Photo by David C. Moore
The family is not an accident of mortality. It existed as an organizational unit in the heavens before the world was formed; historically, it started on earth with Adam and Eve, as recorded in Genesis. Adam and Eve were married and sealed for time and all eternity by
the Lord, and as a result their family will exist eternally.
-Elder Robert D. Hales
God put us in families for a reason.
As a member of a family, one learns how to serve one another and thus become like God. We learn how to love fully and selflessly, how to seek pardon when we are wrong, how to forgive others who have wronged us, how to look past faults and love unconditionally. Our family members can be pillars of strength, filling our gaps with their gifts and encouraging us to be better with their good examples. They are minister to us day in and day out. They shape the people we are the the people we hope to become.
The family is essential the Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness. Parents have the opportunity to teach their families to love and serve one another. And when our family relationships are founded on these teachings of Jesus Christ, the family is the source of a fullness of joy.
Many things in this world bring pleasure, but only a precious few bring deep, lasting joy. (Elder Neal A. Maxwell discusses this difference in detail in his talk, "Brim With Joy.") I have a wonderful, happy, fulfilling life - but I don't feel complete until I am with the people that I love most in this world. My heart is whole and my joy is full when I am basking in the love of my family.
Heavenly Father feels the same way. He has told us that His work and His glory is to bring His children home to Him. (See Moses 1:39.) Why would the most powerful, omniscient being in the universe choose to focus all of His efforts on guiding His children to eternal life? Because God too feels a fullness of joy when He is surrounded by the love and righteousness of His children.
These are my thoughts on the family; Sister Julie B. Beck outlines everything much more clearly in her talk "Teaching the Doctrine of the Family." Please take the time to read it, for it will change your perspective on family forever.
This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before in the history of the world. If they don’t know it, they can’t defend it. They need to understand
temples and priesthood. If you don’t know that they are meant to be fathers and mothers, then they won’t know that they are meant to be fathers and mothers. Your effort will be wasted. -Sister Julie B. Beck
I have seen divinity in my family. They are constantly teaching me how to become more like Christ, and forgiving me when I fall short. They are full of love and laughter, sunshine and selflessness, teaching and testimony. They give me hope when everything else seems to fail. And when you look at this -
- can you see why they bring me a fullness of joy?
The beauty of Heavenly Father's plan is that each of us has an opportunity to have an eternal family. If we rely on the Lord, He will teach us how to create loving relationships with the families we already have and the families we may have in the future. God is just and will not deny any worthy person of their righteous dreams.
And my dream is to continue growing with this amazing group of people for time and all eternity.