Mormons believe that having a family is one of the most important things we do on this earth. The programs of the Mormon Church are designed to build up and support the Mormon family unit. Mormons believe that through the Plan of Salvation, and the ordinances of the gospel, families can dwell together forever in God’s kingdom.
Mormons doctrine teaches that a good base for any family is a strong commitment between husband and wife. Mormons support a traditional view of marriage, consisting of a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Worthy members of the Mormon Church are married in the Mormon temple where they make eternal commitments to each other and God. An interesting fact is that the divorce rate of those who are married in the temple is lower than those who are married outside of the temple, emphasizing the seriousness of the eternal covenant and the eternal nature of the Mormon family.
Beliefs concerning the Mormon family can be found in a statement called “The Family: a Proclamation to the World.” It was released by the Prophet Gordon B. Hinkley in response to the rising liberal views on the family. The address outlines the purpose of marriage and its importance. He reminds us of the importance of fidelity and trust in marriage.
Chastity before marriage is absolutely emphasized. Modern science upholds what the Lord has told us since the beginning of time, that chastity outside of marriage and fidelity in marriage brings happiness.
Mormon prophets have encouraged women to stay in the home and raise the children if they are financially able. This brings stability and love to the home, with the focus on the unity of the family rather than on material gain. Mormon men have been encouraged to work and provide monetarily for the family. The roles of father and mother are seen as equally important and necessary, and family culture is a matter decided upon by husband, wife, and the Lord. A number of Mormon wives work outside the home, and some Mormon fathers stay in the home, as necessary. The Mormon family is encouraged to prayerfully find a system that works for its individual financial and emotional needs.
Having and supporting a family through this life is the most important thing we can do on earth. When we die, we cannot take money, our jobs, or our material possessions with us. Family is the only thing we can take into the next life. It is through the family that we will find everlasting happiness. Through God’s plan, families can be together forever.