We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim 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.
All human beings - male and
female - are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or
daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and
destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual pre-mortal,
mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
In the premortal realm, spirit
sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and
accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and
gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately
realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine
plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond
the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make
it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for
families to be united eternally.
The first commandment that God
gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as
husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to
multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare
that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be
employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
We declare the means by which
mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity
of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
Husband and wife have a solemn
responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.
“Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a
sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide
for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve
one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding
citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives - mothers and fathers -
will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these
The family is ordained of God.
Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. 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.
Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon
the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families
are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance,
forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational
activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families
in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities
of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily
responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred
responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as
equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate
individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
We warn that individuals who
violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail
to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before
God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring
upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by
ancient and modern prophets.
We call upon responsible
citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures
designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of