August 4, 2009, Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President, addressed LDS seminary and institute of religion teachers on Teaching the Doctrine of the Family.
As parents, church leaders and teachers we are called upon to teach this most important and sacred doctrine to our families and children. As Sister Beck states, "This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before. If they don’t know it, they can’t defend it."
Sister Beck quotes President Kimball who said:
“Many of the social restraints which in the past have helped to reinforce and to shore up the family are dissolving and disappearing. The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us. …
“… There are those who would define the family in such a nontraditional way that they would define it out of existence. …
“We of all people, brothers and sisters, should not be taken in by the specious arguments that the family unit is somehow tied to a particular phase of development a moral society is going through. We are free to resist those moves which downplay the significance of the family and which play up the significance of selfish individualism. We know the family to be eternal.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Families Can Be Eternal,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 4.)
It talking about the Theology of the Family, Sister Beck tells us:
"In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a theology of the family that is based on the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement. The Creation of the earth provided a place where families could live. God created a man and a woman who were the two essential halves of a family. It was part of Heavenly Father’s plan that Adam and Eve be sealed and form an eternal family.
"The Fall provided a way for the family to grow. Adam and Eve were family leaders who chose to have a mortal experience. The Fall made it possible for them to have sons and daughters.
"The Atonement allows for the family to be sealed together eternally. It allows for families to have eternal growth and perfection. The plan of happiness, also called the plan of salvation, was a plan created for families. The rising generation need to understand that the main pillars of our theology are centered in the family.
"When we speak of qualifying for the blessings of eternal life, we mean qualifying for the blessings of eternal families. This was Christ’s doctrine, and it was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 2:1–3:
“Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
“And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
“If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.”
"This scripture is talking about temple blessings—ordinances and covenants without which “the whole earth [is] utterly wasted.”
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was written to reinforce that the family is central to the Creator’s plan. 1 Without the family, there is no plan; there is no reason for mortal life."
"The key elements of the doctrine of the family are found in the family proclamation. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said that the proclamation was “a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices” that this Church has always had."
Families - Index
Here are some examples of young LDS Defenders of Marriage and Family:
"We also applaud the Ruth Institute for involving college-age students in an idea that is important when our culture is promoting something so different. The Ruth Institute says: "We envision a renewed culture where the majority of marriages are stable."
Mariah is Mormon and her video, of the ones I watched, was my favorite and was creative in style but what she shares about her ideal of what "real" love is speaks volumes for someone so young.
Levi and Shanna Mele, students living in Evanston, IL are getting some media attention for doing what comes somewhat natural for many LDS young adults do, be married and have children....while going to college. The Daily Northwestern (Northwestern University's news site)ran this news video:
"Daily Northwestern's profile of "father figure" Mele: It's pretty rare for a college wrestler to be married and a father. Northwestern University's 133-pounder Levi Mele has a wife Shauna-Lee and 4-month-old son Wyatt, who arrived on the first day of classes." In a profile by Sarah Kuta for the Daily Northwestern student paper, the 22-year-old Mele talks about how he balances his Wildcat mat career, academics and his family life." (by Mark Palmer, College Wrestling Examiner)
A few months later, the Daily Northwestern, ran another article on the Mele Family: NU wrestler balances parenthood, sport
About the same time a staff reporter, Kara Spak, for the Chicago Sun Times saw the video and did an interview with the Meles for her own article:
Married on campus: ‘Life is so much more stable’
Spak quotes some interesting trends about campus life:
"Four decades ago it wasn’t uncommon for a woman to pick up an “MRS” degree — or a man to pick up his wife — on the road to graduation. In 1970, the average age for a woman to marry was 20.8; for a man, 23.2. College campuses were hotbeds of hope for happily-ever-afters.
“In the middle of the 20th century, women saw college’s function as husband hunting,” said Barbara Risman, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “The goal was to have an engagement ring on the finger by senior year.”
"Now, on many campuses, women outnumber men, both are career-focused and few of either sex are looking for a lifetime commitment at this point in their lives, Risman said.
In the midst of a campus culture dedicated to self-exploration, binge drinking and casual sex, a handful of local students are still taking the plunge and marrying before graduation. Putting a ring on it as an undergraduate comes with a scramble to find appropriate on-campus housing, surprised parents and friends and a lot of questions from classmates."
Deseret News picked up the Chicago Suns Time article, Mormons & Media: High-profile folk help understanding of LDS? by Scott Taylor. Quote:
"Levi and Shanna Mele are one of the leading husband-and-wife duos prominently featured in the Chicago Sun-Times's lengthy look at married couples doubling as college students in "Married on campus: 'Life is so much more stable."Also see:
From mission to mat in the Big Ten by Greg Hill, LDS Church News staff writer
Levi Mele - Wrestling Bio
Church Missionary Wrestles With Time Commitments and Team-Mates
Levi Mele - My Faith
I'm struck by the interest in this little family for being married in collage and having a child. They were doing was what the Lord had commanded all to do. In Genesis the very first commandment given to mankind was to "multiply and replenish the earth."(Genesis 1:28) God's chosen people have always taken this commandment serious. And yet we in this day and time we see constant assaults against the family unit.
Psalms 127: 3-5 (NKJV) states:
"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate."
Other LDS Defenders of the Family:
On Being a Mother
"I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." (Amplified Bible: “every family in heaven and on earth” (Ephesians 3: 14-15)