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By Ilyan Kei Lavanway, Moroni Channel
Rockledge Florida, USA
Maayong aga, Brothers and Sisters. The Bishop assigned me to speak about Families. I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. I pray that the Holy Ghost will carry this message to every soul who will hear it and receive it.
God's work and glory (Moses 1:39), his masterful plan of happiness (The Guide to the Scriptures: Plan of Redemption), which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children, cannot exist without families. Imagine what would have happened if Jesus Christ had not been born in the covenant of eternal marriage.
Families are so important and central in God's plan of happiness that they are the first institution organized upon the earth. Adam and Eve were married by Heavenly Father in the Garden of Eden, becoming the first family unit on Earth. Heavenly Father was merciful in affording Adam and Eve every opportunity to remain together as a couple, as a family. Even after Eve had first partaken of the forbidden fruit, she was not immediately driven out of the Garden.
After Adam had also eaten the forbidden fruit, ushering the whole earth into its fallen, mortal state, God did not immediately banish Adam and Eve from the Garden. God took the time to instruct and prepare Adam and Eve for the life they would face together in the changed and fallen world outside the Garden.
After receiving instruction and preparation from God, mortal Adam and mortal Eve were driven out of the Garden, into the harsh, fallen, mortal world together as a couple, as a family.
From the beginning, they were taught to work together as a team, to obey God in all things, to call upon God in the name of his Son, and to teach their children by example in love and righteousness.
We can learn much by pondering the scriptures. In Moses 5:1-12 we learn the following:
"1 And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him. And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.
Adam and Eve were taught the plan of happiness and were given covenants that allowed their family relationship to last forever, through faith and obedience to God. We have those same covenants available to us in our day.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World, issued by the First Presidency in 1995, instructs us and points our souls to our Heavenly Parents:
"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
Hymn 292: O My Father, can be pondered as if it were scripture. Indeed, all inspired hymns of the Church can be studied and searched as if they were scripture. Think upon the following inspired lyrics written by Eliza R. Snow (1804-1887):
O my Father, thou that dwellest
If you would like to discover some hidden treasures of knowledge, obey the Word of Wisdom (Doctrine and Covenants 89), and then ponder Hymn 292: O My Father, together with Hymn 97: Lead, Kindly Light. Let Heavenly Father teach you through the power of the Holy host. See how these two hymns relate to eternal families.
For those of you who have not yet had opportunity to start a family of your own, find comfort in President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's words:
"God’s Apostles are profoundly aware of the different circumstances we all face. Let us help each other to follow the Savior."
I bear testimony that God instituted families to exalt us, his children. I testify that all the ordinances of the gospel are preparatory and prerequisite to the sealing covenant, the covenant that allows us to attain godhood and become eternal, heavenly families.
There is no other Church on the earth that can offer such an assurance. Only The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the priesthood authority from God to enable family ties to last forever.
I know these things are true. I know the Book of Mormon is a true testament of Jesus Christ, along with the Bible.
I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet, foreordained and called by God to restore the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth after a millennium and a half of global apostasy.
I share these truths in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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