We were inspired with the following way to beautifully introduce our children to the purpose of family and the intimacy of love.
Remember the “good old days” when a family consisted of a father, a mother, and children? The father worked in his career, that he had for most of his life, to provide a living for his family. The mother stayed home, nurturing children, sewing, and bottling food from the garden that had been planted, weeded, and picked by the entire family.
Unity, loyalty, cooperation, were words that seemed to go synonymously with family. Not that a family was perfect, but that a family was the perfectly designed unit God chose for us to experience this earth life. Why?
Today, many talk about the “ideal” family as if it’s in the past, never to be experienced again. The world we live in now seems to be hard at work redefining or destroying “marriage” and “family,” instead of fighting for them. Even the media seems bent on portraying broken families or torn relationships. Why?
Well, the truth is that it all began many, many years ago. In fact, before any man lived upon the earth. It was in a time when all of us lived in heaven with our Father and Mother, and our many brothers and sisters. Truly, we were all one big, happy, united family!
The day came when Heavenly Father presented a plan in which each of us could become like Him. His plan was based on agency. He would let us choose if this is what we wanted. He would provide for as many safety nets as He could, to give us a good “earthly” experience and to help us return home; but truly, we would have to want to return home. He was not going to force us and He couldn’t “give” it to us. We had to work for it.
His plan was designed for our earth experience to be patterned as closely to our heavenly home as possible, without giving us any memory of it. For, although the main purpose was to allow us to become more like our parents, it was also a time to be tested. A time for us to prove to Them, but mostly ourselves, that we really did want to return home.
In order for a real trial period to happen, we could not remember anything from home. Heavenly Father did not want us to be on our own, while we were away. His plan provided for us to come down into family units, similar to what we already had, but on a much smaller scale. Our families were meant to help provide safety, peace, love... and many other qualities we were use to.
He would provide us with strict guidelines on how to return home. He would give us specific instructions through commandments, laws, and ordinances. If we followed every detail, we would be guaranteed a safe return home.
He would provide leadership. Apostles and Prophets would be given His priesthood power to direct His affairs on earth. They would receive direct revelation from Him on our behalf. He would give them specific guidelines for our day, when it was time for our journey on earth, with a written history of prophets from past generations.
He would provide personalized help. We could maintain personal contact with our Father, at anytime, in any place, through a process called prayer. He would also relay instructions to us through special priesthood blessings - father’s blessings, patriarchal blessings, and blessings when we’re set apart for callings. He would do all this and still maintain our right to choose.
Because there would be choice, there would obviously be mistakes. So in Heavenly Father’s plan, He made one last guarantee for our return home - He would provide a Savior to conquer sin and death. Our Savior would be a perfect example to show us the way: the way to live, the way to serve, the way to sacrifice, to be obedient, to repent and the way to forgive. He wanted us to gain as much positive experience from this life as possible.
We cheered! We rejoiced! All of God's children shouted for joy at this opportunity! Imagine, the opportunity to leave home, gain a body, enjoy an earthly experience with so many ways to teach us and help us home! We could do this! We wanted to do this!
Heavenly Father asked for a volunteer to be the Savior, His personal Son on earth. There were at least two volunteers, one named Lucifer, known on earth as Satan, and the other was Jehovah, known to us as Jesus Christ.
Lucifer had a different idea for the plan, because agency held risks and there were no guarantees. Agency meant that there was a possibility that some of us might not make it home. Lucifer’s plan would ensure the safe return home for everyone. He would be the Son to show us the way, and because we would do exactly as he told us to, we would all make it home. Because of Lucifer’s fail-proof plan and the 100% return coming home, he also wanted the glory, because this was his idea.
Jehovah told the Father that He would be His Son and the plan would proceed as the Father had presented. He would come to earth, set the perfect example, be the Savior of the world and pay the price for sin and death. Because this was the plan and will of the Father, Jehovah gave Him the glory as well. (See Moses 4:1-4)
Well, Heavenly Father chose Jehovah to be His Son on earth; He would be the Savior of the world. Lucifer was very angry and began to cause a division within the family. He was not going to accept that plan as it was and began convincing many of the family to agree with him.
War began. Sides were chosen. Some went with Jehovah and others with Lucifer. We were no longer a united family. When all was said and done, Lucifer, and all who went with him, were cast out of heaven for rebellion, forever. They no longer belonged to the family of God. From that day on, Satan and his followers have sought to destroy the family in any way they could!
In the meantime, Heavenly Father made all the provisions for our return home, just as He promised he would. He provided the Savior, Jesus Christ; He provided Prophets, Apostles, Stake Presidents, Bishops, and other leaders with His priesthood authority; He provided us with scriptures, and personal prayer, and temples; and everything we would need. He has given us so much to help us return home, and still we can choose whether we would use and follow these guides or not. He will not force us home!
On top of it all, he sent us each down into a family of our very own. Heavenly Father began this earth process by blessing man (Adam) with a woman, a wife (Eve.) Husband and wife are the beginning of a family. Man and woman, together, share a power from Heavenly Father called procreation. To procreate means to create with God. This power is so incredible that when a man and a woman unite in love, they are able to create a baby.
That baby’s body becomes the physical home for one of Heavenly Father’s spirit children who chose to follow Jesus. When we use this special power, we literally become partners with Heavenly Father in providing physical bodies for His spirit children. Wow! Think of it! He trusts us to be partners with Him!
Because this power is so special and so sacred, Heavenly Father has given us strict guidelines on when and how to use it. He wants us to be married as husband and wife, before we use this power. That’s why one of His commandments is “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
He wants us to show our bodies respect, to keep the sacred parts of our bodies covered up. He wants us to respect the bodies of others; we do not touch their sacred parts, nor allow them to touch ours, until we are married. He wants us to dress modestly so our minds can be clean and pure when we use this sacred power of procreation. Heavenly Father has never said, “Don’t use this power;” but He has said wait until after you’re married to use this power. This power demands self-control! This power can bless our lives!
Satan will tempt us to use this power before marriage. Why? Here’s the key: He knows that misusing the power to have a family could really destroy the family! Our family! Remember, he will never have a body, and he will never have a family, again! Satan is so jealous; he has designed ways to trick us into misusing our power. Here are a few:
1. He has convinced the people of the world that religion is silly; forget standards. He’s taught them that if they have a nice body, show it off; forget modesty. If they are attracted to another person, have sex with them; forget marriage.
Interesting, Satan screams, “forget,” while the Spirit whispers, “remember.”
People of the world may not realize where the power to procreate comes from or how sacred it is; but we do! They may choose to use this power anytime, anywhere, or any way they like. But we won’t! We know this power is sacred and should be treated sacred. That’s why so many of us choose to wait until after we are married before we use it.
2. Satan uses pornography, images which show the sacred parts of a body in a cheapened, perverted, corrupted, addictive way. Knowing it can change and sometimes destroy who we really are and what we think about. Yet, the Lord lovingly counsels us, “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong...” (Doc. & Cov. 121:45)
3. Satan will try and use our natural, physical desires against us. He wants us to use them in selfish and destructive ways. He wants us to feel guilty, miserable, and of know worth. How different is our Father’s way. He loves us. He wants us to be
happy, confident, and successful. The allotted a time and place He’s allotted for us to properly use and express these desires is after we’ve joined together in holy matrimony.
We are taught that physical attraction is good. It is what attracts a man and a woman together. The physical and sexual desires that come during teenage years are natural and they are healthy when they are controlled. These God-given powers demand “self-control.” Remember, if we don’t take control of ourselves, someone else does!
We can chose to be obedient, or not. Satan does everything he can to keep us from being a family, and to stop us from returning home. He doesn’t want us to get along with our brothers or sisters. He doesn’t want us to obey our parents. He doesn’t want us to listen to our leaders, read the scriptures, go to the temple or anything else that would help us get home. He knows that the Holy Ghost is another guide who will help us if we are worthy, so Satan tries to get us to do things that would make us unworthy.
We have a family! We have a purpose! Heavenly Father has given us so many ways and reasons to return home, because He loves us. But He won’t force us. He lets us choose! How about you? What will you choose?