By Divine Design
April 2008

“By Divine Design,” Ensign, Apr. 2008, 40–43

By Divine Design

We believe the family is ordained of God. Our understanding of the family is declared in the prophetic guide “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

“With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn. In furtherance of this we of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles now issue a proclamation to the Church and to the world as a declaration and reaffirmation of the standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history.”1

With these words, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) introduced “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”2 at the general Relief Society meeting held on September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“We commend to all a careful, thoughtful, and prayerful reading of this proclamation,” he urged. “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.”3

Following are images of Asian people, whose culture is known for their “intense and devoted family relationships,” which include “respect for elders and high standards for children.”4 These images are representative of Latter-day Saints worldwide and depict important teachings found in the family proclamation.

map of eastern Asia

Map © Mountain High Maps

illustration of woman reading

Illustration by Rachel Tsai

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

photo of family with newborn baby

Photograph by Chi-Jung Chen

“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.”

illustration of family praying
illustration of family studying scriptures

Illustrations by Mikko Yoshida

“Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”

photo of family playing
illustration of family activity

Photograph by Hyun-Gyu Lee; illustration by An Duck Hyun

“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.”

illustration of mother and son

Illustration by Esther Tsai, may not be copied

“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.”


  1. “Stand Strong against the Wiles of the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 100.

  2. Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.

  3. Ensign, Nov. 1995, 101.

  4. “The Asians at Berkeley,” Wall Street Journal, May 30, 1995, p. A14, quoted in Ensign, Nov. 1995, 99.

Border: Chinese Patterns (1999), Shambhala Publications © Pepin Publishing