*This is a very important topic, and I ask that you read to the very end. There is a long passage from a church talk, but I break it down and add my testimony afterwards.*
“Throughout the ages, evil forces have attacked the family. Why do you suppose Satan is so obsessed with its dissolution? Because it stands for everything he wants and cannot have. He cannot be a husband, a father, or a grandfather. He cannot have posterity now or ever. Satan cannot even keep those he has led away from God. He has no eternal kingdom or inheritance.” (J. Richard Clarke, Ensign, May 1989, p. 60)
Find where Satan is attacking the most and that’s what we should focus on protecting. What is he attacking the most?
“We have to know what we’re fighting against. If our young people don’t understand what they’re fighting against, then they can’t prepare for the battle, and neither can you. We see evidence all around us that the family is not important. It’s becoming less important in all societies. We know that because marriage rates are declining, the age of marriage is rising, divorce rates are rising, and more than a fourth of all births are out of wedlock. We see lower birth rates, and they’re dropping every year worldwide. Abortion is rising…and we see unequal relationships with men and women, and we see a lot of cultures that still practice abuse of some kind within family relationships. Many times a career is gaining importance over the family.”
“We know, from our studies here at Church headquarters, concerning the rising generation, that our youth are increasingly less confident in the institution of families. They are less confident in their ability to form a successful eternal family. Because they are less confident in families, they’re placing more and more value on education and less and less importance on forming an eternal family.”
“We know, from visiting with them and conducting studies, that they show a lack of faith in their ability to be successful in families. They don’t see forming families as a faith-based work. For them, it’s a selection process much like shopping. They don’t see it as something that the Lord will bless them and help them to accomplish. They also distrust their own moral strength and the moral strength of their peers. Because temptations are so fierce, they aren’t sure they can be successful in keeping covenants. They also have insufficient and underdeveloped social skills, which are an impediment to them in forming eternal families.”
“This is the world our young people are growing up in. They are in this world where there is “spiritual wickedness in high places.” Public policies are being made every day that are anti-family, and the definition of family is changing legally around the world…There are media messages everywhere that are anti-family, and our young people are very connected with media-Internet, television… (Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter) Increasingly, our youth are seeing no reason to form a family or get married in spite of all the teaching you give them. They are being desensitized about the need to form eternal families.”
Sister Julie B. Beck, Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Satellite Broadcast, August 4, 2009 (I suggest reading the whole talk-it’s a good one)
I know that was a long passage from Sister Beck’s talk in 2009. But here’s what we learn from it:
- The family is not important in the world and there is evidence of it. Even if people say family is important to them, it shows how important family is in their priorities and how much time they are spending on this sacred institution.
- Younger generations are growing up in this world that the family is more often something to joke about or lie to, and so that is what they know.
- Youth are not confidence in their ability to form eternal families with the help of the Lord.
- Anti-family messages are everywhere and they desensitize us.
We are becoming desensitized about the NEED for a family.
What we can do:
- If we believe the family is important, let it show in how we spend our time. How much time are we spending with our families? How is that time spent? Let us not set aside time for our family members, later looking back knowing we never looked in their eyes but were intent on looking at our screens. My take-away: I will spend more time with my family members, doing wholesome things-playing with them. I will put my phone far away, and look in their eyes instead.
- Though I am not a parent, I am blessed with many little siblings. It bothers me when they are watching a show and all the plot is the kids lying to their parents, making fun of them, or joking at their family members expense. I have an influence over my siblings, and I need to use it more. I will teach them about families to admire and aspire to, and together we can compare them to what they see everyday.
- I wish to be completely confident in my ability to form an eternal family someday. Confidence I think, is something easily crushed. So to continually fortify our confidence on this topic, I can study in the scriptures and from the words of Latter-Day Prophets the divine origin of the family. I am not of this world and I do not wish to be of this world, and neither is the family. Learning more about family, spending more time with mine, and preparing myself for my future will increase my confidence.
- I wish to never be desensitized by the things I don’t believe in. Anti-family messages are so apparent and I worry that I am desensitized to them. One thing we can do is go through all the media we intake. If we really understand the importance of the family, it will not be a hard choice to sacrifice some television show or a social media page. Another thing is to watch the jokes we laugh at. I’ve always loved thinking, “You can tell a lot about a person by what they laugh at.” Well what are we laughing at? Are the jokes we encourage hurting our Spirits?
The family is so important. No matter what kind of family we all come from, we know that people are supposed to be together, man is not supposed to be alone. No matter the past experiences we have with family, we always have the future. God’s plan is centered around families, and so the fight to win over evil has also had the family at the center of the attack. There is a lot of things to aspire to in the world: job titles, fame, followers on social media, world influence, money. But I know the one that really matters most is the family. I don’t know about you, but I wish it to be said of me,
“She really worked hard to protect her family.”