Today’s Family: Essential to God’s Plan

“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children,” according to The Family: A Proclamation to the World, a document written by prophets and apostles.

“The family unit is fundamental not only to society and to the Church but also to our hope for eternal life,” President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, says. “We begin to practice in the family, the smaller unit, what will spread to the Church and to the society in which we live in this world, which will then be what we practice in families bound together forever by covenants and by faithfulness.”

Family Foundations

“Marriage, the family, and the home are the foundation of the Church,” President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says. “Nothing is more important to the Church and to civilization itself than the family!”

The main focus of the Church is to help us achieve immortality and eternal life, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles teaches. “We do this primarily by strengthening families. . . . The very purpose of the Church is to assist families in obtaining salvation and exaltation in the eternal kingdom of heaven.” To do this, he says, all members of the family must give their best effort to “build a foundation strong enough to support a family in our troubled world today.”

Greatest Source of Joy

“What is most important to Sister Nelson and me now?” Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asks. “That we are husband and wife, wedded for time and all eternity. Our children are born in the covenant and are sealed to us forever. What joy that knowledge brings!”

The family is pivotal to God’s plan, Elder Nelson says, and understanding the family’s role in His plan helps us have faith in the future. “His plan provides answers to ageless questions: Are all our sympathies and love for each other only temporary—to be lost in death? No! Can family life endure beyond this period of mortal probation? Yes! God has revealed the eternal nature of celestial marriage and the family as the source of our greatest joy.”

Salvation Is a Family Affair

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says that the importance of parenthood and families cannot be overstated. “The basis of the government of God is the eternal family,” he explains. “We solemnly affirm that the fulness of eternal salvation is a family affair. We may truly say that the gospel plan originated in the council of an eternal family, it is implemented through our earthly families, and has its destiny in our eternal families.”

“I believe the mission statement for mortality might be ‘to build an eternal family,’” Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says. “We know of the sanctity of families in both directions of our eternal existence. We know that before this life we lived with our Heavenly Father as part of His family, and we know that family relationships can endure beyond death. If we live and act upon this knowledge, we will attract the world to us.”

Elder Ballard also says, “It is important to remember that all larger units of society depend on the smallest and most fundamental unit, the family. No matter who or what we are, we help ourselves when we help families.”

Ideal Families

“Through the restored gospel we learn there is an ideal family,” Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles teaches. “It is a family composed of a righteous Melchizedek Priesthood bearer with a righteous wife sealed to him and children born in the covenant or sealed to them. . . . Throughout your life on earth, seek diligently to fulfill the fundamental purposes of this life through the ideal family. . . . Do the best you can while on earth to have an ideal family.”