The Family Is of God

Contributed By Sister Mary Durham of the Primary general presidency

  • 11 September 2015

There will be times, golden moments, when the Spirit of the Lord is with us as we teach and testify of eternal truths found in the family proclamation.

Article Highlights

  • It is vital for our children to know and understand the truths taught in the proclamation on the family.
  • The principles found in the proclamation on the family are best taught and nurtured in the home.
  • If we presevere, children will learn and feel the spirit of why we stand for these truths.

“There can be no satisfactory substitute for the home. Its foundation is as ancient as the world.” —President Ezra Taft Benson

Julia was my daughter’s best friend. They did everything together. My daughter loved being at her friend’s home. Julia's parents were so welcoming and kind to my daughter that she felt like she was one of the family.

Julia wanted so badly to have her dad join the Church so they could be a forever family. Julia’s mother was just returning back to church after stepping away for a few years and loved the association with the ward and the spirit she felt. But it was a challenge to take all six children to church by herself. She and Julia prayed for their husband and father to have his heart softened. He was raised by a pastor and had a knowledge of God and who He was. He was very happy about his family and how their life was going. As Julia and her mother prayed, difficult challenges came up in their family. Julia’s father lost his job. Their newborn baby had complications.

You would think this family would give up and say, “This is too hard!”

But they were determined! They continued to do all they could to exercise faith and know God would help them. They planned activities with many families in the ward and invited the missionaries over. The missionaries brought a spirit of friendship and love.

After returning home from vacation, Julia was over at our home and said, “My dad is going to be baptized.” We were so surprised and excited for this family. Many people attended the baptism. The chapel was filled.

Sister Mary R. Durham, second counselor in the Primary general presidency. Busath.com

The joy this family felt was indescribable. They had a picture in their mind of a forever family, and their determination to achieve that goal kept them moving forward, each one doing his or her part.

Today they are sealed as a family in the temple. They love being involved in Church callings and continue to be faithful. They are blessing many lives.

I love the Primary song “The Family Is of God.”

The chorus teaches us that “God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—this is how He shares His love, for the family is of God.” Julia and her mother helped their family become what Heavenly Father wanted for them. 

We learn from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” that the “family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

“Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”

These principles are nurtured in the home. The home is the workshop to teach and train. As we take time to help our children understand their divine heritage, we let them know that much is expected of them. They will rise to the righteous expectations of their parents. Adding fun activities helps us laugh and play together and get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere. The activities should encourage and build confidence so each individual becomes strong and steady. This helps the family stand firm in challenging and turbulent times. 

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “There can be no satisfactory substitute for the home. Its foundation is as ancient as the world. Its mission has been God-ordained (in Conference Report, Apr. 1949, 198). “No nation ever rises above its homes” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1953, 122).

There is no better place for us to learn and grow than the home. As members of the Church, we believe that “happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” How do we learn to defend the truths found in the family proclamation?

Family home evening is a good place to help children understand what they can say and do in situations where others are challenging their beliefs.

If your family home evenings are like ours, some moments often are more rambunctious than reverent. But as we persist and are consistent, there will be times, golden moments, when the Spirit of the Lord is with us as we teach and testify of eternal truths found in the proclamation on the family. These golden moments will not be forgotten by the children. Sometimes this takes longer than we wish or it doesn’t happen the way we think it will. But as we persevere in trying to make home a happy, loving place, children will learn and feel the spirit of why we stand for these truths. They will see the blessings of living “after the manner of happiness” (see 2 Nephi 5:27).

It is vital for our children to know and understand the truths taught in the proclamation on the family.

I pray that we may share His love with others as we share the eternal truth that “the family is of God.”