Selected Teachings on
Ezra Taft Benson (Quorum of the Twelve)
It has been truly stated that "salvation is a family affair ... and that the family unit is the most important organization in time or in eternity."
The Church was created in large measure to help the family, and long after the church has performed its mission, the celestial patriarchal order will still be functioning. (Conference Report, October 1970, p.21)
Boyd K. Packer (Quorum of the Twelve)
The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children might be happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood.
Every law and principle and power, every belief, every ordinance and ordination, every covenant, every sermon and every sacrament, every counsel and correction, the sealings, the calls, the releases, the service—all these have as their ultimate purpose the perfection of the individual and the family, for the Lord has said, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). (Ensign, May 2010)
The ministry of the prophets and apostles leads them ever and always to the home and the family. That shield of faith is not produced in a factory but at home in a cottage industry.
The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father. (Ensign, May 1995, p.7)
The center core of the Church is not the stake house; it is not the chapel; that is not the center of Mormonism. And, strangely enough, the most sacred place on the earth may not be the temple, necessarily. The chapel, the stake house, and the temple are sacred as they contribute to the building of the most sacred institution in the Church—the home—and to the blessing of the most sacred relationships in the Church, the family. (Family Togetherness—the Core of the Church, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1963, 10)
Russell M. Nelson (Quorum of the Twelve)
All Church activities, advancements, quorums, and classes are means to the end of an exalted family. To make this goal possible, our Heavenly Father has restored priesthood keys in this dispensation so that essential ordinances in His plan can be performed by proper authority. Heavenly messengers—including John the Baptist; Peter, James, and John; Moses, Elias, and Elijah—have participated in that restoration…. Celestial marriage brings greater possibilities for happiness than does any other relationship. The earth was created and this Church was restored so that families could be formed, sealed, and exalted eternally. (Ensign, Nov 2008, 92–95)
Priesthood offices, keys, callings, and quorums are meant to exalt families (see D&C 23:3). Priesthood authority has been restored so that families can be sealed eternally. So brethren, your foremost priesthood duty is to nurture your marriage—to care for, respect, honor, and love your wife. Be a blessing to her and your children. (Ensign, May 2006, 36–38)
L. Tom Perry (Quorum of the Twelve)
President Harold B. Lee ... said the Church is the scaffold with which we build eternal families (see The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 267)....
There are two principle reasons why I appreciate President Lee’s metaphor for the Church—as scaffolding for our eternal families. First, it helps me understand what the Church is. Second, and equally important, I understand what the Church is not.
The Church as scaffolding is perhaps best represented by the statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith about his role as the leader of the Church. He said: “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.” Eternal principles are the scaffolding the Church provides. These eternal principles are embedded in the doctrines of the Kingdom of the Eternal God, and reflected in His eternal plan of happiness. We meet as members of the Church to teach and learn from each other the principles of righteousness and receive saving ordinances so the scaffolding is steady and stable as we build our eternal families.
Notice that the Church is not meant to do the work of parents—it guides the work of parents. The Church offers an eternal form. As builders of eternal families, we are reassured by promises that if we build according to this eternal form, our efforts can provide the safety and protection we seek for those we love most.
My young friends, your challenge is to use the Church as scaffolding to build a family that is ... spiritually strong. ("The Church: Scaffolding for Our Lives," Brigham Young University-Idaho Devotional, 24 January 2012 )
M. Russell Ballard (Quorum of the Twelve)
The family is where the foundation of personal, spiritual growth is built and nurtured; the Church then is the scaffolding that helps support and strengthen the family. (LDS Church News, 1996, 04/13/96)
Dallin H. Oaks (Quorum of the Twelve)
The purpose of mortal life and the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to prepare the sons and daughters of God for their destiny—to become like our heavenly parents. (Ensign, Oct 1995, 7)
The purpose of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to help all of the children of God understand their potential and achieve their highest destiny. This church exists to provide the sons and daughters of God with the means of entrance into and exaltation in the celestial kingdom. This is a family-centered church in doctrine and practices. Our understanding of the nature and purpose of God the Eternal Father explains our destiny and our relationship in his eternal family. Our theology begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them. Under the merciful plan of the Father, all of this is possible through the atonement of the Only Begotten of the Father, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As earthly parents we participate in the gospel plan by providing mortal bodies for the spirit children of God. The fulness of eternal salvation is a family matter. (Ensign, May 1995, 84)
Bruce R. McConkie (Quorum of the Twelve)
Everything that we do in the Church is connected and associated with and tied into the eternal order of matrimony that God has ordained. Everything that we do from the time that we become accountable through all our experiences, and all the counsel and direction we receive up to the time of marriage, is designed and intended to prepare us to enter into a probationary marriage arrangement, one that does in fact become eternal if we abide in the covenant made in connection with that order of matrimony. Then everything that we do for the remainder of our lives, whatsoever it may be, ties back into the celestial order of matrimony into which we have entered, and is designed and intended to encourage us to keep the covenant made in holy places. (Brigham Young University, 6 November 1977)
From the moment of birth into mortality to the time we are married in the temple, everything we have in the whole gospel system is to prepare and qualify us to enter that holy order of matrimony which makes us husband and wife in this life and in the world to come.
Then from the moment we are sealed together by the power and authority of the holy priesthood—the power to bind on earth and have it sealed eternally in the heavens—from that moment everything connected with revealed religion is designed to help us keep the terms and conditions of our marriage covenant, so that this covenant will have efficacy, virtue, and force in the life to come. (Conference Report, April 1970, p.26)