Today, I'm happy to introduce you to a very special guest...My Mother!
Susan is known for getting directly to the heart of the matter.
And I think that she does so here.
Go for it, Mom!
I have been most interested in the title of this piece of doctrine and have been since it was given. But I am always more surprised that people just refer to it as The Family Proclamation. In truth, the title is:
A Proclamation to the World
I am sure it doesn’t matter to anyone else but to me, there’s a fine difference. My name is Susan, do not call me Sue!) The doctrine is The FAMILY. And that’s what it deals with. But it is a proclamation that was and is sent to THE WORLD. It occurred to me that just being THE FAMILY sets it forth as a definitive title…with it then being sent out as a proclamation to the world. It’s the world that needs to figure out what the family is all about since it’s the world that has lost track of what that truth is.
And the next thing I always notice is that “The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” followed the title immediately and does not come at the bottom of the document as we usually hear read in pulpits around the LDS communities. As Latter-day Saints, this ought to beat loudly in our hearts. These are the men we sustain as Prophets, Seers and Revelators. These are the inspired men who we ought to give ear to, heeding their counsels. These aren’t just men who are educated by men in the societal aspect of home and family living. These are Men of God, inspired men who have a whole other level of education. And they are anxious to share this with us. We need to be just as anxious to set aside our own views and listen and obey.
The Proclamation to the World was given in 1995, during the General Relief Society Conference. I remember sitting there, listening to the Prophet talk to women! Not to the brethren in their Priesthood Session and thinking: “Wow!” This has import. This has permanence. This is meant to wake me up.” And later on I wondered, why first to the women? Why not to the brethren? I never saw it as a pacifier to women so the world would think, “Oh at last! The Mormons are finally seeing women as important.” We always were important. To our leaders and to the Lord! But there’s something reminiscent of the old saying that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Perhaps it was a wake up call to the women that it’s time to rock that cradle again, to teach and inspire those innocent babes who are entrusted to our care, so that they then will grow and rule the world by rocking more cradles.
Listen to the preamble President Gordon B. Hinckley gave before setting forth The Family: “With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn. In furtherance of this we of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles now issue a proclamation to the Church and to the world as a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history.”
Again, Wow! Could it be any plainer? Women! Women of the World Wake! Women of the CHURCH…wake up! You are being deceived by the world. All the things the world is telling you that you deserve, that you need to be validated, is a bunch of bunk! It’s a stain! Listen up ladies…We will Warn and Forewarn You! Now the use of those two words intrigued me as I was writing this piece. I called and chatted with a friend who moved recently and I asked Randy what he thought about those two words. And his explanation made sense. When we are warned we are being told about risky things, dangerous things that are happening now. But in being forewarned we are being shown what else will occur. President Hinckley is saying the world you are living in now is filled deception/sophistry in case you didn’t notice. And because of this, as the living prophet I am going to forewarn you….get your act together and strengthen your family because the calamities that await you are right at your door. Sooner than you can imagine. Be smart! Listen up! Change! Turn back to the eternal doctrines that have existed since before the world was.
Yes, The Family went out to every single person, male and female, on the face of the earth. And yet it was another reminder of what previous prophets have said. I grew up with President David O. McKay’s advice to families, more importantly was his advice to couples. I remember President Spencer W. Kimball telling moms to stay in the home. The years speed by and the counsels keep being given. Personally, I think those previous words were stronger. Definitively stated. No excuses. And what happened? Anger. Rejection. Sophia, who attended that conference in
with her friends, heard President Kimball tell the women to remain in the homes. Afterwards, they went out to eat (of course they did….what else do we do after meetings) and she reported how upset and mad these women were. How dare the prophet tell them to stay home. They had jobs that fulfilled them! They weren’t going to quit working! How sad Sophia was that night. And how much sadder the world became. Last month in Sunday School, we talked about how pride is reflected in how people don’t think God can tell them how to live their lives (So what’s the point in prayer?) Utah
And now look what the state of the family is today, 15 years after this proclamation went out to the world. Did anyone listen? Very few! Oh sure, this document gets framed and hung on walls. And then what? Is it ever read again or is it just another piece of LDS artwork, decopaged or mirrored or phrases put in vinyl on tile.
Look at families today. Divorce isn’t the only thing that is rampant. Children are being raised by who knows what or whom? If raised at all. And I know the proper word useage here should be REARED. But very few children in the world are reared today. They are often left to their own devices. There is little discipline in the homes and consequently the ability for anyone to educate these children is lessened.
The cruelty to children is horrific if it hits the news media. And what about the abuse that occurs between spouses. And don’t think women are the only ones who are abused. Women can be physically cruel as well. There are women who overstep and think it’s their place to preside, taking the right and responsibility from the fathers, women who belittle their husbands to their friends and in front of the children.
And then there’s the issue of the sanctity of procreation. Decades ago I jumped at the chance to be a charter member of our county’s first Right to Life organization. I value life. I abhor abortion. I have very strong views on this topic. I typed the monthly newsletter and this all before the advent of home computers. This was in the day when copy/paste meant exactly that. We sat in classes that taught us about abortions and how it got legislated. We battled upstream the whole way. But we tried to education anyone who would listen.
In the end, this proclamation begs the world’s people and the world’s government to promote the doctrines listed within, to strengthen the family and return it to it’s righteous and fundamental state in society.
Marriages are ordained of God, and are to be between a man and woman. Couples are to be chaste before marriage and faithful only to each other after. Together the man and the woman work to raise a righteous generation. A strong generation. And it will be the strong and the righteous who withstand the attacks of the adversary, of the world.
It’s time to take THE FAMILY: A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD off the walls and start reading it. Start applying it daily, hourly. Use it as you did your college textbooks. Outline it. Red pencil the points you need to work on. Highlight the warning areas that apply to you in your family, in your relationships. Research what the scriptures have said, what previous prophets, seers, and revelators have said and then mark it in the margins as a reminder.
Declare your support of this doctrine from the rooftops or your blogs if you must but first proclaim and live it in your homes, with your spouses, with your children. The rooftops don’t care. The blogs don’t either. But you and your family should. Stand as another witness to these truths. Do not waiver. But in all things be kind and gentle. Not everyone stands on your lofty mountaintop yet. Don’t allow your militant stance to cause another to stumble. Ever gently lead them to a greater understanding of what truth lies within these words.
Thank you, Mom!
Thank you, Mom!
Don't forget to check out Chocolate today too!
And here are the party favors for this final week of our celebration!
"Family: for time & eternity" wooden sign
by Love Letters
Personalized FAMILY NIGHT Magnet Set
by Primary Bird
Family Home Evening Jar - PDF
"Love Is Spoken Here" Print
by Sugar Fresh
Young Women's Virtue Charm Bracelet
2010 Family Home Evening Manual - PDF
"I Know My Savior Lives"
by Becca Stoker of Just Beccuz
To win one of these lovely party favors, simply comment or link-up all this week.
And as always, please remember to check out Chocolate On My Cranium
and be sure to
THANK MONTSERRAT for bringing us all together for this wonderful celebration!