. We can learn to love, to share, and to serve one another.

Fathers and mothers are responsible to teach their children about Heavenly Father. They should show by example that they love Him because they keep His commandments. Parents should also teach their children to pray and to obey the commandments (see Proverbs 22:6).

Do any of us have the ideal family?
What of those families where a parent is missing or those who don't have children. How can we support one another in our various situations?

These were some of the responses that the sisters gave.
  • Don't make others feel as though not having children is second class. Be sensitive.
  • Choose to mother the children around the ward, in your extended families, in the neighborhood. Your influence is much needed and welcomed.
  • Remember that Eve was called the mother of all living before she had one child. It is an important role whether or not we have children. The desire to have a child was planted in us from the beginning.
  • Contribute to the world in ways that others with children may not be able to, given their circumstances.
  • Consider adoption. (a plug from Debbie)
  • Understand that we speak here of the ideal. We should be striving to fulfill this ideal in the ways that we are able and leave the rest to faith.
  • No matter what the difficulty in our family, turn to the Savior and walk with him and he will support you.
  • Give gratitude to God in whatever circumstance we find ourselves for the way things are at this moment. Learn, grow,  participate in the life you've been given, and trust God.

What can we do to counter how the world looks at families, with our youth?
  • Examples are powerful. Look to parents, extended family ward members for how to be a good parent.
  • Attend church together, don't allow fighting, actively teach your children.
  • Take the Proclamation on the Family and teach it line by line, each week.
  • Exhibit your commitment to families and share your testimony of the importance of families.
  • Teach your children the whole plan of salvation so they can see themselves in the big picture.
  • Stay involved with extended family.
  • Choose to end any practices of neglect or abuse in your family line.

What does harmony in the home look like? Sound like? Feel like?
Mosiah 4:14-15:
And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
How to have a successful family
All of us want to have happy, successful families. Debbie asked us to look at this list and circle one or two of these that you are doing okay with and pat ourselves on the back. Now choose the one that the Spirit whispers you can do better at. Make it a goal to improve this week.
  1. Have family prayer every night and morning (see 3 Nephi 18:21). Pray together as husband and wife.
  2. Teach children the gospel every week in family home evening.
  3. Study the scriptures regularly as a family.
  4. Do things together as a family, such as work projects, outings, and decision making.
  5. Learn to be kind, patient, long-suffering, and charitable (see Moroni 7:45–48).
  6. Attend Church meetings regularly (see D&C 59:9–10).
  7. Follow the counsel of the Lord in D&C 88:119: “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.”
  8. Keep a family history, perform temple work together, and receive the sealing ordinances of the temple.
The family is the most important unit in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church exists to help families gain eternal blessings and exaltation. The organizations and programs within the Church are designed to strengthen us individually and help us live as families forever.

President David O. McKay said, 
With all my heart I believe that the best place to prepare for … eternal life is in the home
(“Blueprint for Family Living,”
Improvement Era, Apr. 1963, 252).

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the pic you used for this! It's so great. And thanks for the lesson summary. I love these!


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