Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that marriage and family are as important today as they have ever been! “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” an official document of the Church, teaches 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” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129). Latter-day Saint families believe that marriage is not just a temporary legal contract, but a commandment from God and a sacred covenant relationship (see Bruce C. Hafen, “Covenant Marriage,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 26–28). A covenant is a promise that we make with God. When a Latter-day Saint couple is married, they make a promise to God to love and care for each other and God promises that the marriage can last for eternity. As one Church leader explained, “Marriage is a gift from God to us; the quality of our marriages is a gift from us to Him” (L. Whitney Clayton, “Marriage: Watch and Learn,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 85).
What Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe about marriage and family
Latter-day Saints believe that the ultimate blessings of love and happiness are obtained through the covenant relationships of marriage and family. Church doctrine teaches that men and women have unique, complementary natures, and that, therefore, men and women are intended to help each other and progress together (see “The Family: A Proclamation,” 129).
Latter-day Saints believe that marriage and family have been an important part of God’s plan since the Creation of the earth, when Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden. God said it was “not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18), and Eve became Adam’s companion. Referring to Adam and Eve, David A. Bednar, a Latter-day Saint leader, taught that “the unique combination of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional capacities of both males and females were needed to implement [God’s] plan of happiness. Alone, neither the man nor the woman could fulfill the purposes of his or her creation” (David A. Bednar, “Marriage is Essential to His Eternal Plan,” Liahona, June 2006, 51).
Although marriage and family life can present unique challenges, Latter-day Saints believe that a family with a mother and a father who are married provides the ideal setting for the birth and nurturing of children. Above all, Latter-day Saints believe that centering marriage and family relationships on Jesus Christ can help us draw nearer to Him and to our family members and can help us find joy that can’t be found in any other way.
Why Jesus Christ is our perfect example
Latter-day Saints believe that the Lord Jesus Christ exemplifies every trait that is important in marriage and family life. When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He was the perfect example of love, patience, humility, kindness, and selfless service—all of which can go a long way in making a happy home!
Latter-day Saints also believe that the ideal marriage relationship is centered on Jesus Christ. Many Latter-day Saint families imagine this kind of marriage relationship as a triangle, with Jesus Christ at the top of the triangle and each spouse at one corner of the triangle’s base. When each spouse works to be more like Christ, they move from the triangle’s corners, along its sides, towards Christ at the top. As they move closer to Christ, they also become closer to each other. United devotion to Jesus Christ brings couples together (see David A. Bednar, “Marriage is Essential,” 54).
Latter-day Saints believe that a new family starts when a man and woman are married. Latter-day Saint family relationships are strengthened by devotion to Jesus Christ.
How Christlike marriages set an example for our children
As we center our marriages and families on Jesus Christ, we teach our children through our example. David A. Bednar explained, “As young women and men perceive mutual respect, affection, trust, and love between a husband and a wife, then they will strive to cultivate the same characteristics in their lives. Our children . . . will learn the most from what we do and what we are—even if they remember relatively little of what we say” (“Marriage Is Essential,” 54). Latter-day Saints believe that just as Jesus Christ is our perfect example, we can be good examples for our children as we strive to do what He would do if He were on earth.
How you can learn more about what Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe
To learn more about Latter-day Saint families and God’s plan for you and your family, visit comeuntochrist.org.