This morning for our family devotional I felt prompted to take a slight detour from our regular Book of Mormon reading and read the Family Proclamation. I found out a few days ago my older son was having a lesson on families today. The school district we live in has partnered with a prominent LGBT activist group to teach “kindness, tolerance, and diversity”. That’s not really their goal though. Their goal is to introduce and normalize LGBT propaganda to young children. There are plenty of programs out there that teach tolerance, kindness and diversity without an LGBT focus I found out about this group and their program at the parent night which was held the first week of school. As much as we all hate going to those things, it was a good thing I went, and noticed in the display of books on the teacher’s desk of the curriculum materials from this group. Friends, pay attention, and be “that parent”. I’ll share my experiences meeting with the superintendent of the school district about this program in a later post.
(Here is where I will also say, I don’t want to have a conversation about homeschooling, so please let’s skip that for today).
One of the lessons this group has provided is about families. Their whole thesis is “Love makes a family”. According to this activist group, a family is anyone and anything as long as there is love. Along with their false teachings on gender, we have opened up a whole Pandora’s box of possibilities to be taught wrong things. This morning as I read the Proclamation, I stopped as the spirit guided me to explain God’s way versus the world’s way.
This is how our lesson went:
“Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”
We are who we are. I have always been a woman, and always will be. You, my sons have always been men, and always will be. We are all sons and daughters of God. And Heavenly Father loves us beyond our capacity to understand. He has made you just the way He wants you to be, and that’s just right. There are only men and women, nothing else. Anything else is just confusion and a lie from the devil. The world will tell you that you can chose to be a boy or a girl, but you cannot. You are exactly who you are supposed to be. And you are so good and amazing, you have great things to do in your lives as the men you are.
“…Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.”
The world teaches us that “love makes a family” and that a family can be anything we decide or want it to be. You will meet people whose family structure is different from ours. We don’t judge them, or make fun of them. Love is part of a family, for sure, but our goal, our standard, is Heavenly Father’s standard for families. When a man and a woman marry, they can enter the temple to be sealed to each other and to God. Their children are then sealed to them. Our covenants bind us to each other, but most importantly they bind us to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This is why when we die our relationships can continue and we don’t need to be consumed with fear or grief. This is why we go out and serve missions. To teach people that there is a better way, and that they can be with their families for eternity. When we have strong families, our communities and society is strong.
“WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s 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.”
In your life you will meet all kinds of people. Everyone will have their own story and experiences. Sometimes people who are not married choose to have children before they are married. This is wrong. However, we still need to be kind and loving to people who have made different choices. We also need to encourage people to be married before they have children. As for our family, as you grow older and your bodies turn into grown up bodies, you will need to learn to have self-control over your body. Dad and I are here to help you and teach you about self-control, and about the changes your bodies will be going thru as you grow up. Having children is a great blessing, but children need a mom and a dad who are married, so they can have the opportunity to be sealed. We cannot misuse our bodies when it comes to having children. It’s not right or fair for a child to not have a mom or a dad as part of their life — on purpose. Each person who is born is a son or daughter of God they deserve everything Heavenly Father has to give them. Children are so important to Heavenly Father and the Plan of Salvation. We have to have children in the right way.
“WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”
Right now in our country we see a lot of problems happening. People are angry and crazy. It’s because we’ve let the family fall apart. We have a lot of examples in the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, that teach us what happens when the family structure falls apart, and when we abandon the Lord’s standards. Again, this is why we need to teach our friends and neighbors about God’s plan for His children and their families. Our family is an eternal family, because Dad and I were sealed in the temple. I hope that you make being sealed in the temple your goal too, so that your children have the blessing of being part of an eternal family too.
Now, I’m sure our lesson from this morning might make a lot of people “triggered” or angry. I’m not really concerned about that. I expect push back from people who do not share my beliefs, What I am concerned about though, is when members of the Church discount or deny the truths taught in the Family Proclamation. I’ve had conversations with friends and family who have said, “The Family Proclamation is not doctrine” or, “We’re just waiting for the older members of the Quorum of the 12 to die off, so that the younger members [an supposedly more woke?] can make ‘the right changes”. It really does grieve me when I read and hear these things. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not “on the wrong side of history” when it comes to the nature of mankind, families, sexuality, gender, and chastity — because history shows us that the break down of families, and morality does in fact, bring about disaster. The Old Testament is full of examples of the Israelites being destroyed by their enemies after they’ve abandoned the Lord’s standards. The Greeks, the Romans, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Macedonians, the ancient Egyptians, Sodom & Gomorrah, just to name a few, are no longer empires and civilizations, because they were full of wicked beliefs and practices which destroyed them collectively and as individuals. The Lord’s standards for families, chastity, and morality have always been the same, since Adam and Eve, and they will continue forever. The brethren are never going to stray from those standards. Trying to effect a change to those standards is a wasted effort.
In the final chapters of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Mormon writes about his efforts to lead the wicked Nephite nation, Mormon chapter 3,
2 And it came to pass that the Lord did say unto me: Cry unto this people—Repent ye, and come unto me, and be ye baptized, and build up again my church, and ye shall be aspared.
3 And I did cry unto this people, but it was ain vain; and they did bnot realize that it was the Lord that had spared them, and granted unto them a chance for repentance. And behold they did harden their hearts against the Lord their God.
11 And it came to pass that I, Mormon, did utterly arefuse from this time forth to be a commander and a leader of this people, because of their wickedness and abomination.
12 Behold, I had led them, notwithstanding their wickedness I had led them many times to battle, and had loved them, according to the alove of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long for them; nevertheless, it was bwithout faith, because of the chardness of their hearts.
18 Yea, behold, I write unto all the ends of the earth; yea, unto you, twelve tribes of Israel, who shall be ajudged according to your works by the twelve whom Jesus chose to be his disciples in the land of Jerusalem.
19 And I write also unto the remnant of this people, who shall also be judged by the atwelve whom Jesus chose in this land; and they shall be judged by the other twelve whom Jesus chose in the land of Jerusalem.
20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the ajudgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human bfamily of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;
We can’t end up like the Nephites at the end, friends, we just cannot. Mormon has warned us, modern prophets have too!
To conclude, we’ve been taught clearly, by the Lord’s prophets His standards for chastity, morality, families, sexuality, and gender. Those truths are eternal truths and will not change. When we abide by those truths, and accept them into our lives — live them, love them, rejoice in them, we are blessed and protected. It is crucial that we teach and re-teach these truths and standards to our children in our own homes all the time. We need to also help those who struggle with these doctrines as well.
As I’ve felt the world beating at the door of my home more than ever this year, I have prayed for guidance to know what to do — do I pull my kids out of school? Do I keep them there? What do I do when they are taught false things by other members of the church, at church? How do I counteract what they’re being taught at school? How do I deal and interact with family and friends who think the Family Proclamation is not doctrine? The answer has been to teach my children the correct things at home, and to teach them HOW to defend Latter-day Saint beliefs, not to run from the world. The other answer has been to defend these things to my friends and family. Our children cannot escape the world they are going to live in — none of our kids and grand kids can. So we have to teach them how to survive and thrive.
So friends, here is something to think about — teach your children the truths found in the Family Proclamation. Teach them how to defend these beliefs. Strengthen yourself by studying the words of the prophets. Follow the prophets and do what they ask us to do. We will be able to have a greater abundance of the Spirit when we do these things, and the Holy Spirit will help us to defend and teach these things to our families and friends. It will not be easy, but it is vital if we wish to keep our families in tact.
This is important. There is safety in the Gospel and in living lives consistent with the Gospel. I think that a big reason for Come Follow Me is so that parents will have conversations just like this with their children, and not subcontract that work to primary or young women’s or sunday school teachers.
Joyce, good post. I just re-read the Proclamation at FHE with my kids a few weeks back. We should emphasize immortal truths, not the lies of the world around us.
Thank you for your willingness to speak the truth, even when the truth is not popular. Followers of God must not fear man more than God.
I think we can all do a better job of standing for truth in all places.
Just some actual data to consider: https://www.who.int/genomics/gender/en/index1.html
“Humans are born with 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. The X and Y chromosomes determine a person’s sex. Most women are 46XX and most men are 46XY. Research suggests, however, that in a few births per thousand some individuals will be born with a single sex chromosome (45X or 45Y) (sex monosomies) and some with three or more sex chromosomes (47XXX, 47XYY or 47XXY, etc.) (sex polysomies). In addition, some males are born 46XX due to the translocation of a tiny section of the sex determining region of the Y chromosome. Similarly some females are also born 46XY due to mutations in the Y chromosome. Clearly, there are not only females who are XX and males who are XY, but rather, there is a range of chromosome complements, hormone balances, and phenotypic variations that determine sex.”
According to revealed doctrine our *SPIRITS* have eternal sex characteristics – that “status” isn’t going to change (at least as far as we know through revealed doctrine). For some people their physical chromosome set may not be a perfect match to their spirit’s identity.
John, the scenarios that you’ve outlined *can* happen, but are very rare. Most people will be and are born with a normal set of chromosomes. We need to teach and defend the truths taught in the Family Proclamation, and then minister to the one who is struggling with those truths. I feel like more and more we’re living by 100 exceptions, instead of by the rules.
And for what it’s worth, we have been given further revelation on gender. Just this October, Pres. Oaks talked about this subject in the Leadership Training held right before General Conference. He taught that gender is binary, and that sex and gender are the same thing. There is no such thing as “gender assigned at birth” or being born in the wrong body. https://www.millennialstar.org/president-oaks-comments-on-gender-and-identity/
Of course the mortal body can have problems, as you’ve said with chromosomal abnormalities or other problems/defects/diseases, but those are temporary, mortal problems that will be corrected via resurrection. It is a principle of faith (and remember faith is an action verb), to follow the Plan of Salvation and commandments as outlined by the Lord thru His prophets, but those promises and assurances are there all the same.
This sentence could be improved:
“Sometimes people choose to have children who are not married.”
Thanks for the edit suggestion, JA
An excellent post and very refreshing to read. I’ll certainly be having this conversation soon with my kids.
This is one of many areas where I reckon what people want is what they actually get — they just don’t realize there is more on offer.
The classic example is the lives of faithful Christians. Those who reject the saving ordinances available in this Church will inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom which is almost identical to the mainstream conception of Heaven. What they want, and what they claim they are working for, is what their life choices will enable them to get. But they miss out on so much more that God has to give them in the Celestial Kingdom.
Likewise those who claim all that matters is love will, presumably, be able to persist in some way in meaningful interactions in the hereafter (that same society will exist there as does here, after all). We don’t know exactly how that will exist, but we do know that absolute charity will eventually percolate down to the bottom of the Telestial Kingdom (which will be an inheritance beyond our imaginations today). So they will eventually live in love in some society there.
So I wouldn’t be shocked if those who are claiming that love makes a family will be able to persist in what they consider a family in the hereafter. But they will miss out on what God considers a family, and the Exaltation and fullness of joy that accompanies it. They are selling a birthright and even if they get what they are claiming to want they are paying far too high a price for it (knowingly or unknowingly).
From the same WHO website:
“ More than 95% of the Y chromosome is male-specific (4) and a single copy of the Y chromosome is able to induce testicular differentiation of the embryonic gonad. The Y chromosome acts as a dominant inducer of male phenotype and individuals having four X chromosomes and one Y chromosome (49XXXXY) are phenotypically male. (5) When a Y chromosome is present, early embryonic testes develop around the 10th week of pregnancy. In the absence of both a Y chromosome and the influence of a testis-determining factor (TDF), ovaries develop.”
So effectively, you either have at least one Y or you don’t.
The WHO website uses gender for cultural things, suggesting your gender is stuff like whether you like pink and whether or not you’re good at math. This meaning of the term gender is the factor causing much of the confusion I myself have personally witnessed.
People who say that The Family: A Proclamation to the World is not doctrine are lying to themselves for their own convenience in sinning. If it’s not doctrine why have the prophets and apostles, and other general officers, taught it in General Conference, church magazines, and lesson manuals for the past (almost) 25 years? If the prophets write it, read it in conference, and make sure it is in manuals, it’s doctrine. Or is that why the Israelites were so rebellious following Moses–what he taught them hadn’t been canonized! Or Lamen and Lemuel; Lehi’s prophesies and teachings hadn’t been voted on at general conference, so how could they possibly be doctrine?
The great sifting of the wheat from the tares is taking place before our very eyes. Thanks for sharing what and how you taught your children. You are arming them with truth, and inoculating them against the false and evil teachings of our day. Keep up the good work!
Love makes a family is a good sentiment for a Hallmark card. Legally, however, it would be both revolutionary and destructive. If a family is currently, perhaps temporarily, unloving, does it thereby cease legally to be a family? Of course not. If someone is involved in a passionate extra-marital affair, do those trysts automatically legally create a family? Of course not.
John S. H.: When I researched it way back when, those kinds of genetic and congenital anomalies are likely far fewer than a handful per thousand. More like a handful per 100,000 or per 1,000,000. And I would not trust the W.H.O. on current stats, given the political driving forces behind transgenderism these days.
If transgenderism (identifying as trapped in the body of the opposite/wrong sex) were “merely” a matter of genetically non-standard XY/XX pairs, or some kind of fetal development problem where the body did not develop in accord with an otherwise normal XX or XY, then we would be hearing many transgenders and their advocates shouting that from the rooftops. And transgenders would be actively seeking out such testing, and those who treat them or assist in their transitioning would insist on such testing. But such seeking or demanding of genetic testing is not making it into the media, if it is happening at all.
Transgenders are being “cleared-to-proceed” by counselors for surgery, and surgeons are doing the surgery, even for children, without such testing.
here is an interesting website: http://www.sexchangeregret.com
The founder of that web site, Walt Heyer, has an interesting story, only 13 minutes:
and plenty of other people back it up:
According to Heyer, the correlation between transgenders and childhood sex abuse is 100%. Between male homosexuals and child sex abuse is 50%, and I think he said for female homosexuals it was 65-80%. THOSE are the statistically meaningful figures that are being suppressed.
While I would like to know the source of Heyer’s statistics, I don’t fundamentally disagree with the thrust of his assertions.
In my observations of those I have personally interacted with who are actively unsatisfied with the traditional hetero-sexual model, each individual is characterized by one of the following:
1) Raped by someone of the opposite sex
2) Otherwise abused by someone of the opposite sex
3) Traumatized by suppression of their essential nature because local culture strictly enforces stereotypes (e.g., girls don’t do science, boys can’t be caring).
There are times when I am insufficiently close to the individual to know whether any of the above three are factors. So I am not going to suggest that 100% of any group condition is caused by a single factor (or even any concise set of factors).
This was an absolutely fantastic post. Thank you so much for articulating the Church’s (God’s) positions on the crucial doctrine of the family. It is so central to our theology. I don’t have all the answers about how to raise children who live and understand the doctrines taught in the Proclamation, but I could point you to a CES training by Elder Kim B. Clark a few years ago when he outlined the future of church education for grades 7-12 wherein the children would be taught secular and religious education in our church buildings, under the direction of a priesthood leader. It’s called the Worldwide Education Initiative.
Meg, if you go to Walter Heyer’s website you can find his sources.
Angela, I’d be interested in seeing that training from Elder Clark, if you have a link or something.
I’m a convert to the church of over 40 years. None of my 3 siblings belong to the church and neither are my parents. To say my family is a little off the rails would be an understatement. My only brother is gay and one of my sisters has two children, one doesn’t believe in God, and the other is transgender, and my sister is proud of it! Another sister has three children, two are fundamental nondenominational Christians, and the other is a lapsed Catholic convert. I was raised as a Lutheran. One of my kids is active in Church, the other refuses to attend any church. Where do I start?
I’ve tried the “I love you no matter what” to I love you, but I don’t agree with your lifestyle”, and I’m now at the point where I only have contact with two of my siblings’ adult children and one of my own. Ironically, it’s not my LDS child!
I’ve finally decided I can only be responsible for me and what I believe. My two grandchildren have been baptized Catholic, according to their mother’s beliefs, but I share my religion with them and hope they can feel the spirit as they get older and realize what the gospel has to offer them as children of God. I have a large copy of The Proclamation that I’m going to hang up in my living room. I absolutely LOVED this article and only wish I could share this with my family.
I agree with everything said in the OP. But I do have to chuckle at the title of the post. We just had stake conference and one of the speakers said something like “I have been so blessed by the love and support I feel from people in my ward. Sometimes I hear people call us a ward family, and I think that’s wrong. We’re just plain family!” So on the one hand we say that love isn’t enough to consider two men or two women a family, and on the other hand we have no problem thinking of beloved ward members as extended family. Again, I agree with everything said in the OP and I believe in the family proclamation, I just chuckled at the discrepancy.
I don’t think of my ward as a family. They are just the people that I go to church with, because we all live in the same neighborhood.