The Missionaries Will Teach...
The family is the basic unit of the Church. Marriage between a man
and a woman is a center component God's eternal plan of salvation and
happiness for His children. God has prepared a way for marriage to
last beyond death. In order for a marriage to be eternal, the man and
woman must be married by a priesthood holder in the temple in a sacred
ordinance called a sealing. They must both then keep all of the
covenants they make. Husbands and wives should love each other and
obey their marital vows with complete fidelity.
In order to achieve
happiness in family life, it should be founded upon the gospel of Jesus
Christ. Parents should make their family their highest priority.
The prophet revealed that "By divine design, fathers are to preside over
their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the
necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are
primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these
sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one
another as equal partners." Parents have the responsibility to teach
their children the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them live it.
attacking families. That is why the Church set aside Monday evenings
as a time for Family Home Evening. This time should be used for
parents to teach their children the gospel of Jesus Christ, to build
relationships, and to have fun. Families should also spend time
together every day to pray and study the scriptures together. Heaven
is a continuation of ideal Latter-day Saint homes, and through righteous
living and priesthood ordinances, we can live as families in God's presence.
In the 80's and 90's, the claim that "families can be together forever"
was a emphasized more than it is now. While the it it a nice concept
that we can be with our families forever, the reality of Mormonism is that
this doctrine tends to separate families more than it binds them. The
perfect symbol of this are Mormon weddings themselves. In Mormon
weddings, only the extremely dedicated adult Mormons go into the temple to
witness the ceremony. Everybody else, children, non-Mormon parents and
relatives, Mormons and Mormons who don't pay 10% of their income to the
church, must wait outside.
When a child converts to Mormonism his or her
parents tend to be supportive. When the child announces his or her
intention to get married in the Mormon temple thus precluding his or her
parents from attending, the parents tend to be devastated. Mormons
rarely have much empathy for the parents that aren't invited to the
weddings; they tend not to understand why attending the wedding is so
important to the parent. To help explain why they are devastated, allow me
to share a few thoughts about mainstream weddings.
In main stream
society, weddings are ceremonies that involve not only the couple getting
married, but also their families and the community. The family and
friends aren't there merely as spectators to the ceremony; they are an
integral part of it. The parents of the bride and groom "give away" their
children to their new spouses, the bride and groom make promises of love,
support, and loyalty to each other, and the extended family and the friends
explicitly recognize the marriage and the commitments being made, and they
enter into the covenant also to recognize and support the couple in their
In contrast, Mormon weddings are about the couple making
covenants with God. If they obey the covenants and live the rest of
their lives as super-dedicated Mormons, they will qualify to enter the
top-level of heaven and be together with other people who were equally
dedicated to the church. Everybody else, symbolized by the parents,
siblings, and friends patiently waiting outside, don't qualify for the
highest level of heaven and the bonds connecting them to the family are
Jesus is quoted as saying, "Think not that I am come to send peace
on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man
at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the
daughter in law against her mother in law. And a manís foes shall be they of
his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not
worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy
of me." (Matthew
That scripture perfectly represents the effect that Mormon
weddings usually have upon families; the practice and doctrine is about
dividing people: It divides the worthy from the unworthy. The elite
from the common. The saved from the unsaved.
The Human Cost of Mormon Temple Marriage Policies
by Orin Ryssman.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World A solemn declaration by
the Church on the importance of heterosexuality, traditional gender roles,
multiplying and replenishing the earth, and marriage.
A critique of
"The Family: A Proclamation to the World" The essay that lead to