This is the second post in my current series, regarding successful marriages and families. This post is specifically about the doctrine of the family according the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
We believe the family to be an eternal unit and that priesthood keys were restored through Joseph Smith that allowed for the ordinances and covenants of eternal marriage and families to be restored to the Earth.
In my course readings I came across this quote, which reads, "Birth into a family was the way God chose to send His spirit children to earth. Marriage and family relationships are the central means He has prepared to achieve His purposes."
Elder M. Russell Ballard taught, "The family is where the foundation of personal, spiritual growth is built and nurtured; the Church, then, is the scaffolding that helps support and strengthen the family."
To know that I can and will be with my parents and siblings, and my own future family for eternity is a great blessing to me. To think and know that many in today's world, believe that life ends upon one's death and that loved ones are simply gone forever, is extremely depressing. To think that this life has no divine purpose and that we are simply a natural evolution or accident makes no sense to me.
The doctrine of the eternal family further teaches us that we existed before this life and will continue to exist for the eternities hereafter calms my troubled heart and give me hope for my family who have passed on.
An early leader in the LDS church, Elder Parley P. Pratt felt great emotion at learning the doctrine of eternal marriages and families. He exclaims, "I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved- with a pureness- an intensity of elevated, exalted feeling, which would lift my soul from the transitory things of this groveling sphere and expand it as the ocean. I felt...that the wife of my bosom was an immortal, eternal companion; a kind ministering angel...a crown of glory for ever and ever."
Daniel K. Judd stated, "The eternal nature of the marriage covenant and the promise of everlasting family association are among the most beautiful and essential doctrines of the restored gospel. In fact, the purpose of the gospel and the Church is to exalt the family."
A final quote I wish to share is from Elder Hugh B. Brown who said, "...our very concept of heaven itself is the projection of the home into eternity. Salvation, then, is essentially a family affair, and full participation in the plan of salvation can be had only in family units."
Our very concept of heaven is home into the eternities!! I love that so much!!! There are many hymns in our Church that describe home as a heaven on earth, simply because it is. A loving home filled with the Spirit of God is a small sliver of heaven brought to earth.
Amidst all the chaos, temptations, and conflicts in the world we can have a small piece of heaven in our lives. Why would we give that up?
Please feel free to comment below and express your opinions as well.
Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives edited by Alan J. Hawkins, David C. Dollahite, Thomas W. Draper. Chapter 32, "The Eternal Family: A Plain and Precious Part of the Plan of Salvation" by Daniel K. Judd