“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
“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.
“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
“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 society.”
We commend to all a careful, thoughtful, and prayerful reading of this
proclamation. The strength of any nation is rooted within the walls of
its homes. We urge our people everywhere to strengthen their families in
conformity with these time-honored values.