My husband and I recently attended a Sunday school lesson that opened our eyes to how these doctrines of the gospel are truly one and the same. In the lesson, the teachers asked us to get in groups and discuss how two documents are related to each other. One was The Living Christ, a testimony from the leaders of our church discussing Christ’s life and His importance to our lives. The second was The Family: A Proclamation to the World, a declaration of our church’s beliefs about family and the plan of salvation.

I loved the comparisons we drew between the documents, and I’d like to share a few of them with you. In each point I will explain how a quote from The Living Christ relates to the doctrines found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

1. “He ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example.” The Living Christ

When Iooking back on my family, I think of all the good things my parents did for me, but sometimes I resented those same things. I hated being disciplined for arguing with my siblings. Sometimes I really didn’t want to stop what I was doing to read scriptures as a family or join in family home evening. But in retrospect, the lessons I learned from those activities are really meaningful to me now. I love my parents even more now because of the love they showed for me, even when I despised their actions and decisions. The Family: A Proclamation to the World says, “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, [and] observe the commandments of God.” My parents’ discipline and commitment to the gospel taught me in word and deed the things that Christ taught. These things they taught are the good things in my life, the things that have eternal value.

2. “He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our pre-mortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.” The Living Christ

The Family: A Proclamation to the World teaches that “The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” In other words, the family is the eternal basic unit of God’s plan. God is our Father, and all of us are His spirit Children; He wants us all to come back to him. This is the purpose of life on earth. “Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.” Our divine destiny is to live with God and our families forever, eternally progressing to become like Him. God is the ultimate example of fatherhood, and He lays out the example for how he wants our families to be in the words of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

3. “His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.” The Living Christ

The Family: A Proclamation to the World affirms, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” There is no other path that can give you as much joy as the path that is led by our Savior and Friend. He loves you. He wants the best for you. He gave His life for you.  I testify that if you abide by the teachings of Jesus Christ, and strive to live your life like He did, you will be happy. And this happiness, not the brief strokes of pleasure of the world, will last into the eternities.

BY CARI AVERETT