This year's Family Proclamation Celebration is already well underway. Today WBMW is joining in the annual event by contributing as a guest blogger on one of my favorite Mormon blogs, Middle-Aged Mormon Man.  I don't even know who he is, but as risky as that seems, the link to his blog is on on my sidebar. So La-di-da! And just so you know, this is big. MMM is the first male host (If he really is a man?) for this event and it's also the first time that I've done a guest post for a Mormon male, comedic blogger! Crazy, I know.

I'll do just about anything to support the family, as ordained by God. How thankful we are for this inspired and timely document, The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Here's an excerpt from my guest post:

Curiosity got the cat when I realized that the new sitcom; The New Normal -- the one that a Utah television studio has decided not to air -- was premiering, following a TV show that I do watch. I had only to view the first ten minutes to understand why that decision was made. That was more than enough. It’s really bad. A show like that is further evidence, not that we need more, of why the Proclamation is necessary, for our times. And most important, why each of us must stand ready to defend the positions that the Church does take, publicly, on moral issues that affect the family.

Gordon B. Hinckley, then current President and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) gave this introduction prior to the Proclamation’s first reading, on September 23, 1995:

“With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn. In furtherance of this we of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles now issue a proclamation to the Church and to the world as a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history.”

That was 17 years ago. Thank heaven, literally, for the inspired foresight given to these prophets of God, to unabashedly teach the bold, eternal doctrine of the family, to not only the membership of the LDS Church, but to the world -- and why.

“The family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

Now, head on over to Middle-Aged Mormon Man to read the entire post, 'Nothing Normal About the New Normal' -- along with many other excellent contributions to Celebrate the Family Proclamation!

And, If you happen to miss my last year's contribution, originally posted on Chocolate on My Cranium, here you go:

The Rights and Entitlement of Children

In being invited to participate in this wonderful event to celebrate The Family:  A Proclamation to the World – and given the ability to choose my topic from a breakdown of the proclamation, for me, this was a no brainer.  From the very day when I sat in that historic general Relief Society meeting, (broadcast) and heard President Gordon B. Hinckley first present and read that inspired document to the women of the Mormon Church, these are the specific words that resonated in the heart of this Well-Behaved Mormon Woman -- and continue to do so every time I read it:

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. 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.”

As a child of divorce, and now an adult, coming to understand the eternal doctrine that I had a literal birthright to have both a mother and a father, in my life, was a profound confirmation of a truth that gripped my soul at its very core!  And not just for me, but every child, ever born on this planet -- is entitled to such an arrangement.

The Family is ordained of God, through the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.  Period.   The definition of a family is a man and woman united by marital covenant, who together create children, and live as a unit.  Granted, not every marriage is able to produce children naturally, but nonetheless this is the pattern of the family, as ordained by God.   This is the only familial unit that has the potential to be eternal and experience the blessings of living the quality of life that our Heavenly Father lives.  When we learn that our Father in Heaven has two goals for His children, which are to 1) bring to pass our immortality, and 2) ultimately bestow upon us Eternal Life -- we must accept that in order for this to come to pass, we must choose to live our lives in accordance to His authorized way.   Jesus Christ has assured our immortality -- and has made it possible for us US to claim Eternal Life!  

In 2003, Elder M. Russell Ballard addressed an audience at BYU Education Week, in a talk entitled The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood, and had this to say about the family...

“The family is not just the basic unit of society; it is the basic unit of eternity.  We lived as Heavenly Father’s spirit sons and daughters before this mortal existence.  In that grand premortal family council, our Heavenly Father’s plan for the eternal happiness and peace of His children was presented.  We understood that we would come to this earth to live as families, and through the sealing authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood we could live through out the rest of eternity as families.”

Lately we are hearing much about the negatives of entitlement, and how it is the plague of these times -- in our children.  Books are being written to help teach parents how to not raise entitled children.   It's currently a hot topic on many talk shows.  That's all well and good, when it comes to worldly possessions and rights.  However, our children need to be taught that there are positive entitlements that they should not only demand, but be prepared to claim -- if not for themselves,  for their posterity.   And this is exactly what I have done in my own life...   

When I was sealed to my husband over 33 years ago, I committed to give my children the gift of an eternal family.  Little did I know then, but this would become the challenge of my  life -- and ultimately the thing that I am most proud.  I pretty much married the perfect guy in every way,  but even with all of that going for us, I found marriage to be really hard work!  Particularly the beginning years -- these were challenging, and continued to be so until we arrived on the other side of raising teenagers!  Now, we are enjoying our grandchildren, and reaping the benefits of struggling through the challenging times of raising an active family.  I can honestly say that life is really really good -- and filled with a lot of joy!  

Children do not have advocates.  They are the recipients of the choices that adults make -- and far too often these choices are based in selfishness.   I can't help but believe, that much of societies current problems with entitlement, began with the previous generation, and so on…  The majority of adults seem to feel an entitlement to be happy.  If they are not happy, for instance, in a current marriage, then they have a right to divorce -- and find happiness elsewhere.  Some believe that they have a right to love whomever they choose, regardless of gender.  But more important than even that, is their eagerness and willingness to promote a distorted pattern of a family, by bringing children into these relationships --  where either father or mother is dismissed altogether.  Proponents for same-sex marriage would have society believe that children brought into these homosexual relationships have equal chance for becoming socially well adjusted adults, as those raised in the traditional family.   Even if that were so, which it is not, building a family in opposition to Heavenly Father's Plan will not bring about eternal happiness -- which is the purpose of life.

How blessed are those children who have loving parents, a father and a mother, to nurture and love them -- who commit to complete fidelity.  Yes, I realize that this sounds like a fairytale, and that the majority of society believe it to be just that.  But that is exactly what our Heavenly Father created His Plan to accomplish -- and ultimately will accomplish, through the Atonement!  

Kathryn Skaggs

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