“The Family Is Ordained of God”
Is there anything more important than our relationships? This lessons digs deep into the principles behind healthy relationships, with a focus on marriage and parenting. This is a “two-tone” episode… we model the type of discussion that would fit in a Sunday School environment, and then discuss some of the trickier issues that might come up in private discussion. There is something for everyone here.
One Time Donation:
Class Member Reading: “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (pages 25–26). Isaiah 54:13; 1 Nephi 1:1; Mosiah 4:14–15; D&C 68:25; D&C 93:40
Additional Teacher Reading: D&C 131:1–4; 1 Corinthians 11:11; Genesis 1:26–27; D&C 68:25–28; 93:40; D&C 121:41–46
Prepare to be taught by Carol Lynn, Adam, and Bonnie in a wonderful discussion.
You can access the Annotated Reading here.
You can access the Lesson Notes here.
Go here to download about 10 minutes of bonus content, where we talk about the balance of positive and negative in relationships and some background of the Proclamation.
- John Gottman, Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
- More resources for couples
- An interview with Sue Johnson, a therapist who does Emotionally Focused Therapy
- Hold Me Tight, a book about resolving conflict and being present in marriage
- Sue Johnson on Attachment Therapy
- Books on sexuality in marriage
- A paradigm shifting interview with Jennifer Finlayson-Fife on female sexuality in a Mormon context
- A Mormon Stories interview about sexual satisfaction in marriage
- How to be a good parent in 25 words or less
- Some brief remarks I presented about the term “help meet” and responsibilities of marriage partners.
- A post about the nature and status of the Proclamation at Times & Seasons.
- An interview with Chieko Okazaki which gives some background on the Proclamation to the Family
- A post that makes some guesses about who authored the Proclamation
- A post about the changes to Packer’s talk
Many thanks to Devin Roth for the beautiful bumper music. Check out his arrangement of hymns and other work at DevinRothMusic.
Thanks to James Estrada for his amazingly fast turn around on audio post-production.
Wow. What an exellent lesson/discussion. Probably the best of the year since it gets right at the core values of the church, and society as a whole. Hopefully this discussion is carried out as psitively in other wards.
Six thoughts that hopefully will add to the discussion:
1) Marriage being defined as “between a man and a woman” does not preclude plural marriage. In plural marriage, each marriage is a separate marriage between one man and one woman. If a man is married or sealed to two women, each marriage or sealing is a separate marriage/sealing. The two women involved are not married to each other and it is not group marriage. The same thing is true when a woman who has died is sealed to more than one of the men she was married to in life – each sealing is a separate sealing.
2) When it is suggested that gender is socially constructed, it also suggests sexual orientation is socially constructed since sexual orientation is about which gender a person is sexually attracted to. It is interesting how ridged and overly simplistic our society has become around sexual orientation differences and how flexible and dismissive we have become about gender differences.
3) In the proclamation it talks about the roles of fathers and mothers. This is much more specific than the roles of men and women. In the pod cast the more general roles of men and women seem to be confused with the much more specific roles of father and mother. Although I wish that the proclamation’s wording around roles of fathers and mothers was clearer, it is important to remember they are about the roles of fathers and mothers, not about the roles of men and women.
4) The statement that “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” is about what children are entitled to. Decades of research indicate that children who have these privileges are better off. This seems to be a result of at least the following: 1) the diverse and independent positive impacts that fathers and mothers have on children (60 plus years of research supports that parental gender diversity does matter in child development), 2) the benefits of a good gender diverse marriage on child development, and 3) the benefits of having two parents instead of one.
5) I think it is very important to remember that redefining marriage legally and socially redefines it for everyone and changes the nature of marriage. Redefining marriage as being between two adults, rather than between a man and a woman is a radical change and completely separates marriage from procreation and gender diversity in parenting. The proclamation does seem to be an attempt to prevent the redefinition of marriage and does seem to be an attempt to promote children having the benefits of being reared by their gender diverse biological parents who live in love and righteousness.
6) Sexual orientation is very complex and the often shill and one-dimensional voices around sexual orientation issues at this time in the world’s history often negate deeper truths about how we are to love and seek to bless the lives of all of God’s children and learn to be like God. I strongly believe we can love and support and affirm our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters without redefining marriage and denying the benefits of parental gender diversity to children.
Mama Rae says:
I really appreciated all your thoughts. I used some of them in my class this Sunday and it went great. Thank you for all the work you put into it. Also, as a comment to the person above saying that we shouldn’t deny gender diversity to children…I agree that children need to see a model of various aspects of gender to help in their own maturation processes. But, sometimes I think we look at gender diversity as making sure the child has one person with male reproductive parts and one person with female reproductive parts in the home. That does not ensure that the child has a full range of gender diversity. We all have many aspects of what is considered male or female gender aspects. In fact, I would argue that a healthy person is going to embody some of both. A gay or lesbian home can demonstrate just as much gender diversity as a straight home.