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How do the roles of men and women complement each other in families?

By divine design, Heavenly Father gave men and women different responsibilities to help them fulfill complementary roles of husband and wife. “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” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129).

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and other resources. What are you inspired to share with the young men?

D&C 121:41–43 (Principles upon which the priesthood is exercised righteously)

Moses 3:21–24; 5:1–4 (Adam and Eve worked together as equal partners)

M. Russell Ballard, “The Sacred Responsibility of Parenthood,” Ensign or Liahona, Mar. 2006, 26–33

D. Todd Christofferson, “The Moral Force of Women,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 29–32

The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129

Videos: “Let Us Be Men,” “The Women in Our Lives”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Show the quorum members an object or picture and ask them to explain how it relates to last week’s lesson.
  • Bring two objects that are used together to accomplish a common goal (like a pencil and paper or hammer and nail). Invite the young men to explain the differences between the objects and how they are used together. Explain that men and women are given different responsibilities that complement (or “complete”) each other to bring about God’s purposes. Invite the young men to describe some of the ways men and women complement each other.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the quorum members understand the complementary roles of men and women in families. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Write the following headings on the board: Father’s Responsibilities and Mother’s Responsibilities. Ask the young men to search the seventh paragraph of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (see Duty to God, 107) and make a list of the responsibilities the Lord expects fathers and mothers to fulfill. If necessary, help the young men define any unfamiliar words. (For a more in-depth discussion of these roles, the young men could search the section titled “Ensuring Happy and Secure Families” in Elder M. Russell Ballard’s article “The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood.”) How do the roles of mother and father complement each other? What attributes can men seek to develop to help them fulfill their responsibilities? Invite the young men to share examples of times when they have witnessed parents fulfilling their complementary roles.
  • Invite the young men to search Moses 5:1–12 and list on the board all of the things that Adam and Eve did together as a couple (for an illustration, see Gospel Art Book, 5). Invite the young men to add additional items to the list about how husbands and wives should work together as equal partners.
  • Show the video “The Women in Our Lives” or “Let Us Be Men.” What do the young men learn from the video about how husbands bless their wives? Ask the young men to think about the kind of husband they want to be someday. What can they do now to become that kind of person?
  • With the permission of the bishop, invite a married couple to visit the quorum meeting. Read together the seventh paragraph of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” and ask the young men to identify responsibilities of men and women in families. Ask the visiting couple to speak about how they have helped each other fulfill their roles. Have the young men identify ways the couple follows the teachings in the proclamation on the family. Consider sharing how marriage has helped you  or members of your family become better.
  • Invite the young men to list attributes that help women to be good mothers or nurturers. How does Satan try to weaken the influence of women? What can the young men do to support and encourage the influence of righteous women on the world? How can the influence of righteous women guide young men as they prepare to be husbands and fathers? As part of this discussion, the young men could read selected portions from Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk “The Moral Force of Women.” See, for example, the first two paragraphs and the three trends that weaken the moral force of women.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the complementary roles of men and women in families? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Ask the quorum members to thank their mothers and fathers for specific ways they have been blessed because their parents fulfilled their divine roles.
  • Invite the young men to find ways to help fulfill their future roles to preside over, provide for, and protect their families.