Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Proclamation on the Family and David Bednar’s challenge.

The Proclamation on the Family is a statement of Latter-Day Saint doctrine concerning the family. It was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Proclamation on the Family addresses the overwhelming attack on traditional family values currently taking place in America and around the world. I've already talked about this attack in previous articles.

In "Let Our Voices Be Heard", an address given in October 2003 General Conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard says this.

Church leaders have the responsibility to speak out on moral issues and to counsel individuals and families. The family is the basic unit of society; it is the basic unit of eternity. Thus, when forces threaten the family, Church leaders must respond.

The family is at the heart of Heavenly Father’s plan because we are all part of His family and because mortality is our opportunity to form our own families and to assume the role of parents. It is within our families that we learn unconditional love, which can come to us and draw us very close to God’s love. It is within families that values are taught and character is built. Father and mother are callings from which we will never be released, and there is no more important stewardship than the responsibility we have for God’s spirit children who come into our families.

Within this context of the preeminent importance of families and the threats families face today, it is not surprising that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles used strong words in the proclamation to the world on families: "We warn that individuals … 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’ve already posted several articles about the effects of TV and other "entertainment" in our lives. Elder Ballard says this about TV programming.

"The fall of the year is when television airs its season premieres and introduces its new shows. A friend told me that there are 37 new TV series being inaugurated this fall. As he has read the reviews, he has found few if any of them that he would want his children to watch. Most of the sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows contain immorality, violence, and subtle ridicule of traditional values and traditional families. Each year the new shows seem to get worse, pushing the envelope of what the public will accept. What comes out of Hollywood, off the Internet, and in much of today’s music creates a web of decadence that can trap our children and endanger all of us."

On Saturday January 9, 1999 Elder David Bednar spoke in the priesthood session of our Stake Conference. He talked about The Proclamation on the Family and gave us an assignment. We were to write each sentence from the Proclamation on one side of some sheets of paper and then try to write what we thought the devil’s take on each of them would be. When I got home that night I did what he suggested. I wasn't able to finish because I got disgusted at what I was writing. Elder Bednar said that's the same thing Elder Boyd K. Packer said when he did the assignment. But, he said, the important thing was to do the assignment.

In 2000 the same assignment was given to everyone by Elder John B. Dickson in the Sunday session of Stake Conference. I wonder how many people did it?

Here's what I wrote.




The Proclamation goes on after this, but, as I said, I got disgusted at this point and didn't go any farther.

I assume the same assignment was given to every stake in 1999 and again in 2000. Do you remember it? Did you do it?

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