Saturday, August 19, 2017

President James E. Faust on strengthening families

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"In a sense, a family can foster the teachings of the Savior better than any other institution. In large measure, the Church exists to strengthen families. I wish to define family very broadly. In the Church we have traditional families and single-parent families. Furthermore, each single member is considered to be, in a sense, a Church family....
"The fact that some members do not have functioning traditional families is no reason to move in a direction that would diminish or abandon family activities among those who can and should foster them. With the increased onslaught of forces that cause families to disintegrate, we ought to dig in our heels to preserve all that is great and good in the family. We are reminded that in times of tribulations, the Nephites were not fighting for a political cause, such as monarchy or power; rather, they 'were inspired by a better cause.' For 'they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church.' (Alma 43:45.)"
- James E. Faust, "Where Is the Church?," BYU fireside, Sept 24, 1989; see also Ensign, Aug. 1990, p. 64
Click here to read the full talk

The Church exists to strengthen and reinforce families, by fostering the teachings of the Savior. Regardless of whether the family is "traditional" or not, President Faust points out that there is no better chance of success than by carefully following the Church's programs and teachings.

I appreciated the invitation to "dig in our heals" and attempt to do all we can to preserve families against the forces in society that would destroy or oppose them. It's important for us each to consider our personal family situation, as well as areas where we might have influence in society, and determine ways we could more faithfully defend and protect the sanctity of that sacred institution.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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