An ideal Latter-day Saint home is presided over by parents who have been sealed together by the power of the priesthood, and children not born under the covenant have been sealed to their parents.
Such a home has been acquired, that is, purchased or rented, with tithed money; and the income of all family members has been tithed.
In a true Latter-day Saint home each day begins and closes with prayer, both family and secret prayer.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is taught and practiced by precept and by example.
In such a home the priesthood is honored.
The members of a true Latter-day Saint home are loyal to each other. They love, honor, and sustain one another.
Latter-day Saints have a concept of marriage unlike that of anyone else. To them marriage is, as it is to most people, the beginning of a mortal family. But to Latter-day Saints it is also the beginning of an eternal family. The husband and wife are so sealed by the Holy Priesthood and by the Holy Spirit of Promise that their union is to continue through all eternity. Their children are to be theirs forever. To realize this hope and expectation is a Latter-day Saint’s concept of heaven.
This concept inspires prospective Latter-day Saint brides and grooms to live clean and pure lives. They know, as President David O. McKay used to say, “that while marriage in the temple is a worthy consummation, worthiness to go through the temple is the fundamental thing and that is determined during their years of courtship and pre-marriage. … The happiness of married life begins in courtship—not when the marriage ceremony is performed. Purity of life is essential to successful marriage in the temple.” (Temple meeting, June 25, 1959.)
You husbands and wives who have not been sealed should set temple marriage as your goal. Qualify yourselves by living the standards of the gospel. Seek the guidance of the Lord in your preparation and then somehow get to the temple and be sealed.
President Brigham Young once said:
“There is not a young man in our community who would not be willing to travel from here to England to be married right, if he understood things as they are; there is not a young woman in our community, who loves the gospel and wishes its blessings, that would be married in any other way.” (Journal of Discourses, 11:118.)
I have already said that a Latter-day Saint home is one that has been acquired with tithed money. Concerning tithing President Brigham Young said:
“The Lord instituted tithing, it was practiced in the days of Abraham, and Enoch and Adam. … I want to say this much to those who profess to be Latter-day Saints—If we neglect our tithes and offerings we will receive the chastening hand of the Lord. We may just as well count on this first as last. If we neglect to pay our tithes and offerings we will neglect other things, and this will grow upon us until the Spirit of the Gospel is entirely gone from us, and we are in the dark, and know not whither we are going.” (JD, 15:163. Also Discourses of Brigham Young, 1951 ed., p. 174.)
Every true Latter-day Saint home is a home of prayer. The first recorded direction the Lord gave to Adam and Eve after they were driven from the Garden was a commandment “that they should worship the Lord their God.” (Moses 5:5.) From then until now this divine commandment has been repeated more often than any other command. Families and individual Church members neglect it at their peril.
“Pray always,” said the Lord, “that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.” (D&C 10:5.)
“And a commandment I give unto them—that he that observeth not his prayers before the Lord in the season thereof, let him be had in remembrance before the judge of my people.” (D&C 68:33.)
“The very foundation of the kingdom of God, of righteousness, of progress, of development, of eternal life and eternal increase in the kingdom of God, is laid in the divinely ordained home,” said President Joseph F. Smith, “and there should be no difficulty in holding in the highest reverence and exalted thought, the home, if it can be built upon the principles of purity, of true affection, of righteousness and justice. The man and his wife who have perfect confidence in each other, and who determine to follow the laws of God in their lives and fulfil the measure of their mission in the earth, would not be, and could never be, contented without the home. Their hearts, their feelings, their minds, their desires would naturally trend toward the building of a home and family and of a kingdom of their own; to the laying of the foundation of eternal increase and power, glory, exaltation and dominion, worlds without end.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p. 380.)
Heaven is but an extension of ideal Latter-day Saints’ homes.