Thoughts on Lesson Forty-Five

1. The family is central to God's plan.

2. Sacred ordinances make it possible for families to be together eternally.

  • Robert D. Hales, "The Eternal Family," Ensign, Nov. 1996
    The doctrine of the family begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them. From the earliest beginnings, God established the family and made it eternal. Adam and Eve were sealed in marriage for time and all eternity. In this latter day the promise of eternal families was restored in 1829 when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood were restored to the earth. Seven years later, in the Kirtland Temple, the keys to perform the sealing ordinances were restored. With the restoration of these keys and priesthood authority comes the opportunity for all who are worthy to receive the blessings of eternal families. What is the promise of these sealings which are performed in the temples? The Lord outlines the promise and requirements...

3. The power to create mortal life is sacred.

  • Boyd K. Packer, "Why Stay Morally Clean," Ensign, July 1972
    In the beginning, prior to your mortal birth, you lived with our Heavenly Father. He is real. He actually lives. He knew you there. Because he loved you, he was anxious for your happiness and for your eternal growth. He wanted you to be able to choose freely and to grow through the power of correct choice, so that you may become much as he is. To achieve this, it was necessary for us to leave his presence. ... Great things were in store for us as we came into this world. ...We would receive a mortal body, created in the image of God. Through it, by proper control, we might achieve eternal life and happiness.

    There was provided in our bodies—and this is sacred—a power of creation, a light, so to speak, that has the power to kindle other lights. This gift was to be used only within the sacred bonds of marriage. Through the exercise of this power of creation, a mortal body may be conceived, a spirit enter into it, and a new soul born into this life. This power is good. It can create and sustain family life, and it is in family life that we find the fountains of happiness. It is a sacred and significant power, and I repeat, my young friends, that this power is good.

4. Parents have a sacred duty to care for each other and teach their children.

  • M. Russell Ballard, "Teach the Children," Ensign, May 1991
    Have you seen the future when you gazed through the hospital nursery window and saw the bassinet wheeled into your view? You see that beautiful newborn infant for the first time. A new spirit comes into your life... and you know that your life will never be quite the same again. How often have you had to blink back the tears as you stood in awe and contemplated the miracle of a new life? This newly arrived spirit has come in sweet innocence from the presence of God.

    Every human being is a spirit child of God and lived with Heavenly Father before coming to earth. He entrusts his spirit children to earthly parents who provide a mortal body for them through the miracle of physical birth and gives to parents the sacred opportunity and responsibility to love, protect, teach, and to bring them up in light and truth so they may one day, through the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, return to our Father's presence. These precious souls come to us in purity and innocence. As parents, we assume an immense responsibility for their care and well-being.

5. Successful marriages and families are based on righteous principles.

  • Howard W. Hunter, "Standing As Witnesses of God," Ensign, May 1990
    Surely that home is strongest and most beautiful in which we find each person sensitive to the feelings of others, striving to serve others, striving to live at home the principles we demonstrate in more public settings. We need to try harder to live the gospel in our family circles. Our homes deserve our most faithful commitments. A child has the right to feel that in his home he is safe, that there he has a place of protection from the dangers and evils of the outside world. Family unity and integrity are necessary to supply this need. A child needs parents who are happy in their relationship to each other, who are working happily toward the fulfillment of ideal family living, who love their children with a sincere and unselfish love, and who are committed to the family's success.

    A successful life, the good life, the righteous Christian life requires something more than a contribution, though every contribution is valuable. Ultimately it requires commitment—whole souled, deeply held, eternally cherished commitment to the principles we know to be true in the commandments God has given. We need such loyalty to the Church, but that must immediately be interpreted as a loyalty in our personal habits and behavior, integrity in the wider community and marketplace, and—for the future's sake—devotion and character in our marriages and homes and families.

6. Strengthening families is everyone's responsibility.

  • Joanne B. Doxey, "Strengthening the Family," Ensign, Nov. 1987
    Why do you think the prophets are reminding us of our sacred duty to feed the lambs and protect the home and family? Because it is against the home and family that Satan has aimed his greatest efforts to destroy, and far too many sheep are wandering or being enticed away out of the sheepfold, and wolves lie in wait to devour the flock.

    How can we help prepare children for their significant role if we, their mentors, are absent or uncaring? It is an awesome task, but one filled with hope and happiness, if we make it so.

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