As spirit sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents, we are all members of the family of God. Our heavenly family provides the model for our families on earth.
The Lord has designated the family to be the basic unit of the Church and of society. As used in the scriptures, a family consists of a husband and wife, children, and sometimes other relatives living in the same house or under one family head. A family can also be a single person living alone, a single parent with children, or a husband and wife without children.
President Boyd K. Packer taught, “The ultimate purpose of every teaching, every activity in the Church is that parents and their children are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, and linked to their generations” (“The Father and the Family,” Ensign or Liahona, May 1994). Family relationships extend beyond the grave when we are sealed by the priesthood of God in a holy temple and remain faithful.
The first man and woman—Adam and Eve—were a family. When they were cast out of the Garden of Eden, Adam ate his bread by the sweat of his brow, and Eve, his wife, labored with him (see Moses 5:1). All the early recorded events in the life of Adam and Eve show them doing things together (see Moses 5:1, 12). Likewise, fathers and mothers today are equal partners in the family. “The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”). That commandment remains in force today.
God organizes us into families so that we can experience happiness and learn patience and selflessness. These traits help us become more like God and prepare us to live happily as families throughout eternity.
If we build our families around gospel principles including faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome fun, home can be a place of refuge, peace, and immense joy.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has advised families: “Whatever problems your family is facing, whatever you must do to solve them, the beginning and the end of the solution is charity, the pure love of Christ. Without this love, even seemingly perfect families struggle. With it, even families with great challenges succeed” (“In Praise of Those Who Save,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016).
To read more of what the Church teaches about the family, read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”