Without nurturing, our rising generation could be in danger of becoming like the one described in Mosiah 26. Many youth didn’t believe the traditions of their fathers and became a separate people as to their faith, remaining so ever after. Our rising generation could likewise be led away if they don’t understand their part in Heavenly Father’s plan.
So what is it that will keep the rising generation safe? In the Church, we teach saving principles, and those principles are family principles, the principles that will help the rising generation to form a family, teach that family, and prepare that family for ordinances and covenants—and then the next generation will teach the next and so on.
As parents, leaders, and Church members, we are preparing this generation for the blessings of Abraham, for the temple. We have the responsibility to be very clear on key points of doctrine found in the proclamation on the family. Motherhood and fatherhood are eternal roles and responsibilities. Each of us carries the responsibility for either the male or the female half of the plan.
We can teach this doctrine in any setting. We must speak respectfully of marriage and family. And from our example, the rising generation can gain great hope and understanding—not just from the words we speak but from the way we feel and emanate the spirit of family.
Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president.
Addressing the sisters at the general Relief Society meeting on September 23, 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “The world we are in is a world of turmoil, of shifting values. Shrill voices call out for one thing or another in betrayal of time-tested standards of behavior.”1 President Hinckley then went on to introduce to the sisters, the Church, and ultimately people everywhere “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
In subsequent years this prophetic document has been translated into many languages and distributed to world leaders. It asks citizens and government leaders “to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”2
The proclamation has become the foundation for Latter-day Saint beliefs about the family, a statement to which we can hold fast and know that by living its precepts, we are strengthening our families and homes.