Defender of Marriage and Family

I want to quickly acknowledge that I realize some people may not agree with what I have to share today. I do say some things rather bluntly, and I don’t mean to come across as judgmental, prideful or better than anyone else. I simply am standing for what I know to be true and doing what I can to follow my Savior Jesus Christ by sustaining His servants – the prophets, apostles and other leaders. If you don’t agree, that’s totally fine, but please do not argue. My goal is not to contend with anyone, only to share what I know to be true and how I know best to follow that truth. Thank you!

In today’s society, people don’t really care about family. Sure, there are a few of us, but the majority of people just don’t care. They don’t think families are important. They don’t think it matters if they ever get married. They don’t see how family, success and happiness all correlate with each other. And then there’s the people who like families and think it’s great, but they don’t feel that it’s ‘for them’, or perhaps they just don’t agree with the idea of getting married any earlier than 25 or 30 years of age, not just themselves but anyone for that matter. In my personal opinion, they don’t exactly care very much about family, either, because they don’t understand or care about the eternal and divine importance of marriage.

Now let me share with you why I believe in families and in marriage and why they are so important to me that I’m willing to give up just about anything in order to have them. Here’s why I believe that and why I believe that marriage and family aren’t just for people who believe it’s right for them but it’s for EVERYONE (like the Gospel!):

Because the Lord said so.

Seriously. It’s as simple as that. I put my faith and trust in God in all things (or try to do my best at it, anyway), and over and over again He has counseled us and taught that marriage is ordained by Him and that family is the most important unit of a society and of eternity (see The Family: A Proclamation to the World). From the beginning of time this is the way it’s always been! In Genesis 2:18, 21-24 it says:

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him… And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man… Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Even Adam, the first man on Earth, had a wife and family. It’s not supposed to be any other way. And let me point out that it says Adam’s wife was to be “an help meet for him”. It doesn’t say that his wife was just for fun, or for when he gets bored. Nor does it even imply that he owns her in any way, shape or form. To me, that tells us that the man and the woman are equal partners as they work together to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth” (Genesis 1:28). Which brings me to the point of families. Not only is marriage a commandment and a very sacred thing, but so is bearing children. So why is marriage so important? So we can have children and teach them and help them grow and eventually do that same. Well, why is having children and teaching them so important? Because all of Heavenly Father’s children need the opportunity to come to Earth, gain a body, and gain experiences that will someday bring them back Home to our Father. THAT is the ultimate goal for everyone. When I think of it that way, I don’t want to wait until I’m 25 or 30 to be married and have children. I don’t have a problem with how young or old people are when they get married but I do have a problem with people who go against the commandments of God. Now, I don’t mean that it’s a sin to have the opinion of waiting until that age to get married, but that doesn’t give you the right to judge others and condemn them for not having that opinion. Here’s what the prophets have said on that:

“WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society” (Family Proclamation).

I do recognize that there are some people who are older than 25 or 30 who aren’t yet married but want nothing more than to find their spouse. It’s simply the Lord’s plan for them. And so I testify that those particular individuals who desire to be married will have an opportunity to have families one day, whether in this life or the next. I know this because I know how important it is to have a family and I know how much God loves each of His children – He won’t leave you behind because you didn’t have the opportunity to get married here. I promise.

Now, what brought all this on? Today was my first Sunday in my new YSA ward and in the third hour they talked about the purpose of YSA (Young Single Adult) Wards. Just one point that was brought up was that these wards are to help us meet people our age and get us married. One of my roommates whispered vigorously “I disagree. I REALLY disagree completely.” When I asked why, she said with a bit of an attitude that implied I should feel the same way, “Because I’m too young! I’m only 21, I don’t want to get married yet!” All I felt when I heard that was sadness. I am almost 22 years old and I want nothing more than to have the blessings of marriage and children so that I can serve them and learn even more about how to become more like my Father in Heaven. All I want to do in my life is serve the Lord and do everything I can to bring others closer to Him so they can have the opportunity to go Home one day and be able to stand in front of Him and declare that they did everything they could to follow Him. The way I see it, refusing to get married simply because you’re too young and have a life to live before you get married is not a good enough reason and honestly, it’s a pretty selfish way to live. If the whole point of my life is to serve and help bring others Home to our Father, what better way to do that than marriage and family? In a family, there is no room to be selfish – you are CONSTANTLY having to serve and think of your spouse, children and/or parents and siblings.

And you know the best part? Once I get married and sealed to my spouse by someone holding the proper authority of God, I can have my family FOREVER. See, family is so important that Heavenly Father has made it possible to be with your family now, in your mortal life on Earth, and forever into the eternities. If family is so important here to society and to individuals, why wouldn’t it be equally important to have them after this life, too? Marriage and bearing children are eternal laws, which mean they have always been in existence and they always will be.

As I wait for that day when I can partake of those wonderful blessings that come from being married and being a parent, I do everything I can to prepare and learn more about how to be a better wife and mother. In the meantime amidst all of that, I have learned to be happy on my own so that when I do get married, I will find happiness and joy that I can’t even begin to imagine now. I testify that families are the most important thing ever to be in existence. I pray for my family, present and future, just about every day because I know there are things I can improve on to help my family be strengthened and come closer to Christ and I know that through my prayers for them, they will be blessed as well. I testify that marriage is something we should not wait for simply because we want to do whatever we feel like doing rather than what the Lord wants us to do.

We need our families now… and always. They are the people who will always be there to love us when no one else does, support us in our trials, and bring us the greatest joy and happiness we could ever imagine. Our families are how we learn in a safe and loving environment about those things that matter most. We are taught by the examples of our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters how to treat anyone we spend any amount of time with. Without a family, we have none of that and life gets a lot harder than it needs to be. Without our families, we can’t progress in the way Heavenly Father wants and needs us to. Without our families, we can’t return to be with our Heavenly Parents.

And those are the reasons why I choose to be a defender of marriage and family.

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