The Family: A Divine And Eternal Unit


A number of years ago I was informed that a long time client had suddenly died of a heart attack. He was age sixty-five. I had personally spoken with, or seen him, every month for many years. He too was a father of several children and at the time I have recently joined him in becoming a grandfather. Every month he would make it a point to ask about my kids and my grandchildren. Then I would ask him about his. And so it went, our monthly conversations, me taking his payment while talking about our kids. The day came when a message was left for me by his wife on my recorder. It is the first time I had ever heard her voice. I thought it strange that she had called instead of her husband. When I called her back she informed me that my friend had died. I was shocked as he looked to be in great health and by his wife’s account, he was! I was the insurance agent for many of my clients for over thirty years. I have spoken with many who visited me at my office, only to be informed later that month that the conversation turned out to be our last. I didn’t know this client intimately; we didn’t come from the same economic class, background, or even race! But we did share a love of family. It seems to be a universal love. It’s a bond shared that seems to overcome all barriers and boundaries. If there is one thing you can find in common with most anyone, it’s families. Most everyone you meet will carry a photo of “their” family in their purse or wallet and now on their cellphones. They are most willing to show it to you. They will go on and on and on about each person in the photo. We all suffer a bit from what they call “TMI”, or “too much information. Yes, it is the one common love of us all. Why is that?

It seems to be inherent in us all, this love of, and yearning for family. If someone doesn’t have a “functional” family, they will join one via some organization or gang or group. Even the most outcast of social groups will find willing members from those who want to part of a “family”. No one wants to be alone, and with good reason. Even from the beginning, the Lord declared, “It is not good that man should be alone”. (Gen. 2:18). The family is, of course, a model after our eternal family, the one we came from. As L. Tom Perry said, “Families lie at the center of our Heavenly Father’s plan.” (“The Importance of the Family, April 2003 GC). It is for this reason that Lucifer targets the family. If he can undermine the blessings that come from it, he can inflict terrible pain and suffering on mankind. The ramifications of the destruction of the family unit are found in all aspects of living, be it psychological, physical, economic, social, or spiritual. The destruction of the family, as defined by the prophets, is well underway. Space will not permit me to write of all the consequences that come with the crumbling of the family, but any reasonable person can see the devastating effect that is manifesting itself in the breakdown of the family unit. Suffice it to say, I believe in the words of our modern apostles when they wrote:

“We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).

Let us guard our families and do all we can to protect and teach that the “family” is the way of the Lord. Universal happiness is found therein. And who isn’t searching for more of that!

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