The Family Can Be Eternal

View the entire lesson here: The Family Can Be Eternal

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe in the family unit as the most important group we can be a part of. Our leaders have said, “The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

Why did our Heavenly Father send us to earth as members of families?

The principle of the family is an eternal principal. In the Bible Dictionary, under “family” we read, “The Bible is family oriented. … Latter-day revelation confirms all that the Bible teaches about the family and adds the most important truth that through the gospel of Jesus Christ the family can be sealed together in a permanent relationship for time and all eternity.” We were created spiritually as part of Heavenly Father’s family and we are working towards returning to that family after life. Therefore, it would be strange to be completely separated here from a family. Families help us to learn and grow and they should provide a feeling of safety and security that cannot be felt elsewhere. We are not all born into a strong family, or one that is whole, but we all can work towards finding and strengthening the familial relationships we do have even if they are not those related to us by blood or marriage.

Why is the home the best place to prepare for eternal life?

In Doctrine and Covenants 49:15 we read, “And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man.” I believe that marriage is a sacred institution in which a man and woman can make promises to each other and to God. When able, they are given the opportunity to partner with God to bear and raise children. Parents are given the divine calling to love and teach their children in a way that no other people can. When accompanied by righteous living, the spirit can dwell in the home and strengthen the family as well as each member of the family. This is no doubt the best environment to learn about the principles of the gospel and how we can be more Christ-like.

How can we help the youth of the Church understand the sacredness of the family and the marriage covenant?

There is so much in the world today, that teaches false things about family and marriage. Doctrine and Covenants 93:40 says, “But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.” Parents have the responsibility to teach the correct principles related to marriage and family with the help of the spirit, so that children can learn why these are so sacred. Showing the youth that we hold these things sacred, by our actions and words is very important. Confusion begins when we do things that teach our children we teach one thing and do another. I think that teaching our youth about temple work and devoting time regularly to go to the temple, shows the youth that we value the eternal relationships of family and marriage above our own time and other things we may be interested in.

How can we develop greater harmony in our homes?

In Doctrine and Covenants 132 we read the following:

19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life … if ye abide in my covenant … it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.

I believe that if we make and keep sacred covenants in the temples of the Lord, we will be able to be with our families in the eternities. Moreover, I believe that we will be able to progress as a family and continue to grow spiritually as well as in number. I also believe that our attitudes are part of our soul and therefore will carry one with us after this life. In Doctrine and Covenants 130:2 we read, “And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.” If we do not work towards having harmony in our home now, we cannot expect to be able to live together in harmony after this life. One of the best ways to develop greater harmony is to pattern our lives after the Savior’s life. If we can learn to have a greater love for one another, and a deeper understanding of who each member is, our compassion and charity will grow. I believe that we can learn to love others more, when we willingly serve them. We have more compassion when we put the needs and desires of others ahead of our own. When our focus is on the happiness of those around us, there will be a greater harmony in our home.

What can parents do to encourage their sons and daughters to be good friends with one another? What can brothers and sisters do to nurture their friendship with one another?

“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him (1 John 2:10).” When I was growing up, the times I was closest to my siblings was when we had found things we could do and share together. I think that parents can help their children to be good friends by encouraging them to do activities they can enjoy together. This can be simply during family night activities, or in more time-consuming extra-curricular activities. Taking time for everyone to learn more about each other is also a good way to encourage friendship. One example I heard is on birthday or special days, the family can focus on that individual. They can do things like ask them all of their recent favorites or what they want to be when they grow up and so on. As brothers and sisters, we can nurture our friendships by practicing good communication skills, especially by listening to one another.

What can husbands and wives do to help each other be happy?

The most important relationship that we can have is the one with our spouse. Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Our energies should go first to making each other happy and then to others in our lives. Date night is a big help in the happiness and strength in a marriage. Taking the time to share interests, hopes and dreams can also help. We should be regularly thinking of how to show our love and then doing just that. The times when I see my friends the most unhappy, is when their spouse is critical and unsupportive of them. We should really try our best to see the good in our spouse and take unnecessary judgement our of our marriage.

What are you doing to help strengthen your family and make it successful?

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God (D&C 88:119)”. Some things that seem to help our family, are regular scripture study, prayer and family home evening. We find greater strength when we work or play together. Eating dinner together and taking the time to listen to the lives of one another, is also a big help in our family. Also, making it a priority to talk and get together with other relatives is a great thing for our family. We are no longer very close physically to most of our family, but we are working hard to keep in touch still.

What can families do to work through difficult times?

I think that one of the most important things to do during difficult times, is to strengthen our families spiritually. We should focus on prayer and scripture study, as well as make sure that we attend church meetings together, especially sacrament meetings. Learning together and making sure that we can still have the spirit to guide us, gives families a strength to get through any difficulties that may come.

What evidence have you seen that efforts such as family prayer, family scripture study, family councils, family meal times, and family home evening make a difference?

Family prayer is a consistent reminder that we are mindful of one another. I love to hear my husband pray for me in front of my children or when we pray as a couple. When we pray for specific things as a family, it has helped us to be more understanding of one another and more mindful of how we can serve others. Family scripture study has brought my family a lot closer together, especially when we take the time to discuss what we understand from what we read. Family councils have helped us to be a better organized family. They help us to talk about everyday issues within our family that need to be worked through. Family meal times has given us the chance to share the best and worst parts of our days outside the home. It is a place where we have been able to really listen to what we each face during the day and we can discuss how to deal with those situations that the world presents to us. Family home evening has really brought our family together. It is almost always crazy, because our kids are little, but it is special to us and really helps us to have fun together and enjoy learning from one another. All of these things together have brought my husband and I closer together than we ever were before.

I am so grateful for my family. I am thankful that I have been sealed to my sweet husband in the temple and that I have the opportunity to be with him and my beautiful children forever. I know that our families should be our greatest priority. I love my parents and my siblings and care for them deeply. I know that I can be with them after this life, if I do my part and live worthy of the blessings promised to me in the temple.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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