The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a document titled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” that discusses the role and importance of the family. This beautiful document intends for the whole world to benefit from it, not just those of the LDS faith. We invite all to read and study this inspired document regularly.

Reading a religious article is easy, but studying a religious article can be difficult to do. We often find ourselves reading the scriptures or religious articles on a “repeat” motion as we might feel with waking up, showering, and eating every morning. Daily routines are good for us, but what can we do to make them better? We could exercise after we wake up, listen to some pumped-up music while in the shower, and start reading that new book we just bought while eating breakfast.

We can also enhance our personal religious readings by finding new ways to study the words of God. Here are five fun and different ways to study “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” to enhance our routine studying of this precious document.

  1. Make it Personal – While reading the Proclamation, insert your name into every place appropriate, along with the name of your spouse if you are married. For example, I would read the opening sentence as, “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 Joshua and Elizabeth is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of Elizabeth and Joshua’s family.”
  2. Highlight Your Part – Highlight every section that applies to you. If you are a woman, highlight all the parts pertaining to a woman’s role and a mother’s role, even if you do not have children. The same goes for men. Knowing what the Lord desires for each of us specifically, will help us improve in these roles or prepare for them.
  3. Discuss the Worldly Differences – It is no secret that the statements made in this Proclamation are very different from the world’s opinions of what gender can be and how romantic relationships can look. Don’t shy away from these topics. Mark the differences between the Lord’s words and the world’s words and discuss them with yourself and your family. Be prepared to know and stand up for what you believe in.
  4. Live what you Read – When we practice what we learn, it truly becomes a part of us. The Proclamation contains nine paragraphs. Starting from the beginning, read one paragraph from the Proclamation each week for nine weeks. Each week, pray for and look for experiences in which you can practice what the specific paragraph you read teaches. Even if the paragraph talks about the roles of the opposite gender, look for ways to sustain and respect the roles of that gender.
  5. Make a Plan – We are more likely to fulfill our goals in life once we have written them down. Write down a plan of how you intend to incorporate and continuously live the principles taught in the Proclamation. Revise this plan as necessary and return to study it often. Nobody and no family are perfect, but this Proclamation gives us the guidance and tools to strive for perfection.

BY ELIZABETH HANSEN