Unit 32: Day 4

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

“Unit 32: Day 4, The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)


Introduction

On September 23, 1995, in a general Relief Society meeting, President Gordon B. Hinckley introduced “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” This proclamation from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declares to the world the Lord’s standards and doctrines concerning the family. The proclamation also provides counsel for strengthening families and a warning about the consequences of the disintegration of families. (A copy of this family proclamation is at the end of this lesson.)

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Issue a Proclamation to the World Concerning the Family

Have you ever had questions or know someone who has had questions related to one of the following issues?

  • The importance of marriage and family

  • Divorce

  • Same-sex marriage

  • Gender

  • Unwed parents

  • Having children

  • Sexual relations outside of marriage

  • Roles of mothers

  • Roles of fathers

  • Abortion

Many questions concerning these issues and other family matters can be answered using “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

Just before President Gordon B. Hinckley read this proclamation, he stated some of the reasons why the world needs the truths it contains. As you read his statement, look for and underline those reasons.

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“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 standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history” (“Stand Strong against the Wiles of the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 100).

  1. journal iconTo help you identify doctrines and principles that answer questions about the issues listed at the beginning of the lesson, copy the following chart into your scripture study journal, leaving room to write in your answers. (You may want to number the paragraphs in the copy of the proclamation at the end of this lesson.)

    Issues Concerning the Family

    Doctrines and Principles from the Family Proclamation

    Taught in Which Paragraphs in the Proclamation?

    The importance of marriage and family

       

    Divorce

       

    Same-sex marriage

       

    Gender

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

    paragraph 2

    Having children

       

    Role of fathers

       

    Role of mothers

       

    Sexual relations outside of marriage

       

    Abortion

    The creation of mortal life is a sacred and important part of Heavenly Father’s plan.

    paragraphs 3 and 5

    Read paragraphs 1–5 of the family proclamation, looking for doctrines and principles that relate to these issues concerning the family. From what you find in the family proclamation, identify the doctrine or principle that relates to each of the issues on the chart. Write these in the appropriate column, next to the corresponding issue in the chart in your journal. Also write which paragraph or paragraphs of the family proclamation you used to help you identify each doctrine or principle. (Information for two of the rows of the chart has been filled out for you as examples.)

  1. journal iconSelect two of the doctrines or principles you identified on your chart. In your scripture study journal, answer the following questions for each doctrine or principle you selected:

    1. Why do you think it is important to understand this doctrine or principle?

    2. How can understanding and believing this doctrine or principle influence the decisions you make?

The Family Proclamation Helps Us Establish Successful Families

family smiling

Read paragraphs 6–7 of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” looking for things that can help you achieve happiness in your family.

One principle we learn from the family proclamation is that happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, list the principles found in paragraph 7 of the family proclamation that help families find happiness. (You may want to mark these principles in your copy of the family proclamation.) Then answer the following questions:

    1. What examples have you seen of families following these teachings?

    2. Why do you think families that follow these teachings are more likely to be happy?

  2. journal iconThink about how these teachings can add to a family’s happiness. Consider which of these teachings you could live better in order to bring greater happiness to you and your family. In your scripture study journal, write a goal to help you better live one or more of these teachings in your family.

According to the last half of paragraph 7 of the family proclamation, what are the responsibilities of fathers?

Think about the ways you have seen your father or other fathers fulfill these responsibilities.

According to the last half of paragraph 7, what is the primary responsibility of mothers?

Think about ways you have seen your mother or other mothers fulfill this role?

According to paragraph 7, the responsibilities or roles of mothers and fathers are “by divine design.” This means they were established by our Heavenly Father. Why do you think this is important to understand?

In paragraph 7 we also learn that fathers and mothers are obligated to help each other as equal partners in their family responsibilities. Think about when you have seen mothers and fathers work together to help each other as equal partners in these sacred responsibilities.

The following sentence appears near the end of paragraph 7: “Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.” The Lord is aware of these circumstances, and He blesses parents and families as they strive to fulfill their obligations to the best of their ability.

Reread the final sentence of paragraph 7 of the family proclamation, looking for who else can assist mothers and fathers in their responsibilities. Children may also help their parents fulfill their responsibilities.

Every family has its own difficulties and unique circumstances, but every family can live the teachings of Jesus Christ and find happiness.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, write what you appreciate about your mother, your father, or your guardian.

Read paragraphs 8–9 of the family proclamation, looking for what will happen if we do not fulfill our responsibilities in our families.

One principle these paragraphs teach is that the Lord will hold us accountable if we do not fulfill our responsibilities in our families. You may want to write this truth on your copy of the proclamation.

Ponder how you are fulfilling your responsibilities in your family. Remember to seek the Lord’s help as you work toward your goal to better live one of the teachings of Jesus Christ in your family.

  1. journal iconWrite the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” lesson and completed it on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher:

The Family