A purpose of the Church: happiness in the family

Leaders do know, care

Speak plainly- Teach rules of happiness

Speaking Saturday morning about the father and the family, Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve contrasted the goals of the Church and of the adversary.

"The ultimate purpose of every teaching and activity in the Church is that parents and children are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, and linked to their generations," he said. "The ultimate purpose of the adversary . . . is to disrupt, disturb and destroy the home and family."

He spoke of the drift from family values, cautioning that unless the course is corrected civilization will be wrecked. Teachings of past prophets have helped the Church prepare for today's "crisis of the family," he said.

He spoke of Jacob, who taught according to the strict commands of God even though he might have been enlarging "the wounds of those who are already wounded." (Jacob 2:9-10.)

"When we speak plainly of divorce, abuse, gender identity, contraception, abortion, parental neglect, we are thought by some to be way out of touch or to be uncaring. Some ask if we know how many we hurt when we speak plainly. Do we know of marriages in trouble, of the many who remain single, of single parent families, of couples unable to have children, of parents with wayward children, or of those confused about gender. Do we know? Do we care?"

"Those who ask have no idea how much we care. . . . Because we do know and because we do care, we must teach the rules of happiness without dilution, apology, or avoidance. That is our calling."

Speaking to the men of the Church, Elder Packer noted many are worthy fathers and husbands who do what they should, but, he said, there are women whose hearts have been broken and children who are neglected, even abused. He said the next series of stake and regional conferences will be devoted to teaching the doctrines and principles of responsible and worthy manhood.

"If you understand the Great Plan of Happiness and follow it, what goes on in the world will not determine your happiness," Elder Packer said. Noting that responsibility as a father transcends any other interest in life, he declared it is "unthinkable that a Latter-day Saint man would cheat on his wife or abandon the children he has fathered, or neglect or abuse them."

He spoke of the man's responsibility to provide temporal support for his wife and children. He said never should there be domineering or unworthy behavior in the tender, intimate relationship between husband and wife. "Your wife is your partner in the leadership of the family and should have full knowledge of and full participation in all decisions relating to your home."

Elder Packer said the family is safe within the Church, and that the course to follow was given in the beginning, and guidance is renewed as need may be.

"The distance between the Church and a world set on a course which we cannot follow will steadily increase," he said. "Some will fall away into apostasy, break their covenants, and replace the plan of redemption with their own rules. Across the world those who now come by the tens of thousands will inevitably come as a flood to where the family is safe."

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