Monday, November 15, 2010

Teaching the Doctrine of the Family

I read "Teaching the Doctrine of the Family" by Julie Beck last night.  Wow.  She hit the nail right on the head.  Wow again.

She started off the talk mentioning how she'd asked young people why their education is so important.  She got many replies.  Anything from it's "the key to success" to a way "to meet other great . . . youth."  The answer that was strongly lacking was that of, "So I will someday be a better family leader."  She goes on:
Family is rarely on their minds.  Their responses are generally about self, and of course we know this is the time of life they're in.  They're living in a very self-interested time of life, but they aren't thinking about family.
Julie Beck points out that the youth are surrounded by "evidence. . . that the family is not important."  "They don't see forming families as a faith-based work."  She says "They are being desensitized about the need to form families." The youth are bombarded with messages of "You are the one who will get yourself ahead.  It's because of your skills and intelligence that you will be successful."  It's not about God and family, it's about you.  We need to make sure they know it really is about God and family.

This all reminds me of when I was considering going to graduate school.  I was counseled in filling out my applications:  "Don't write how you think this program will help you be a better mother (or father) because that won't help you get in."  But wasn't that really what my end goal should have been --  my future family?  I wasn't doing this to further my career (what career? I really didn't want one anyway -- I didn't want to get set on one that I'd have to eventually give up).

Family.  The core of LDS theology (summarizing Julie Beck):  If we believe that the glory of God is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39), meaning being connected eternally as families through the priesthood ordinances found in temples of Christ's restored church, then family has to be our main focus so we can fulfill the glory of God and not "utterly waste" the creation of the earth (D&C 2: 1-3).

Julie Beck explains further:
The Creation of the earth was the creation of an earth where a family could live.  It was a creation of a man and a woman who were the two essential halves of a family.  It was not about a creation of a man and a woman who happened to have a family.  It was intentional all along that Adam and Eve form an eternal family. . . .  That was the plan of happiness.

The Fall provided a way for the family to grow. . . in numbers and grow in experience. . . . The Atonement allows for the family to be sealed together eternally. . . .  The plan of happiness and the plan of salvation was a plan created for families.  I don't think very many of the rising generation understand that the main pillars of our theology are centered in the family.
You know how the question, "What Would Jesus Do?" had it's little fad several years ago?  I mean it's a good thing to ask yourself, but it did have a popular time there.  Similarly, over the last year or so when trying to answer a question, I've also considered, "What does this do to the family?" or "How does this affect the family." 

By applying that question, you can see why the LDS Church answers the way it does concerning gay marriage, immigration, or other topics.  If the issue doesn't promote families, you can bet the LDS Church will not be in favor of it.

Anyway, awesome article.  Thanks for sending it along, Bridget!

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