Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Proclamations - Cam

This post comes from my Uncle Cam. He is the oldest of 5 siblings who all experienced typhoons of childhoods and all turned out to be pretty wonderful people. He has a great sense of humor and a kind heart.

If you're interested in contributing my this series about the Family, please email me at

"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."

I have always loved these two sentences from "The Family- A Proclamation to the World". It reminds us what the Prophet Joseph Smith taught, "Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God" (HC 5:134­35)" We are not promised that even those who may always strive to make good choices will always be happy; for, as the Book of Mormon patriarch and prophet Lehi taught, there must needs be opposition in all things. Lehi and his son Nephi also taught us about the Tree of Life at the end of the strait and narrow path "whose fruit was desirable to make one happy". Even though we should strive to find joy in our journey throughout life, our ultimate goal and reward is the enduring happiness that comes with partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Life, which is the love of God, and living with him in the eternities.

As was already mentioned in a previous blog posting in this series, the family is the perfect laboratory in which to practice unto perfection the teachings and principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which can empower families to be eternal. In my experience, in the absence of any additional training or eduction, new mothers and fathers tend to parent their children like they were raised, for good or for not so good. Therefore it is important for each new family unit, each wife and husband, each new father and mother to consciously assess their own upbringing, decide which parenting practices from their family of origin they wish to consider using in their new family and then to mutually discuss as husband and wife the goals of the family and the planned methods to achieve those goals.

As children get older, they arrive at an age when it is desirable and even necessary for them to figuratively experiment with temporarily leaving the safety of the home nest that has been painstakingly created by the parents to venture into the world under the power of their own set of wings on increasingly lengthy voyages. Hopefully by this stage of development, parents have begun to transition to a less controlling parenting style and into a role of advisor and consultant. The teachings of the Lord on the righteous exercise of power and influence, as revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith and documented in D&C 121:39-46 apply not only to Priesthood leaders, but to parents as well.

39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.


As other 'Proclamation on the Family' series blog posters have already stated, one of the remarkable things which testifies to the truthfulness and validity of "The Family- A Proclamation to the World" is that in the intervening years since it was introduced in September 1995, we have been eye witnesses to the fulfilling of many, if not all, of the warnings contained there in. What seemed at the time like a nice-to-have, but not totally necessary, reminder of what seemed like common sense teachings has proven to be prophetic in foretelling the very serious assaults on the family we see today, less than 15 years later.

I think its also important to recall that the proclamation was first publicly shared during then President Hinckley's remarks entitled "Stand Strong Against the Wiles of the World" delivered during the world wide General Relief Society meeting on September 23, 1995. That means that the sisters of the Church were the first to hear this divinely inspired document. I think it is worth reminding ourselves of the words spoken by President Hinckley both before and after the initial public sharing of the proclamation.

His entire talk can be read here.

Immediately before reading The Proclamation on the Family, President Hinckley said the following:

"I have touched lightly on some of the serious problems which confront many of you sisters.

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 (emphasis added). 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. I now take the opportunity of reading to you this proclamation:"

Following the reading of the proclamation, President Hinckley concluded with this final counsel:

"We commend to all a careful, thoughtful, and prayerful reading of this proclamation. The strength of any nation is rooted within the walls of its homes. We urge our people everywhere to strengthen their families in conformity with these time-honored values.

May the Lord bless you, my beloved sisters. You are the guardians of the hearth. You are the bearers of the children. You are they who nurture them and establish within them the habits of their lives. No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God. May you be strengthened for the challenges of the day. May you be endowed with wisdom beyond your own in dealing with the problems you constantly face. May your prayers and your pleadings be answered with blessings upon your heads and upon the heads of your loved ones. We leave with you our love and our blessing, that your lives may be filled with peace and gladness. It can be so. Many of you can testify that it has been so. The Lord bless you now and through the years to come, I humbly pray in the name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."

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