Belief in Family Values Brings Comfort During Loss

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe families are important. We believe them to be fundamental to the well-being of our nations, divine in their design and eternal in their potential. While we recognize that no two families are exactly the same and that disability, death or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation, we believe these principles to be eternal truths:

“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. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 129).

Elder David P. Homer, a local leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who oversees northeastern Canada, reflected on the loss of his mother, who passed away in 2012. Upon this solemn occasion, Elder Homer expressed gratitude for the family values he learned within the Church, values that his mother upheld.


“My mother passed away after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for nearly a decade. I am grateful she was not alone in her final hours and that she was mercifully granted moments of coherence during which my sisters and brother could say their final goodbyes.

“As I scrambled to make arrangements to travel from Toronto, Ontario, to Salt Lake City, Utah, I spoke with a nurse who told me Mom was weakening. Realizing that I might not get to her in time, I asked my sister to put the phone to Mom’s ear. I told her of my love for her and that it was time for her to go. Within five minutes of ending the call, I received word that Mom was gone.

“Some might argue the timing was a coincidence. But to me, it was not. It seemed that Mom wanted to speak to all of her children, and with that task completed she was then ready to go. This was not a surprise to me. Even though she was a woman of great professional and personal accomplishments, nothing was ever more important to Mom than her family.

“After my mother was laid to rest, I was left to ponder the principles I’ve learned regarding family values. My mother and father had dedicated their lives to living these principles, and I have been greatly blessed because of it.

“I know there are those who believe differently from me. While I respect their right to believe what works for them, I am grateful for these truths that work for me.”

Three issues of paramount importance to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — faith, family and religious freedom — are the subject of an address from Church Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland published in the fall 2013 edition of the Clark Memorandum (the BYU law school magazine).

Elder Holland speaks of the importance of a family-centred society where parents “nourish a child’s mind and heart and spirit.” He says that, in general, “no community of whatever size or definition has enough resources in time, money or will to make up for what does not happen at home.” He also suggests that, instead of redefining the meaning of marriage and family, “our age ought to be reinforcing and exalting that which has been the backbone of civilization since the dawn of it.”

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