America’s blueprint for freedom, the United States Constitution, has an introduction to set context, the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration explains the why and what of freedom. Likewise, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has an introduction to set context – The Family: A Proclamation to the World. In this single document, faithful Latter-day Saints are instructed in the why and what of our Gospel identity.
We are instructed in Creation, not of earth but of man. We are instructed that gender is eternal, not of temporal manufacture. We are instructed that family structure, not emotional well being, establishes a family in God’s plan. We are instructed about the importance of parents and the roles of men and women inside a family. And, lastly, we are warned about not heeding its truths and importuned to defend marriage and family as bulwarks of a free society.
Family is the fundamental unit of society and of all eternity. The family unit, as a structure of a man, a woman and their offspring, provides the personal scaffolding of eternal lives and the core human relationships to promote progress and prosperity. The family unit is intergenerational and child-centric. The world is individualistic and adult-centric. The institution of the family is the only social construct designed to uplift and edify competing institutions, such as the individual, church, corporation and the state.
In every civilization, peace, prosperity and freedom have fallen victim whenever family structure has been attacked by tyrants, revolutionaries and misguided do-gooders. There is a positive state interest in the natural family – the natural family is selfless, sacrificial, productive, generationally binding and forward looking. It does what no other competitor can do. It nurtures little barbarians into civilized adults without state coercion thereby extending freedom to future generations.
Next: The Light of Christ