Family First Friday 2015 #12–My testimony of the Family.

It is one of my favorite times of the year!!  General Conference Weekend!!!  Last weekend, we watched General Women’s meeting, where they reminded us what an historic year 2015 is.  It marks the 20th anniversary of The Family:  A Proclamation to the World,  and 100 years of the doctrine of Family Home Evening.  As I listened to the speakers discuss the doctrines of the family and how perceptions of what family is and what it means are changing in our world, I felt the distinct impression to share my testimony of the family here on my blog.

I am not sure what more to say than I have already said, however.

But I guess I will start here.  I know that before we came to earth, we lived with our Father in Heaven (some of us call Him God).  But not only did we live with Him, but we also lived with his wife.  Yes, I believe and know we have a Mother in Heaven as well as a Father in Heaven, that we are literally their spirit children–all of us.  So all of us, really, really are brothers and sisters because we originally lived in God’s family, with two parents, a male parent and a female parent.

Because I believe that, I have a special view of families here on earth.  I recognize that the best possible form of the family we could have, would be one that models God’s family, with two parents, male and female.  I believe children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, to be raised by two differing gender parents, who love each other and are totally loyal to their spouse and the protection and teaching of their family.

copyright:  Karen Larsen photography

Mothers and fathers are inherently different, and though that is sometimes difficult to work with, the harmony that can come from their unity and desire to work together provides the most fertile ground for the growing child to be secure in their development, safe, protected, nurtured, educated, loved, and happy.  We all have differing opinions of what will make us happy.  But if we understand that God is our Father, it will change our perception of how well we choose to follow His counsel and guidance.  After all, do we not believe that God knows best what will make us happy?  As a loving Father with our best interests and welfare at heart and supreme knowledge of the universe, do we now think He might know?  And want that for us?  Do we not believe He might have designed it that way, so those things come about?  Until recently in our day of scientific discovery, children could only come about one way.  Just because we can now alter that, doesn’t mean we have made it better.

Now, I too understand that not any of us are perfect and there are many, many heterosexual couples who have children who do not have happy families.  But that fact still does not change the truth:  the best place for children is to be raised by two committed, biological parents who are married and committed to their child’s welfare and who love each other. 

I believe families are forever.  When families are organized according to God’s laws and sealed through proper authority in God’s temples, where those marital partners continue throughout their lives to live the covenants they have made there, those families are forever families.  I believe their bonds continue after death.  Part of the reason we come to earth is to organize our eternal families.  Can you see why there is such an all out war right now about the definition of the family?  If it was organized that way before birth, and if it can continue after death, and it really is the true unit of society, what better way to make others miserable (forever) than to confuse those issues.

The adversary has been working long and hard at destroying the family.

Before industrialization, families lived and worked at home.  Fathers were blacksmiths, store owners (homes usually attached to their businesses), farmers, wood workers, etc…  But fathers were at home.  If there was a problem with the children or issues between neighbors, or siblings, or parents and children, fathers were there to assist, give counsel, advice, assistance.  With industrialization, fathers moved into the cities to work, removing them from their homes.

Many periods of war followed industrialization.  Men left to serve their country.  Women began doing much of the work those men had been doing.  But, when the wars were over, most women returned to the home front.  With the sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s, women were removed from the home and entered the work force, leaving the children unattended, or sent off to the day care.  Now the adversary has mothers and fathers out of the home.

Now what is he doing with those children?  We are discussing mandatory preschools, most are currently in day care and/or school.  And currently, he is trying to change the definition of what a family is, and directly teach it to the children through the school system and saying that those of us who feel that is not OK are being discriminatory, and we hate other people.  I am sorry, but last I checked, I was entitled to have an opinion of such things and just because mine differs from yours it doesn’t mean yours is right and mine is wrong.

I believe in the sanctity of the family.  I believe in its purpose and its history and its importance!!!  I value the gifts and blessings that come because we build our families after the image of God’s family.  I am not willing to roll over and decide that we can change it because we want to.  I do not think it is healthy, or will bring anyone happiness, even if other people want that.  I don’t agree.

I don’t agree because of my personal experiences.  I grew up in a family (heterosexual, two parent family) who didn’t live the principles God has established for peace and happiness.  I have personally experienced the pain and suffering that comes from a disintegrating family.  I have watched my siblings struggle to raise their families because of their lack of instruction and example in living the life God intended.

Contrast that with the family we are building.  Because of our willingness to follow and obey the prophets, who I know speak for God, my children are more secure in their self-esteem.  They know who they are, where they are going, how to get there, and how to stay on the course.  They have direction.  They still have their own learning curve.  Each of them has to decide if they believe the things we have taught them.  Each of them will have to decide if the values and morals we have raised them with will be the ones they want to use to build their own families and teach their own children.  I cannot control their agency, nor would I choose to do so.  They are free to make their own decisions.  But having the example of truth set before them allows them to more accurately make that choice for themselves.  I am not trying to deceive them or trick them.  I honestly desire their health and happiness.  I believe God’s plan is best for them and best for all of us.

copyright:  Karen Larsen photography

I want your health and happiness too.  Choose for yourself.  Have you tried God’s way of the family?  How about the others you are listening to?  Have they tried His way?  If they have not, how can they know it isn’t what is best?  The truth is, they cannot.  But they will try to convince you that God’s way is wrong.

I disagree with them.  I have tried His way.  It is the best way, for now and eternity.  I choose the family, the way God intended it—Mother, Father, children–anything else isn’t as good as it could be.  And if you will choose to listen to God’s prophets tomorrow and Sunday, you can have that witness for yourself.

Have a great weekend!  I will!

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