The Family: A Proclamation (and a fun gift for grandparents!)

Fifteen years ago, the leaders of my Church, who we sustain as modern prophets, gave a powerful statement of our beliefs about families. Elegant and profound, I love the words of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." If you've ever wondered why Mormons feel so strongly about families, all you need to do is read this proclamation.

Last summer, I downloaded a wonderful digital booklet someone had made with the complete text of the document, with space to add my own photos. So for Christmas, I created the following book using the Proclamation and my own family photos. I'm giving a copy to each set of Grandparents and keeping two for our family.

The following is our book (with my commentary in parentheses)

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 premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
(This page is one of my favorites -- we are a little unbalanced in gender in our family!)

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped 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 their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.
The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. (Lillian with her namesake, my husband's Grandma, who passed away less than a year after this photo was taken)

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. (Don't you love this picture with this text?)

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. (isn't Katherine beautiful?)

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” (Psalm 127:3).

Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God.

Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. (Both of these pictures were taken when we were engaged -- don't we look young?)

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,


repentance, forgiveness,

respect, love,



and wholesome recreational activities.
(the easiest to find pictures for!)

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. (and what a lot of work that is!)

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 society.


Cynthia said…
That is awesome Christina! I love it, that is a great gift idea...maybe in a couple years I will have time to use it :)
bjahlstrom said…
That was cool. What a great idea.
April J. said…
I love that! It would be the perfect gift for my hubby!
April J. said…
I tried to click on the link and it didn't work, can you send me the link?
Thanks jacobsclan53 at astound dot net
Wendy said…
That's an awesome idea!! I love what you have done. I think I want to do this same thing as well. Thanks for sharing this idea.
Handsfullmom said…
April (and all), I fixed the link to the download -- it's just 99 cents for the .png file (you can't adjust the size of the picture "holes") or $10 for the photoshop file.
Jacki said…
Beautiful! Your photos are gorgeous too.
Natalie said…
What a great gift idea! Of course, your family pictures make it fantastic.
kacy faulconer said…
I love the picture of Harmony on the car and the one with one mad twin and one happy twin.
Courtney said…
That is so cool!
April Perry said…
Beautiful job on that!
rootsong said…
I just wanted to let you know that I linked this post in my blog. I'd feel way too stalkerish & creepy if I didn't come here & let you know. ;) The book you made for/of your family is just too gorgeous! I love it. I fills me with warm & fuzzy mushy gush. Your family is so very blessed! Beautiful family! Beautiful post!
Marie said…
I love this. What a wonderful, beautiful creative way to share this important principle. Beautiful work!
Amanda :) said…
This is awesome! I want to create one as well! I tried to click the link you set for the book template but it wouldn't work. I would love if you could email that to me! Thanks!

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