Do you look at the deterioration of the family and the values we hold dear and wonder what in the world is to be done? Does the battle look too big and the enemy too overwhelmingly powerful? And do you wonder what you, just one little soul, could possibly do that would make a difference? If so, you’re not alone. But the answer remains the same as it has always been. We must never give up or give in! Our contribution, however small it may be, matters. This is a battle we are expected to fight to the end of our days, no matter how daunting. And we can do it because the Lord and his angels will be by our side. You see, it’s not just our battle, it is their battle, as it has been since the beginning of time. It’s pretty exciting and fortifying when you think about who’s side we’re on.
The Lord has endless trust in our abilities to do more than we think we can do in fighting for revealed truths regarding marriage and the family. Through prophets, seers, and revelators He clearly stated in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, what defines and constitutes marriage and the family and what we must stand for. Then comes the call to action in the last paragraph:
“We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”
We Don’t Have to Wonder
The hard part has been done. Some people don’t know what they stand for and are influenced by popular opinions. They bend with the wind, thinking sophisticated society knows more than God knows. How silly is that?! So, like we said, the hard part is done. We absolutely know where we stand. Faithful members of the Church stand with the living prophets and the word of God. Period.
There is no need to wonder about what the definition of marriage is and if that definition should be altered by government rule. It’s plain and clear in this latest newsroom release, March 26, 2013, from the Church regarding the definition of marriage:
“In response to media requests, the following statement was issued today by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
Today the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments regarding the definition of marriage in this country.
We firmly support the divinely appointed definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman because it is the single most important institution for strengthening children, families, and society.
We hope the court will agree, and we look forward to the decision on this important matter.”
Fresh Courage Take
Now we need to decide what our part is in standing for the family. Take a deep breath. This will take a little doing, but no more than you can handle, even if you’re up to your eyeballs already. Remembering that this is all about protecting your family from the destructive influences of Satan makes it easier and more compelling to engage in the battle. Even though we know the ultimate ending and who will win the battle, this is our opportunity to show the Lord that he can count on us, whatever the odds may be, or however sure of the outcome we are. This is our chance to show our devotion to the Lord, enough to fight for His principles to our dying day.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland put it this way: “The future of this world has long been declared; the final outcome between good and evil is already known. There is absolutely no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard. The only really strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the field trying to decide which team’s jersey we want to wear!” (BYU devotional, 1983)
If your imaginary team jersey says LDS, then you’re on your way. Here are 5 things you can do right off the bat.
5 Things to Get You Started Standing for the Family
1. Pray to know what you can do. A mother of four young daughters wrote, “This past week as the question of same sex marriage has exploded on the national stage I have once again watched it unfold, wondering what I could possibly do. My desire to be involved in the fight has reached a fever pitch and I have prayed almost desperately to know how I could help.” She then shared how she had searched for like-minded organizations where she might serve, but couldn’t make a decision. She told how she continued to pray, and how the Lord, in a most unusual way, connected her with the president of Family Watch International, Sharon Slater. When asked if she would like to help their effort to educate UN delegates on critical family issues that will affect all families, she replied “Yes! Yes I would!!” She has jumped in full force and is doing what she can to assist in this important work of protecting marriage and the family.
Your desires and answers to your prayers may take you in a different direction. The point here is, we need to pray for guidance to know where and how we can assist in this important cause of furthering the principles in the Family Proclamation. The ways will open up as we pray and search for our path. That path may include donating funds or time to help dedicated pro-family organizations do what needs to be done.
We are currently helping Family Watch International in their efforts to protect the family. If you would like to know more and find out how you can help please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Study the issues that affect the family. We don’t need to be sucked into the popular beliefs of the day. We must search out the issues and become knowledgeable. We are reminded of the Lord’s counsel to Oliver Cowdery in D&C 8:8: “. . .you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right . . .” This counsel seems to apply to this situation as well.
We have been grateful for the many informative articles on Meridian Magazine that help readers understand what’s happening on family issues. Also, Family Watch International has newsletters that show the research and ways to help. Here’s their latest newsletter; it’s worth reading to the very end.
3. Let your voice be heard. When discussions about the sanctity of the family arise, join in with a gentle, yet solid, voice that lets people know where you stand on marriage and family values. Too many of us express our disgust and sorrow at what’s happening, but fail to speak out.
Our family, friends, and neighbors need to know where we stand. Help them understand why you believe as you believe. Come up with some talking points that reflect your beliefs so when the moment arrives you’ll be ready.
That moment may come when you’re standing in line at a grocery store, at a school PTA meeting, or at a party. Be ready. You can also write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, or create a blog where you share your thoughts. You can post your blog link on your Facebook or Twitter. When you add a new thought, let people know through these sites or emails. Be ready for opposition. When anyone stands for the right they will get a few kicks in the shins. If that happens, just know you’re on the right track. You will also be surprised at how many people feel the same as you and are glad someone was able to articulate how they feel. If you read what someone else writes that you agree with, let them know. Encouraging words help us all when we’re trying to stand strong.
4. Be an example to your family. Keeping your own marriage and family strong is your most important duty in the work of defending the family. If your children grow up in a home with parents who love each other and exemplify this love to their children, they will know what a happy marriage is like and will want it for themselves. If they feel loved and valued by their parents they will know how to give that same security to their own children. Even though our homes are not perfect and some relationship problems exist, we can be comforted by knowing that we are working at it, and trying our best. If you’re a single parent, let your children know that you value marriage. Teach them what you’ve learned about the sanctity of marriage. Give them hope.
Elder Boyd K. Packer said, “Live in such a way that the adversary cannot steal into our houses.” (Gen. Conf. April 6, 2013) As our examples bless our families we will also be showing our community that traditional marriage works, that fidelity is alive and well, that families with a loving mother and father provide the best way for “strengthening children, families, and society.”
5. Teach your children what you believe. Use clarity and examples as you teach them the truth about controversial issues regarding marriage and family. They may ask you questions, so be ready. Or you may need to be the one to start the conversation. It will not happen once and be over. These conversations need to happen regularly. One session won’t do.
Elder David A. Bednar’s talk in the latest General Conference, April 6, 2013 is the perfect message to help with this kind of discussion. He spoke with absolute clarity on the subject of chastity and its proper use, leaving no stone unturned. We suggest you refer to it as you discuss the current issues regarding sexual choices and marriage. Also, you may want to read them the statement from the Church regarding the definition of marriage.
Let us all press on
We must be actively engaged in our efforts, as the Family Proclamation states, “to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”
We close with the inspiring words from one of our favorite hymns, “Let Us All Press On”, the second verse and chorus.
[For more on strengthening the family visit Gary and Joy Lundberg’s website ]