The Family: A Proclamation to the World

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Tuly
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The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by Tuly »

I reread the talk by President Gordon B. Hinckley that introduced this very important proclamation. I remember being in attendance at our Stake Center listening to this talk. The name of his talk was
Stand Strong against the Wiles of the World - Ensign November 1995 - https://www.lds.org/ensign/1995/11/stan ... d?lang=eng
Since the proclamation stood out in my mind I forgot what else President Hinckley spoke about. I'm grateful for these thoughts he shared with us.
I look into the eyes of grandmothers and great-grandmothers whose years are many, who have weathered the storms that have beat upon them and who have drunk deeply from the waters of life, some of them brackish, some of them sweet. I am grateful for the presence of each one of you. I am grateful for the strength that you have and for your loyalty, your faith, your love. I am thankful for the resolution which you carry in your hearts to walk in faith, to keep the commandments, to do what is right at all times and in all circumstances.
I was not a grandmother at that time, but those words are important to me at this stage of my life. He addressed women in all stages of life. This year is the 20th anniversary of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Hence the talk by Sister Bonnie Oscarson - General Conference April 2015 - Defenders of the Family Proclamation

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2015/05/gene ... n?lang=eng
When President Gordon B. Hinckley first read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” 20 years ago this year, we were grateful for and valued the clarity, simplicity, and truth of this revelatory document. Little did we realize then how very desperately we would need these basic declarations in today’s world as the criteria by which we could judge each new wind of worldly dogma coming at us from the media, the Internet, scholars, TV and films, and even legislators. The proclamation on the family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world, and I testify that the principles set forth within this statement are as true today as they were when they were given to us by a prophet of God nearly 20 years ago.
Please study this proclamation often in your homes with your families. I have been trying to memorize it. Do hang the proclamation in a prominent place in your homes, I have seen it in many of your homes...thank you.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Tuly
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

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Commemorating the 20th anniversary of - a proclamation to the world. This article is from the Liahona August 2015 by Elder Bruce C. Hafen -
The Proclamation on the Family: Transcending the Cultural Confusion
https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/08/the ... _&lang=eng
- Side note there are some articles in the Liahona that we don't get in our Ensign.
“What are your greatest concerns?” a newspaper reporter asked President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) in June 1995, as he turned 85. He replied: “I am concerned about family life in the Church. We have wonderful people, but we have too many whose families are falling apart. … I think [this] is my most serious concern.”

Three months later President Hinckley publicly read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

It was no coincidence that this solemn declaration was issued precisely when the Lord’s prophet felt that, of all the subjects on his mind, unstable family life in the Church was his greatest concern. Later he added that the greatest challenge facing both America and the rest of world “is the problem of the family, brought on by misguided parents and resulting in misguided children.”
One tattered golden thread in the unraveling social tapestry reflects the heart of the problem: the children—bone of our bones, flesh of our flesh. Something true, even holy, about posterity—children and procreation and eternal bonds of affection—resonates deeply within the mystic chords of our collective memory.

The child-parent tie matters so much that God sent Elijah in 1836 to “turn the hearts” of the fathers and the children toward each other. If those hearts do not so turn, He said, “the whole earth [will] be smitten with a curse” and “utterly wasted” before Christ returns (D&C 110:15; Joseph Smith—History 1:39; see also Malachi 4:6). In today’s world, those hearts do appear to be turning—but away from, rather than toward, each other.

Are we already living in the time of the curse? Perhaps. Today’s children (and therefore society—the earth) are indeed being “wasted” (devalued, made useless, rendered desolate) by each issue discussed here.

The doctrine is clear—and is substantiated by years of research. We don’t need to return to the family laws of yesteryear, but if we could just care more about our children and their future, people would marry before becoming parents. They would sacrifice more, much more, to stay married. Children would be raised, whenever possible, by their biological parents. Ideally, there would be no elective abortions or unwed births. Of course, some exceptions are needed—some divorces are justified, and adoption is often heaven-sent. Yet in principle, the 1995 proclamation on the family says it perfectly: “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”

But we are suffering from collective amnesia. We are not hearing the mystic chords of eternal, or even recent, memory. The enemy of our happiness wants to convince us that the sacred, long-term bonds of family affection are confining, when in fact no relationships are more liberating and fulfilling.

Building a good marriage is not easy. It is not supposed to be easy. But when a confused culture confuses us about what marriage means, we may give up on each other and ourselves much too soon. Yet the gospel’s eternal perspective, as taught in the scriptures and the temple, can help us transcend the modern marital chaos until our marriages are the most satisfying, sanctifying—even if also the most demanding—experiences of our lives.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

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President Howard W. Hunter, in his only General Conference as president of the Church (October 1994):
The Church has the responsibility—and the authority—to preserve and protect the family as the foundation of society. The pattern for family life, instituted from before the foundation of the world, provides for children to be born to and nurtured by a father and mother who are husband and wife, lawfully married. Parenthood is a sacred obligation and privilege, with children welcomed as a “heritage of the Lord” (Ps. 127:3).

A worried society now begins to see that the disintegration of the family brings upon the world the calamities foretold by the prophets. The world’s councils and deliberations will succeed only when they define the family as the Lord has revealed it to be. “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps. 127:1).
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Tuly
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

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I'm posting this news on this thread because the doctrine behind this decision by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve is based on this proclamation. I really see the wisdom behind this decision. And I pray you will all understand how this protects the child, who are always the victims in some of their parents decisions. Social media again is distorting the purpose of this decision.

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=37248288&nid=14 ... d=topstory

A new section in Handbook 1, 16.13 has been added as follows:

Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing.

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows:

A mission president or a stake president may request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for a child of a parent who has lived or is living in a same-gender relationship when he is satisfied by personal interviews that both of the following requirements are met:
The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.
The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
micah
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by micah »

How does this policy protect children? I've been hearing this argument a lot, and I just cannot understand how withholding a saving ordinance protects a child.
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John
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by John »

The statement of policy does actually protect the affected children by keeping them from the center of a conflict between their household and the teachings of the church. And let it be said, this dreadful dilemma was not created by the church. Its stand on homosexuality predates that of the Supreme Court's ruling by, oh, a couple of millennia. And so this statement of policy protects not just the child, but the church and indeed the household who is raising the child. Conflict is inevitable if, at home, a child is taught that God endorses the relationship of his "parents", and at church he is taught that same-gender unions are sinful, which they irrefutably are. And the church is not forever withholding a saving ordinance. It is patiently waiting until the person can clearly choose the Lord's way as an adult. This same pattern is followed with other people as well.

And the policy is not a matter of withholding ordinances, but of the timing of them.
Last edited by John on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

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This Saturday, our dear friend, Dylan, will be baptized long after he wanted to be, because it was not until now that his biological father would give his permission. The church's policy disallowed him from being baptized even though his mother had given her approval. The timing of his baptism was delayed until such time as all conflicts were resolved. And now we all rejoice that he will have the saving ordinance performed at the Lord's time.
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by micah »

That is true that often things get in the way of people being baptized, especially for consent. But this is not a consent issue. This policy denies minors the gift of church membership (baptism, priesthood, gift of the holy ghost) because of choices their parents make.

And I get it that we are now just treating gay parents like other apostate groups like polygamist. I still don't see why protecting children from conflict is more important than saving ordinances.

These are the type of children this policy will affect:

Two people married, had children, one later decides he is gay. They get divorced, and the gay parent marries another man. The parents have joint custody. All parents given consent for their 8 year old to be baptized, but the church denies them baptism because of this policy.

Missionaries find a 17 year old boy who lives with his gay parents. He read the Book of Mormon and wants to be baptized. He believes. He even believes gay marriage is wrong. But he cannot be baptized because of this policy. He turns 18, but he doesn't have the finances to move from home, so he stays there. He still cannot be baptized, because he is living at home. If his parents were murderers, satanists, members of the KKK, atheists, Ex-mormons excommunicated for apostacy, feminists--these are all ok. But since his parents have the same type of genitalia, it's a no go.

I believe the real issue is the church wants to make dang sure that gay people who are married or cohabitating cannot have the facade of a normal church experience. They can come to church, if they must, but we will not allow them to raise a church family in the normal way. Their decisions are so evil that even their children will be punished. The church does not want families at church headed by gay parents. They can come, but they will be outcasts and children will not be able to participate. I know that most people in this forum agree with this sentiment. I do not.
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by Edward »

As a teacher I can see EXACTLY how this policy protects the child. What is does is keep the child out of the middle, which they otherwise would inevitably be. If a child was (and this circumstance is more unusual than we realize) in a situation where they had same-sex parents and still wanted to be a member of the church, then the two biggest influences in their lives, their family and their religion, would be diametrically opposed. This creates conflict - conflict of ideals, conflict of example, conflict of beliefs, and invariably, conflict in the home. At a young age this is too much for them to handle; it will certainly lead to emotional and psychological confusion as the child matures. Not only that, asking the children to wait ensures that the individual is not tainted in favor of same-sex marriage, which would be in opposition to the Church's policy and, more importantly, Heavenly Father's will.

Also, this is not "withholding a saving ordinance from a child." That is manifestly ridiculous. Nobody should ever be asked to participate in an ordinance until they are willing to live it fully, lest they fall under condemnation for breaking covenants they were unready to make. To live in a home under same-sex parents and still completely support the Church and its doctrines AS A CHILD? That is asking too much, and as a teacher and a child-rights advocate, I find it appalling that anybody would ask so much of a child; the stress it would cause, and the eternal consequences it might have, are unconscionable. Let the child wait a few years until they are equipped with the maturity and self-sufficiency needed to handle such a conflict of interests with strength and fortitude. Don't dare ask it of a little child. Don't dare call it a punishment. To ask a child to live in two opposing world, between God and man - that is an awful thing to do. Even at 17, they are still children. How selfish of us to impose so much on a little one just because of our personal ideologies.

Frankly, the bigger matter is far more simple: The Lord has revealed His will on this matter through his anointed servants. Even if we don't understand the doctrine (which I certainly do), will we follow it anyway? Or are we so embarrassed because of how the world views us that, having tasted of the fruit, we then turn away, and are lost to the great and spacious building? If we still care about how the world views us, then we have a lot of maturing to do. Let us follow and support the Church and its leaders, for who cares what the world says? Not the truly faithful.

Protect these children from the tremendous pressures and stresses that would be caused if they lived under such opposing ideologies. We are in no way "keeping children from saving ordinances." We are protecting them from the dire possibilities that could ensue by assuming the covenants thereof too soon. And if that is too much doctrine to wrap your head around, then keep it simple - follow the prophet. He knows the way.
Last edited by Edward on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

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Also, same-sex couples CANNOT have a normal church experience any more than alcoholics, drug users, apostates, or any other fringe group, because they are LIVING AGAINST THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. That is not the church's fault. It is their's for living contrary to what God commands. All the blessings of the Church would be theirs IF they would repent and follow the Prophet. Same-sex marriage will NEVER be possible in the Lord's Church. This matter is simply sifting the wheat from the tares. Which are we?
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by Edward »

Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
Now is the time to show.
We ask it fearlessly:
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
We wage no common war,
Cope with no common foe.
The enemy's awake;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

We serve the living God,
And want his foes to know
That, if but few, we're great;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
We're going on to win;
No fear must blanch the brow.
The Lord of Hosts is ours;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

The stone cut without hands
To fill the earth must grow.
Who'll help to roll it on?
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
Our ensign to the world
Is floating proudly now.
No coward bears our flag;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

The pow'rs of earth and hell
In rage direct the blow
That's aimed to crush the work;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
Truth, life, and liberty,
Freedom from death and woe,
Are stakes we're fighting for;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
Now is the time to show.
We ask it fearlessly:
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us"
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by Ian »

this is not a statement of policy. that handbook has not been published, and it is prepared for use only by stake presidencies and bishoprics. the church has sued people for publishing that handbook on the internet.

that being said, the alleged revisions seem perfectly fine. i don’t see any new doctrine here.
so let it be written... so let it be done.
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by Angela »

So, I genuinely have a question. Is giving a baby a name and a blessing a saving ordinance? I was under the impression that it wasn't.

I've seen less active fathers not stand in the circle of men blessing the baby, usually a grandfather or home teacher or bishop will give the blessing, that I've seen. So, I understand why a parent struggling with same sex attraction would not be blessing a baby, but couldn't the bishop or other temple worthy male bless the baby?
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by Ian »

"name and blessing" isn't a saving ordinance.
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Re: The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Post by Bryn »

Furthermore, a name and a blessing is typically performed for children who parents are members of the church.

“Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name” D&C 20:70.

If a couple is considered apostate, or simply not a member, then their children do not receive this ordinance.

I am VERY sorry (in the true sense, not the condescending sense) if anyone thinks the church and it's leaders are trying to ostracize gay couples, gay sympathizers, or their children. I am likewise sorry if some in our family (not just Micah) feel others here have a similar desire to treat homosexuals callously. I am very confident that neither this family or the church bears any malice or ill will to people because of their orientation.

However, it cannot be denied that there are consequences to our decisions, and what is tragic about this is our children who are directly affected by them. We sometime lose track of where personal accountability comes into play. I often have to do better with this. Yes, the children will be affected by their parents decisions, and we can try to blame something; but ultimately, it is the parent who are responsible. I wish there were a way to express this without seeming calloused, but there is simply no way around it.

There indeed are foreseeable challenges that may arise, as Micah has noted. However, we can make the same kind of argument if the church did not make this policy (assuming it is indeed church policy).

I wish I could post more, or that my writing were clearer and more carefully thought out, but I feel this is an important topic, hence my hurried post. Further, I know that there are some who might find this to be somewhat of a crisis (directly or indirectly). I am very confident that the leaders of the church thought a great deal about this and that they have a lot of concern for families of all kinds. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I know this to be true. You can take that for whatever it is worth, since I know the phrase can seems rather watered down; however, I do reserve it for when I mean it. You will pardon my being uncommonly open
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