Discussing the Family Proclamation

Lindsey Spjut Schlensker, Ohio, USA

When I was a teenager, my family held a discussion about the unique principles taught in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” 1 We used a whiteboard to draw a T-chart, with one side labeled “What the Family Proclamation Teaches” and the other side labeled “What the World Teaches.” Our family contrasted key principles of the family proclamation with messages we had heard in school, in the media, and elsewhere. (See chart below.)

What the Family Proclamation Teaches

What the World Teaches

“Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

Gender doesn’t really matter, and it’s something you can choose.

“The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave.”

This life is it. There is no plan. Relationships end when we die.

“The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

The family is an outdated social construct resulting from the necessities of past generations.

Reviewing the family proclamation point by point helped us appreciate and understand its various principles more clearly. Contrasting them with other world views helped us recognize messages that are false or confusing or otherwise counter to Heavenly Father’s plan. As a result, we can fortify ourselves against worldy teachings.


  •   1.

    “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.

  • Illustration by Beth Whittaker

    Helps for Home Evening

    “Dating and Virtue,” on page 14: Prayerfully study the article and select the suggestions that apply to your family. You could discuss, role-play, or list the principles taught and create a personal plan of action. If age appropriate, conclude by reading the sidebars from For the Strength of Youth.

    “The Church’s Humanitarian Efforts,” on page 62: After reading the accounts from the article, invite your family to share how they felt and what they learned about the Church’s humanitarian efforts. Consider asking what they can do locally as well as globally to follow the Savior’s admonition: “The works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do” (3 Nephi 27:21).

    “Bringing Christ into Our Home,” on page 8: After reading this article as a family, you may want to set a goal to memorize “The Living Christ” and gather pictures of the Savior to help family members “always remember him” (Moroni 4:3).