Discussing the Family Proclamation
September 2010

“Discussing the Family Proclamation,” Ensign, Sept. 2010, 67

Discussing the Family Proclamation

Lindsey Spjut Schlensker, Ohio, USA

When I was a teenager, my family held a discussion about the unique principles taught in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”1 We used a whiteboard to draw a T-chart, with one side labeled “What the Family Proclamation Teaches” and the other side labeled “What the World Teaches.” Our family contrasted key principles of the family proclamation with messages we had heard in school, in the media, and elsewhere. (See chart below.)

What the Family Proclamation Teaches

What the World Teaches

“Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

Gender doesn’t really matter, and it’s something you can choose.

“The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave.”

This life is it. There is no plan. Relationships end when we die.

“The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

The family is an outdated social construct resulting from the necessities of past generations.

Reviewing the family proclamation point by point helped us appreciate and understand its various principles more clearly. Contrasting them with other world views helped us recognize messages that are false or confusing or otherwise counter to Heavenly Father’s plan. As a result, we can fortify ourselves against worldy teachings.


  1. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.

Illustration by Beth Whittaker