Monday, March 10, 2014

Gospel Principle Monday: Why do Mormons think Family is so Important?

Welcome to Gospel Principle Monday!! Today's topic is Family, and why they are so important to us as a central unit to our faith and society. It's a question I've been asked a lot, because I grew up with only one brother and that's like, a sin around here. Ok, not really. But it is something that people find pretty funny, because out of state they think we are all living in polygamist families with 90 kids (we're not).

Why Do Mormons Think Family is so Important??

 So it's no secret that Kerri and I live in Utah, the land of families with a million kids. Most of my friends come from families of at least 5 kids, most of them with more. That's just how we roll, Utah likes big families. A lot.

Icebreakers at school/church/camp/whatever (you know, the kind everyone hates? Or am I alone in that?) were always interesting for me. It usually involved some type of question about how many siblings you have. And my answer always resulted in wide eyes and a collective gasp of "really?" As in, "you really only have TWO kids in your family??" Yes, really. Only two kids. We were the perfect pair, boy and a girl, a sassy pants and a fairly straight arrow. We had our own language, only each other to turn to, and some sweet moves to pull out if there was a potential for kidnapping. That last part is a true story. Our plan, should there be an attempted kidnapping on one of us, was to go back to back and seesaw kick so they couldn't take us away. I'm not really sure where the fear of kidnapping came from (we had a super happy and not scary childhood), but we were prepared, you guys. No thug was gonna pull one over on us, that's for sure! (And I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "wait, isn't this blog by 'Two Sisters??'" The answer is yes! Kerri is my sister from another mister. Deal with it. Heh.)

My Brother and I, circa 2010. I don't wanna brag, but we have a knack for taking hot pictures.


Anyway, I digress. What were we talking about? Oh, yeah, families. And why they're neat. And so important to our faith as Latter Day Saints.

Families are central to our Heavenly Father's plan for His children. Families give us an opportunity to learn to serve each other, to grow, to learn patience and kindness with shortcomings, to forgive quickly and without condition, and humor. Lots of humor. Growing up, I taught my parents patience because I was a hooligan at times. I am positive I am responsible for more than a few of my parent's gray hairs. I also learned to forgive quickly after my younger brother said some not so cool things to me in the heat of sibling arguments. Families teach us to live in harmony and order with each other and others around us.

We also believe that families can be together for eternity, and as such, are sealed together as a unit. This means that even death cannot tear your family apart. Isn't that a great promise?? It gives such peace to my heart to know that even when my parents pass away, I will see them again. They aren't gone forever.

We also believe the family is the fundamental unit of a functioning society. In fact, we even have a proclamation dedicated to the family unit, called The Family: A Proclamation to the World. It's that important, you guys. Stable, functioning families with a mother and a father in the home are vital to a society that works in harmony.

I know it's not popular right now, but when I say mother AND father, I mean it. We all have different roles. Everyone plays their part. Fathers provide for the family with love and righteousness, and mothers nurture. Everyone chips in to make the family function as it should. Fathers and mothers should operate as equal partners within the family. No one is better than anyone else, and this goes for men and women as well. When families are strong, society is strong.

Kerri and her mama, back when permed lady bowlcuts were cool.

Before anyone has a panic attack, I realize that it is 2014. Things happen, and families aren't always traditional anymore. There are single parents, widows/widowers, and various other situations where families aren't whole. Sometimes mothers and fathers are left with kiddos and not a spouse, for various reasons. Sometimes people make poor choices. Sometimes spouses/parents pass away. That doesn't mean your family means any less, or that you don't have a place in God's kingdom.

Kerri and I get it, the family situations. Our families aren't always peaches and cream. Kerri is the only member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in her family. In fact, they harbor some pretty hard feelings toward the LDS church because of  some things that happened to their family a long time ago. I live in a family where all of us are active members, but my dad passed away a couple of years ago, and so he isn't able to be here with the family every day. Everyone is different, and every familial situation is different. We can't control other people's choices, but we can control our own. We can work everyday to make our families as harmonious as possible.

There's so much more I can say about families. I cannot stress enough how important they are, and the happiness you'll feel if you put the effort into making your family just a little better in the coming days. Learn to forgive. Reach out to that person you don't call all the time. Make your marriage stronger by turning to the Lord and each other in hard times, instead of away.

If you'd like to learn a little bit more about how mormons feel about families, click here!

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