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Handbook emphasizes families

Leaders and teachers are instructed in the new Church Handbook of Instructions to strengthen parents in their responsibilities. In the "Gospel Teaching and Leadership" section of the second volume, the handbook states:

"The most important place for gospel teaching and leadership is in the family and the home. (See Mosiah 4:14-15, D&C 68:25-28.)

"The family is ordained of God. It is central to His plan for the eternal destiny of His children. God has established families to bring happiness to His children, to help them learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and to prepare them for eternal life.

"Leaders teach parents how to strengthen their righteous leadership in the home. They encourage parents to carefully plan and carry out family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, and other family activities. They set an example of this in their own homes.

"Quorums, auxiliaries, programs and activities in the Church should strengthen and support the family. They should enhance gospel centered-family activities, not compete with them. . . .

"Families should hold daily family prayer. Each family member should be given a regular opportunity to offer the prayer.

"Parents should gather their families regularly to read and discuss the scriptures. Each family member who can read should be given the opportunity to do so.

"Parents are to hold a weekly family home evening to teach and strengthen their families. Stake and ward leaders are to keep Monday evenings free from Church meetings and activities. . . .

"Parents may call family members together in family council meetings. Family councils are used to set goals, resolve problems, discuss finances, make plans, and give support and strength. Family councils may be held in connection with family home evening or at other times."

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