Families are a very important part of the gospel. In the inspired, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" we are taught, "The family is ordained of God," and, "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ."
We are also taught that we are all sons and daughters of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother and we all lived in the pre-mortal existence as a heavenly family.
In the new book Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families, we read about the importance of our families on earth as well as our family in heaven, but we also see beautiful portrayals of the roles families play.
Here are a few incredible paintings by artist Caitlin Connolly that depict our earthly families and our heavenly family.
"Families are Divine"
We existed as a family before we lived in this mortal life. "Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones" (Abraham 3:22).
Among our heavenly family members were Adam and Eve, our first earthly parents. As part of their divine roles as husband and wife, Adam and Eve were commanded to "multiply and replenish the earth" (Moses 2:28) thereby creating the first earthly family.
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"Families Create and Celebrate"
With families we have the opportunity to learn, grow, and create together. In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," we are taught that wholesome recreational activities combined with faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, and work contribute to successful marriages and families.
"Families Strive for Unity"
Many tasks are easier to accomplish if a family works together. Working together as families also helps us to learn and to grow in the gospel. Father Lehi even addressed the importance of unity as part of one of his final talks with his children:
"And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons … and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity" (2 Ne. 1:21).
Our earthly families were patterned after our heavenly family and are meant to help us learn, grow, and return to our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.
As we work together and live gospel principles, we are better able to grow as a family and work to become like our heavenly family.
For more about families and inspiring illustrations of our heavenly and earthly families, check out Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families.