Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, proclaimed in September of 1995 about the importance of the family. It is called a proclamation to the world. I searched the word proclamation on Google and the definition it came up with was this, "a public or official announcement, especially one dealing with a matter of great importance." I really like that definition. The Family: A Proclamation to the World is a "matter of great importance." It explains what a family was created for and how it is "ordained of God" to bless the lives all of God's children. Here's the announcement when it was first presented to the world.
This year, the young women (girls ages 12-18) have been encouraged to memorize and learn about the proclamation. The proclamation is as good as scripture to me and I know it was inspired by God. Elder Scott spoke once about scriptures and what can be gained by memorizing scripture verses. He said, "Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change." (The Power of Scriptures) He also said, "A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time." I know that this is true. I have several favorite scriptures that I have memorized that have often come into my mind just when I was in need of it such as the scripture found in the bible which states, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) This scripture helps me to realize that I need to always trust in God. I know that as I have trusted Him, I have found that the path that he has led me to is always the better way. I may not think that at the beginning, but as I "lean not unto [my] own understanding," but follow his ways, he can do far more with my life then I can.
Back in 1995, the family was not under attack like it is today. Many might of thought when the proclamation was given, that yes that is a good idea but everyone knows that and pretty much that's how families are. The world does not look the same today was it was over 20 years ago and the family is being attacked through the media and throughout the world constantly. The roles of a father and mother are being minimized or considered unimportant. I know that this is not the time for families to begin to fall apart, but to become stronger and that our unique roles as male and female, husband and wife are for not only our time on earth, but that it has a greater purpose, an eternal one. It says, "All human beings – male and female – are created in the image of God…" that is powerful! We are like our father in heaven. If you truly read the words of the proclamation, they are very inspired and beautiful. You will begin to realize your true potential and "divine destiny as heirs of eternal life."
I wanted to help the young women memorize this lengthy passage from the proclamation so I thought I'd break it up into 20 weeks. Each week the girls just need to memorize one section of the family proclamation. I created flash cards, a journal, punch card, bookmark, bingo game and signs to help motivate and encourage them to memorize the proclamation. We are on week 7 right now and I am learning it along with the girls. It has been a blessing already. Many times, the words of the proclamation have come into my mind and has helped me many times in explaining or sharing my beliefs regarding the importance of the role of families. If you have never heard of the proclamation, I challenge you to read it and ponder the words given from God to a prophet and shared with not only members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but with the world.
I am working on another Family Home Evening series that will coordinate with the 20 week challenge of memorizing the proclamation. It is important that our families understand what the proclamation means and how we can and should be defenders of it. I wanted to share with you Lesson 1 for free. Just click on the image below to download the pdf file. I would love to hear you comment below about what you think and how it has helped your family.
I encourage you and your family to join me as we become "Defenders of the Family Proclamation." Periodically, I will be posting and sending out to our subscribers additional helps, tips and tricks along the way as we begin this great challenge in memorizing the proclamation. Will you join me? Let's start today!
Here's another awesome cartoon video that would be great to share during your Family Home Evening lesson.