By Divine Design

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We believe the family is ordained of God. Our understanding of the family is declared in the prophetic guide “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

“With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn. In furtherance of this we of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles now issue a proclamation to the Church and to the world as a declaration and reaffirmation of the standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history.” 1

With these words, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) introduced “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” 2 at the general Relief Society meeting held on September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“We commend to all a careful, thoughtful, and prayerful reading of this proclamation,” he urged. “The strength of any nation is rooted within the walls of its homes. We urge our people everywhere to strengthen their families in conformity with these time-honored values.” 3

Following are images of Asian people, whose culture is known for their “intense and devoted family relationships,” which include “respect for elders and high standards for children.” 4 These images are representative of Latter-day Saints worldwide and depict important teachings found in the family proclamation.

map of eastern Asia

Map © Mountain High Maps

illustration of woman reading(click to view larger)

Illustration by Rachel Tsai

“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

photo of family with newborn baby(click to view larger)

Photograph by Chi-Jung Chen

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”

illustration of family praying(click to view larger) illustration of family studying scriptures(click to view larger)

Illustrations by Mikko Yoshida

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

photo of family playing(click to view larger) illustration of family activity(click to view larger)

Photograph by Hyun-Gyu Lee; illustration by An Duck Hyun

“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another.”

illustration of mother and son(click to view larger)

Illustration by Esther Tsai, may not be copied

“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.”

Family Blessings from Family Home Evening

Mieko Takahashi, Tokyo, Japan

“Six years ago I moved to Tokyo as a young single Latter-day Saint woman. Family home evenings have helped me feel a part of my gospel family. At first I held family home evening with my two roommates. Then, when I began living alone, I held family home evening every Monday by myself. I read the scriptures, prepared my Sunday lesson, or watched a Church video.

“Now our ward holds a monthly family home evening group for single members after our Sunday meetings, and I really look forward to it. I am able to spend time talking to brothers and sisters who, because of their Church callings, I would otherwise not have the opportunity to get to know.

“Within our stake, another ward holds a family home evening group every week for single members. I have recently started attending it. Sometimes the missionaries and their investigators attend. The lessons each week are well-prepared, spiritual, and I learn a lot. Often I think of something I learned and say, ‘OK! I’ll give it a try!’ While refreshments are being served, it’s fun to talk with everyone.

“Spending time with friends who share the same faith is important to me. Just as it says in Moses 7:18, ‘And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.’ When our hearts and minds are one, many blessings are poured out upon us. And through that, the faith and testimonies of each person in attendance are strengthened.

“I know the Lord loves us. I am grateful for our prophets and continuing revelation. I am thankful that the Lord has given us family home evening through His prophets. The experiences I am having and the things I am learning through family home evening as a single Latter-day Saint will also be a blessing to me when I have my own family.”

Border: Chinese Patterns (1999), Shambhala Publications © Pepin Publishing

Show References


  1.   1.

    “Stand Strong against the Wiles of the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 100.

  2.   2.

    Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.

  3.   3.

    Ensign, Nov. 1995, 101.

  4.   4.

    “The Asians at Berkeley,” Wall Street Journal, May 30, 1995, p. A14, quoted in Ensign, Nov. 1995, 99.