Together for Time and all Eternity
"In reality we have only two eternal choices, each with eternal consequences: choose to follow the Savior of the world and thus choose eternal life with our Heavenly Father or choose to follow the world and thus choose to separate ourselves from Heavenly Father eternally.
We cannot successfully choose both the safety of righteousness and the dangers of worldliness...
We all face adversity. We all have temptations. We all have made mistakes. It is never too hard or too late to make correct choices. Repentance is one of those critical correct choices.
...your eternal destiny will not be the result of chance but of choice. It is never too late to begin to choose eternal life!"
Salvation and Exaltation
"The third article of faith declares that “through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”
To be saved—or to gain salvation—means to be saved from physical and spiritual death. Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected and saved from physical death. People may also be saved from individual spiritual death through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, by their faith in Him, by living in obedience to the laws and ordinances of His gospel, and by serving Him.
To be exalted—or to gain exaltation—refers to the highest state of happiness and glory in the celestial realm. These blessings can come to us after we leave this frail and mortal existence. The time to prepare for our eventual salvation and exaltation is now.
Our Heavenly Father wants husbands and wives to be faithful to each other and to esteem and treat their children as an heritage from the Lord. In such a family we study the scriptures and pray together. And we fix our focus on the temple. There we receive the highest blessings that God has in store for His faithful children.
No man in this Church can obtain the highest degree of celestial glory without a worthy woman who is sealed to him. This temple ordinance enables eventual exaltation for both of them."
The Plan for Happiness and Exaltation
"Life never was intended to be easy. Rather, it is a period of proving and growth. It is interwoven with difficulties, challenges, and burdens. We are immersed in a sea of persistent, worldly pressures that could destroy our happiness. Yet these very forces, if squarely faced, provide opportunity for tremendous personal growth and development. The conquering of adversity produces strength of character, forges self-confidence, engenders self-respect, and assures success in righteous endeavor.
Our happiness on earth, as well as our eternal salvation, requires many correct decisions, no one of which is difficult to make. Together they forge a character resistant to the eroding influences that surround us. Noble character is like a treasured porcelain made of select raw materials, formed with faith, carefully crafted by consistent righteous acts, and fired in the furnace of uplifting experience. It is an object of great beauty and priceless worth. Yet it can be broken in a moment through transgression. When protected by self-control, righteous character will endure for eternity."
The Eternal Blessings of Marriage
"Pure love is an incomparable, potent power for good. Righteous love is the foundation of a successful marriage. It is the primary cause of contented, well-developed children. Who can justly measure the righteous influence of a mother’s love? What enduring fruits result from the seeds of truth that a mother carefully plants and lovingly cultivates in the fertile soil of a child’s trusting mind and heart? As a mother you have been given divine instincts to help you sense your child’s special talents and unique capacities. With your husband you can nurture, strengthen, and cause those traits to flower.
It is so rewarding to be married. Marriage is wonderful. In time you begin to think alike and have the same ideas and impressions. You have times when you are extremely happy, times of testing, and times of trial, but the Lord guides you through all of those growth experiences together."
Marriage and Children
"Three times in sacred scripture the warning is made that “the whole earth would be utterly wasted” at the Lord’s return if certain conditions were not in place (see D&C 2:3; 138:48; Joseph Smith—History 1:39). In each instance, that warning relates to the condition of the human family without the sealing ordinances of the temple. Without these ordinances of exaltation, the purposes of creation would not be realized.
The work and glory of God—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man—comprise the foundation on which we stand as leaders in the Church. In 1995 the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles issued our historic statement “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” In addition, two of our previous worldwide leadership broadcasts pertained to the family: February 2006, Supporting the Family; and February 2008, Building Up a Righteous Posterity. Last year, we issued Handbook 2: Administering the Church. As you know, the first chapter of that handbook teaches of the sacred nature of the family. Please use these excellent resources as you teach and counsel our members.
Teach that family relationships start with the love of a husband for his wife, and of a wife for her husband. Marriage brings two very different and imperfect people together. Husbands and wives deal with their imperfections best with patience and a sense of humor. Each should stand ready to say, “I’m sorry! Please forgive me.” And each should be a peacemaker.
Marriage is sanctified by family prayer morning and night and daily scripture study. Marriage is stabilized by careful financial planning, avoiding debt, and living within a budget with willing obedience to the Lord’s law of tithing. Marriage is energized by making prime time together. Marriage is protected by an absolute commitment to make it successful.
Remind each married bearer of the priesthood that his highest duty is to care for his wife. She enables him to qualify for his greatest blessings. And when the children leave the nest, a husband and his wife will have each other in what can be a wonderful and exciting phase of life together.
Teach that parenting is a joint venture. The father exercises his leadership with light and love, never in any degree of unrighteousness. The mother provides the intuition, the inspiration, and the nurture that come from her so naturally.
Together they obey the Lord’s commandment to teach the gospel to their children. Jesus wants children to come unto Him, “for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Parents are responsible for that teaching, with assistance from the Church. Helpful instruction on the relative roles of family and Church is found in Handbook 2, section 1.4."