About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

There is, among some LDS bloggers, an ongoing celebration of this revelation given in 1995 (hence the button to the left of this page). Here are mes deux centimes for a cool and possibly rainy Tuesday morning.

“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.” Hence our defense of traditional families. Don’t blame us. Take it up with the Almighty.

“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” This is where it gets personal. I gave birth to five lovely daughters, one of whom is in the process of turning herself into a handsome son. It is a tender subject. I have been granted a measure of peace over it. That will have to do, for now.

“In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.” I bear you my witness that the sacred work which we do in the temples, is very real. I have not been privileged to see any of my ancestors whom I have served in the House of the Lord, but I have felt their presence and their gratitude.

“The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.” It was a lovely, sacred experience to witness Beloved’s firstborn and his bride make covenants which will bind them to God and to one another for the eternities. Their son, who will arrive next February, will be born in the covenant of eternal marriage. I look forward with great hope to the day, not far ahead, when I will be sealed to Beloved.

“We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.” In other words, sex is (or is intended to be) holy and sacred, as well as pleasurable and fun. Some of the sweetest and most awe-some experiences of my life, were when we were inviting little ones to come join our family.

“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.” And for too long I used this paragraph to justify my anger toward the children’s father. He has once more regained temple worthiness and is hoping to be able to serve as a temple worker. If that happens, it will be Heavenly Father’s will, which is infinitely and eternally more important than my own. And if it does, our children and their children will be blessed (whether they like it or not) by having two of us serving in the House of the Lord.

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.” It is funny how time and circumstances can change one’s attitude. Mine in particular. Had I been the primary breadwinner when I was married to the children’s father, I would have been cranky. Seriously cranky. But now, when I bring home two paychecks a month, and Beloved has a monthly disability check that roughly equals my take-home pay (because of insurance premiums, savings accounts, and debt retirement), and he is the one who primarily keeps our home running smoothly, I can only hum along with a verse of one of my favorite hymns: “Time doth softly, sweetly glide, when theres love ... at ... home.”

“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.” I have seen those calamities in my own family, following my divorce from the children’s father.

“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.” Ergo, the Defense of Marriage Act, Prop 8, and other laws and ordinances as (unfortunately) necessary.

I should have left the house 15 minutes ago. There will be serious bending of the 12th Article of Faith on my commute to work this morning. I am such a work in progress...

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