Opinion: Family values, minus the rhetoric

There are few terms in the LDS lexicon more loaded than “the family.” Not only is it central to our doctrines, our Sunday curriculum and our view of the afterlife, but it’s also used to defend some of the church’s historically controversial positions on social issues, most recently same-sex marriage.

Beyond the realm of religion, the family has been politicized to death by both major parties. On the right, pundits use “family values” as a catch-all conservative phrase to champion everything from pro-life abortion views to Reagan-inspired tax policy. On the left, liberals are constantly trotting out struggling parents and poor children to promote progressive welfare reform.

The result, at least for me, is that “the family” has become a term devoid of meaning. So when I found myself a few weeks ago face to face with the incredible reality of true family bonds, I was taken aback — even startled.

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