Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Ideal Family

September is the anniversary month for The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and in honor of that fact there's a celebration going on.  Go to these following blogs to find posts filled with wonderful thoughts and activities.

Middle-aged Mormon Man

Anyway, while I've been pondering the importance of the family over the past few days, my thoughts were drawn to a talk given by Elder Richard G. Scott in the April 2011 general conference titled "First Things First."

He started by reminding us of our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness for each of us:
"One of the most exhilarating moments of your life—when you were filled with anticipation, excitement, and gratitude—you are not able to remember. That experience occurred in the premortal life when you were informed that finally your time had come to leave the spirit world to dwell on earth with a mortal body. You knew you could learn through personal experience the lessons that would bring happiness on earth, lessons that would eventually lead you to exaltation and eternal life as a glorified, celestial being in the presence of your Holy Father and His Beloved Son. You understood that there would be challenges, for you would live in an environment of both righteous and evil influences. Yet surely you resolved no matter what the cost, no matter what the effort, suffering, and testing, you would return victorious. You had been reserved to come when the fulness of the gospel is on earth. You arrived when His Church and the priesthood authority to perform the sacred temple ordinances are in place. You anticipated being born into a home where parents would be expected to love, nurture, strengthen, and teach you truths. You knew that in time you would have the opportunity to form your own eternal family as husband or wife, father or mother. Oh, how you must have rejoiced with that prospect." 

Then he outlined the definition of the ideal family:
"The pattern of families essential to Father’s plan of happiness was established, and our need to continually 'call upon God' emphasized. You are in the midst of living that plan. Through the restored gospel we learn there is an ideal family. It is a family composed of a righteous Melchizedek Priesthood bearer with a righteous wife sealed to him and children born in the covenant or sealed to them. With a mother in the home in an environment of love and service, the parents teach their children, through example and precept, the ways of the Lord and His truths. They fulfill their divinely appointed roles mentioned in the family proclamation. Their children mature by living teachings instilled from birth. They develop characteristics of obedience, integrity, love of God, and faith in His holy plan. In due course, each of those children seeks a companion with similar ideals and aspirations. They are sealed in the temple, bear children, and the eternal plan continues, with generation strengthening generation. Throughout your life on earth, seek diligently to fulfill the fundamental purposes of this life through the ideal family. While you may not have yet reached that ideal, do all you can through obedience and faith in the Lord to consistently draw as close to it as you are able. Let nothing dissuade you from that objective." 
He mentioned that some of us may not live in an ideal family now, but we shouldn't become discouraged over that fact, or use it as an excuse to prevent us from striving to reach that goal.  
And he concluded with a challenge:
"Find a retreat of peace and quiet where periodically you can ponder and let the Lord establish the direction of your life. Each of us needs to periodically check our bearings and confirm that we are on course. Sometime soon you may benefit from taking this personal inventory:
What are my highest priorities to be accomplished while on earth?
How do I use my discretionary time? Is some of it consistently applied to my highest priorities?
Is there anything I know I should not be doing? If so, I will repent and stop it now.
In a quiet moment write down your responses. Analyze them. Make any necessary adjustments.
Put first things first. Do the best you can while on earth to have an ideal family. To help you do that, ponder and apply the principles in the proclamation on the family."

I feel extremely blessed that my parents and grandparents had examples to follow, so that they wanted to create the pattern of the ideal family.  Even though it's still constant work, It makes it easier for me as I strive to follow in their footsteps.
1972 - youngest generation
2004 - middle generation
2011 - oldest generation
And I hope it makes it easier for the next generations.  However, I'm also grateful for the gospel and its teachings, and for the knowledge that if we don't have an ideal family now, we can in the future.  I'm in awe of the many friends I have who are the first generation to really know and understand these important principles and doctrines.  The family truly is ordained of God.

2 comments:

  1. Ooh, that's a great Elder Scott talk. I didn't remember that he had tied it all to the doctrine of the family. Thanks.

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  2. Thank you so much for reminding me of this great talk! :D PS. I love the Proclamation!!!!

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