- God created this earth according to His plan to provide His spirit children a place to experience mortality as a necessary step toward the glories He desires for all His children. While there are various kingdoms and glories, our Heavenly Father’s ultimate desire for His children is what President Monson called “eternal life in the kingdom of God,” which is exaltation in families. This is more than salvation. President Russell M. Nelson has reminded us, “In God’s eternal plan, salvation is an individual matter; [but] exaltation is a family matter.”
President Oaks speaks about how the world is changing in values and beliefs. He says that the doctrines of the gospel and the the truths shared in the Family Proclamation are essential to staying on the Lords side of the debate. He says that decisions will need to be made about what side of the discussion we follow and the Lord's way is different from the world's way.
- The restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the inspired family proclamation, which I will discuss later, are essential teachings to guide mortal preparation for exaltation. Even as we must live with the marriage laws and other traditions of a declining world, those who strive for exaltation must make personal choices in family life according to the Lord’s way whenever that differs from the world’s way.
He shares that there are many situations in life where people do not understand or have knowledge of the truths that God has given to us. He says that no matter what the challenges, we have an obligation to choose the Lord's way instead of the world's way.
- Inevitably, the actions of those who try to follow God’s plan of salvation can cause misunderstanding or even conflict with family members or friends who do not believe its principles. Such conflict is always so. Every generation that has sought to follow God’s plan has had challenges. But whatever the cause of conflict with those who do not understand or believe God’s plan, those who do understand are always commanded to choose the Lord’s way instead of the world’s way.
He speaks about the Family Proclamation. he says the proclamation was signed when some of the things that challenge us today were non-existent in the world. Our prophets and apostles have been called as seers to be allowed to understand and see where the world is headed. The trials of today can be fixed through the principles written in the Family Proclamation over 20 years ago.
- Converted Latter-day Saints believe that the family proclamation, issued nearly a quarter century ago and now translated into scores of languages, is the Lord’s reemphasis of the gospel truths we need to sustain us through current challenges to the family. Two examples are same-sex marriage and cohabitation without marriage. Just 20 years after the family proclamation, the United States Supreme Court authorized same-sex marriage, overturning thousands of years of marriage being limited to a man and a woman. The shocking percentage of United States children born to a mother not married to the father came more gradually: 5 percent in 1960, 32 percent in 1995, and now 40 percent.
President Oaks concludes with his testimony of the inspired way the Family Proclamation was prepared. He encourages us to study it, teach it, live it, and let it help guide us towards eternal life.
- I testify that the proclamation on the family is a statement of eternal truth, the will of the Lord for His children who seek eternal life. It has been the basis of Church teaching and practice for the last 22 years and will continue so for the future. Consider it as such, teach it, live by it, and you will be blessed as you press forward toward eternal life.
I have spent some time reviewing the Family Proclamation over the past year. It has been a steady anchor in the ever changing world of shifting values and ideas. The world challenges us at times by encouraging us to think that our values and ideas are outdated, old-fashioned, and unkind. When we understand that God's principles are not up for discussion, we can use the Family Proclamation to assure we are on the right track, we are looking at the world through proper eyes, and the pressure to change our values will be strengthened through following the principles it teaches. Study again the Family Proclamation. There is still much to learn and apply in our lives today.