The Family Is Ordained of God

    “The Family Is Ordained of God,” Ensign, Mar. 2003, 9

    The Family Is Ordained of God

    Happiness in this life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    “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.” Thus begins the landmark declaration “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” issued in 1995 (see Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

    Indeed, our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness is reflected in our homes and in our families. As children, it is under the guidance of our parents and through interaction with our sisters and brothers that we first learn to love, to give, to grow, and to live. We experience the joys and pains of life within the circles of our families.

    The proclamation on the family goes on to declare that “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.”

    Whatever the makeup of your family, these divine doctrines remain constants for success—foundations for happy lives. The following artwork by Latter-day Saint artists depicts various families as they teach, learn, and live gospel principles.

    The Purpose of Life

    Our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness is reflected in our families. The joy of parenthood is clear in this detail from a mural by Joseph Brickey titled The Purpose of Life.


    The deep love, concern, and caring of a husband and wife for their child are shown in Keith Mallett’s Tenderly.

    Gospel progression, love, respect, compassion, example, teaching, and learning all happen within our families. These are some of the principles illustrated in the following works.

    Teach Me to Walk in the Light

    Teach Me to Walk in the Light, by Godofredo Orig

    Mother and Child

    Mother and Child, by Hagan Haltern

    Grandma Is a Storyteller

    Grandma Is a Storyteller, by Judith Mehr

    Father and Son Embrace

    Father and Son Embrace, by Robert T. Barrett

    Teach Me to Walk

    Teach Me to Walk, by Nate Pinnock

    The Little Flower

    The Little Flower, by David Lindsley

    Teach Them to Understand

    Teach Them to Understand, by Walter Rane

    Turning the Heart of a Child to Her Ancestors

    Turning the Heart of a Child to Her Ancestors, by Margery Sorensen Cannon.

    The Purpose of Life

    Detail from The Purpose of Life, by Joseph Brickey.

    Bedtime Stories

    Greg Olsen captures a moment shared by grandfather and granddaughters in his painting Bedtime Stories. (Courtesy Millpond Press.)

    Farewell My Son

    An aged mother remembers her son in Farewell My Son, by Glen S. Hopkinson.

    Zion in Her Heart

    A mother’s enduring strength and courage are portrayed in Zion in Her Heart, by Clark Kelley Price.


    We look to Mary with the infant Christ as an example of maternal love, as shown in Madonna, by Kirk Richards.

    Job and His Family

    A righteous family and example of faith and endurance are represented in Job and His Family, by Greg Olsen. (Courtesy Millpond Press.)

    Jairus’s Daughter

    Gratitude and faith in the Lord are evident in Wilson Jay Ong’s portrayal of Jairus’s Daughter.

    Becoming Self-Reliant

    The values of work and unity are displayed in Becoming Self-Reliant, by Abu Hassan Conteh.

    The Responsible Woman

    A mother’s many duties and her enlightened guidance are illustrated in The Responsible Woman, by James C. Christensen.

    Wholesome recreational activities play an important part in a healthy and happy family life.

    Olsen Park

    Families enjoy a winter evening together in Olsen Park, by Eric Dowdle.

    Get Papa

    The Prophet Joseph Smith plays with his sons in Get Papa, by Liz Lemon Swindle.

    Father and Son Dancing

    The spirit of joyous fun is captured in Father and Son Dancing (with Banners), by Brian T. Kershisnik.