I wrote today's post to join in a blog hop celebrating the Proclamation to the World on the Family. I chose to write about these lines, "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." This is one part of our doctrine that many people have concerns or questions about, so today I am sharing my beliefs.
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God’s purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. He has put us on this earth so we can learn and to prove ourselves. We learn, by following Christ’s example, to become more like God. And we prove ourselves to show whether our desires are to follow Christ or not. Ultimately our own actions fall short of exaltation, but if we have desired to follow the Lord and worked for that, then His atonement makes up for our failures and allows us to return to God’s presence. When we gain exaltation our spirit or intelligence will be reunited with our resurrected body of flesh and bone.
Men and women are different. That is an intentional part of God’s plan for us. He has given men and women differing responsibilities here on earth to provide us with the experiences we need to prove ourselves.
A woman on earth has the calling and opportunity to become a co-creator with God and bear children, giving physical bodies to God’s waiting spirit children. She then nurtures and raises them to follow God, and prepare to make covenants with Him. A man on the earth works with the woman, as equal partners, husband and wife, in rearing their children in love and righteousness. He presides over the family, which means that ultimately it is he that will be held accountable before the Lord for the outcome of the family. The father holds the priesthood, which gives him the responsibility to minister to his family and provide for them, with help from other worthy priesthood holders, the ordinances required for the family members to receive exaltation.
In the plan our Heavenly Father has set forth the woman provides the physical body and the man provides the ordinances of the Priesthood necessary for our spiritual salvation. One responsibility is not more important than the other. We can not be an exalted being if we have not received the priesthood ordinances and covenants, and we can not be an exalted being without having received a physical earthly body, which because of Christ’s resurrection will be restored unto us in its perfect state.
There is no exaltation without the man’s contribution, nor without the woman’s. The man’s and woman’s roles are complimentary and synergistic to reaching the same goal, because God intended for man and a woman to join together in equal partnership to assist each other in performing our earthly callings. Just as a woman cannot fulfill her calling of conception without her husband, a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to create an eternal family without his wife. A man and woman go together to receive the highest ordinances of the temple, and also the highest level of the Celestial kingdom is reserved for a woman and a man united together as one.
All men and women have the opportunity to prepare themselves for the ordinance of baptism, and if they remain worthy and keep their baptismal covenants have the right to the companionship of the Holy Ghost, including the gifts of the spirit such as the gift of tongues, prophesy, revelation, visions, healing, and interpretations of tongues. All men and women who are baptized have the opportunity to prepare for the ordinances of the temple, and to come forth endowed with power of the priesthood that comes from the covenants they keep, to help them complete their mission on earth and return to God the Father.
We do not know the reason why God has organized his Church the way that he has, but we do know that God has promised us that the opportunities that we are given on this earth will be sufficient for us to prove ourselves to Him and gain exaltation. We do not need to covet the responsibilities which God has given to others and not us, because he has promised that if we are faithful over a few things then he will make us rulers over many. This applies also to women who are unable to bear children in this life, as well as men who are unable to hold the priesthood in this life. We have been promised that the faithful and righteous will be compensated for blessings they did not receive in this life but were worthy of. This life was never meant to be the end of our progression, we will not be limited in the eternities to only the blessings received here on earth.
But if we can exercise faith in this life to trust God and His plan, understanding that our current perspective is limited and God’s is limitless, then we will be welcomed to return to His presence, where the mysteries of God will be unfolded to us, where we will receive all that the Father hath. We will bring glory to God, as we have followed His plan and gained the immortality and eternal life He has offered us all.
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For additional information see below, for a fully-referenced version of this article click here.
General information: see mormon.org
General information: see mormon.org
Let Us Think Straight by Elder M. Russell BallardDaughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society Chapter 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for all