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October 2016 Visiting Teaching Message: "The Family Is Ordained of God"

by | Oct. 07, 2016

Lesson Helps

The visiting teaching message for October 2016 highlights the line from "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" that states, "The family is ordained of God." Sister Carole M. Stephens and Elder L. Tom Perry explain the heavenly pattern of families.

"'In the words of [the Primary song], "The Family Is of God," . . . we are reminded of pure doctrine,' said Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. 'We learn not only that the family is of God but also that we are each part of God's family. . . .
"'The Father's plan for His children is a plan of love. It is a plan to unite His children—His family—with Him.'
"Elder L. Tom Perry (1922–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: 'We also believe that strong traditional families are not only the basic units of a stable society, a stable economy, and a stable culture of values—but that they are also the basic units of eternity and of the kingdom and government of God.'"

Read the full message at lds.org.

Supplemental Reading: In his October 1996 general conference address, "The Eternal Family," Elder Robert D. Hales spoke about the importance of eternal relationships and joy that comes from families that last into the eternities.

"As taught in this scripture, an eternal bond doesn’t just happen as a result of sealing covenants we make in the temple. How we conduct ourselves in this life will determine what we will be in all the eternities to come. To receive the blessings of the sealing that our Heavenly Father has given to us, we have to keep the commandments and conduct ourselves in such a way that our families will want to live with us in the eternities. The family relationships we have here on this earth are important, but they are much more important for their effect on our families for generations in mortality and throughout all eternity. . . .
"When families are functioning as designed by God, the relationships found therein are the most valued of mortality. The plan of the Father is that family love and companionship will continue into the eternities. Being one in a family carries a great responsibility of caring, loving, lifting, and strengthening each member of the family so that all can righteously endure to the end in mortality and dwell together throughout eternity.
"It is not enough just to save ourselves. It is equally important that parents, brothers, and sisters are saved in our families. If we return home alone to our Heavenly Father, we will be asked, 'Where is the rest of the family?' This is why we teach that families are forever. The eternal nature of an individual becomes the eternal nature of the family."

Read the full message at lds.org.

Lead image from Getty Images.