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Why is family important?

The family is ordained of God and is central to His plan for the eternal destiny of His children. This divine plan makes it possible for individuals to return to His presence and for families to be united eternally.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What scriptures and other resources will help the young women understand the importance of family?

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

Romans 8:16–17; Hebrews 12:9 (We are children of Heavenly Father)

Genesis 2:18–24; D&C 131:1–4; 138:48 (Gospel truths about the family)

Mosiah 4:14–15; D&C 93:40, 43, 48–50; 68:25, 27–29 (Children learn the gospel from their parents)

L. Tom Perry, “Becoming Goodly Parents,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 26–28

Neil L. Andersen, “Children,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 28–31

Julie B. Beck, “Teaching the Doctrine of the Family,” Ensign, Mar. 2011, 12–17

Family,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 14–15

Videos: “Families Can Be Together Forever”; “The Home Is a Divine Institution”; “Having Children in Faith”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

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

  • Invite the young women to imagine that a friend asks them, “Why are families so important in your Church?” How would they respond?
  • Write on the board “The _________ is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal _______ of His ________.” Invite the young women to read the first paragraph of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and complete the sentence. Discuss as a class why this statement is true.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help teach the young women the importance of the family. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best in your class:

  • Draw a circle on the board. Invite a young woman to draw a family inside the circle. Around the circle, write premortal life, mortal life, and postmortal life. Ask a young woman to read the third paragraph of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and look for ways the family fits into each of these parts of the plan of salvation. Invite the young women to share their feelings for their families and why they want to be united with them after this life.
  • Invite the young women to read the last eight paragraphs of Elder L. Tom Perry’s talk “Becoming Goodly Parents,” looking for answers to the question “Why are families important?” Invite them to share what they find. What can the young women do to show that they understand how important families are? How will their understanding of the importance of families affect the way they treat their family members?
  • As a class, read the story about Elder Mason visiting with Elder Spencer W. Kimball (in Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk “Children”) or show the video “Having Children in Faith.” What does the world teach about families? What does the Lord teach? What priorities do some people place above raising a family? What blessings will the young women receive for making family a high priority in their lives?
  • Assign each young woman one of the scriptures in this outline. Ask the class to search “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and look for a passage that relates to their scripture. Invite each young woman to share her scripture and the part of the proclamation it relates to. Ask them to share any experiences they have had that illustrate the importance of families.
  • Show one of the videos suggested in this outline, and ask the young women to listen for reasons Heavenly Father has given us families. Ask the young women how they would respond to someone who says something like “I don’t think I want to have children when I get older” or “I don’t see why I should get married.” With permission from the bishop, invite one or more sisters from the ward who have a strong marriage to share with the class their feelings about marriage and family. What would they say to someone whose family situation is not ideal right now? (See “Family,” For the Strength of Youth, 15.) What would they say to someone who doesn’t see the need to get married and have children? Encourage the young women to ask any questions they have about preparing for marriage and family.
  • Divide the class in half. Give one half a copy of the section titled “Threats to the Family” from Julie B. Beck’s talk “Teaching the Doctrine of the Family.” Give the other half a copy of the section titled “This I Know.” Ask each group to teach the other what they learn from their section. What specific things can the young women do to defend the family?

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand why the family is important? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Think of a righteous family they admire and write down specific ways they can emulate that family.
  • Visit the mormonnewsroom.org or the youth website and search for articles and videos about temple marriage and families (this could be done as a Mutual activity).