The responsibility of parents is outlined in “The Family: a Proclamation to the World.” It outlines roles for both men and women. The powers of procreation are to be only used only between husband and wife. The proclamation warns that those who “violate the covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.” Members of the Mormon religion are to abide by the counsel in this message. It is God’s plan for us to multiply and replenish the earth by having children. Men are expected to try diligently to be providers, to preside with equanimity over the family, and to support their wives as mothers. Women are to bear and love the children and to support their husbands in his duties. Many Mormon women work outside the home, but Mormon families are cautioned to avoid indulging in the kind of materialism that puts women into the workplace unnecessarily. Mormons believe that parents, should teach children through example. Children should be encouraged to live the principles of the gospel and follow God’s commandments. Parents should support and encourage their children to become baptized. In the Doctrine and Covenants 68:25-26, 28, we read that parents are to “teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.” The Mormon Church emphasizes the importance of family recreation. Through spending time with children, we can strengthen our bonds with them. Parents should strive to spend time with their children. Although fathers and mothers are busy with their work schedules and taking care of the family, parents are encouraged to spend quality and quantity time with each of their children. Parents are instructed to create a home for their families where the Holy Ghost can be felt by all.
Because man is given agency, parents are not completely responsible for their children’s actions. Mormons are taught that it is the parents’ responsibility to teach proper principles to their children and they can then govern themselves. However, sometimes children rebel against the Lord despite what they have been taught in the home. It can be painful for parents to see their children leave the church and reject Christ. However, God is merciful and forgiving to those who go astray. Parents are to discipline with love and not anger. Abuse of any kind is unpleasing to the Lord.
A strong family is built upon a strong marriage. Couples are expected to continue to strengthen their marriages through mortality and into eternity. However, the Lord understands that people make mistakes, and thus divorce is allowed in the Mormon Church. Those who are in abusive relationships, whether physically or emotionally abusive, are supported by the church in seeking a divorce. However, couples who have lost interest in their marriage or find it too challenging are encouraged to seek counseling and remain committed to each other.