The Smiths after Angela’s sealing to our family.
Today I am inspired to share with you “The Family : A Proclamation to the World.” This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as a [art of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although this proclamation was given over 20 years ago, is timeless. It applied to the world before it was put into a formal statement and read at that meeting. And it applies so much to us in this day. It can be found here. I have copied it to this post for you to read now:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So how does this proclamation relate to adoption?
It relates in so many ways! But for me, it relates because adoption is all about family. In circumstances where birth parents can’t fulfill responsibilities to love and care for each other and their children, adoption provides a way for those children to be joined to a family and receive a more satisfying upbringing with parents who love them, but additionally take on full obligation to nurture and rear those children.
Furthermore, happiness and satisfaction from God’s plan can be found further when a mother and father are also wife and husband; married and honoring marital vows. And the addition of a child into that marriage can bring even more joy as the parents provide for their physical and spiritual needs. This addition of a child into a family is most miraculous, however it happens, whether it be through a pregnancy of the parents or through adoption. I find it amazing that adoption can be a part of God’s plan for a family and I know there are countless families who enjoy this knowledge and happiness as they follow and live “The Family : A Proclamation to the World.”