The Doctrine of Marriage and Family

It is essential in building an eternal marriage that the married couple must strive for the doctrinal ideal of marriage and family.

In the Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast: Support the Family held in February 2006 sponsored by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:

We have been counseled strongly by the First Presidency to devote our best efforts to the strengthening of marriage and the home. Such instruction has never been more needed in the world than it is today, as the sanctity of marriage is attacked and the importance of the home is undermined.

Even though the Church and its programs support marriage and family and generally are successful at doing so, we should always remember this basic truth: no instrumentality or organization can take the place of the home or perform its essential functions. [See First Presidency letter, Feb. 11, 1999; or Liahona, Dec. 1999,1; Ensign, June 1999, 80 Consequently, today I will speak with you primarily as men and women, as husbands and wives, and as mothers and fathers and secondarily as priesthood and auxiliary leaders in the Church. My assignment is to discuss the essential role of eternal marriage in our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness.

We will focus on the doctrinal ideal of marriage. My hope is that a review of our eternal possibilities and a reminder about who we are and why we are here in mortality will provide direction, comfort, and sustaining hope for us all, regardless of our marital status or personal present circumstances. The disparity between the doctrinal ideal of marriage and the reality of daily life may seem at times to be quite large, but you gradually are doing and becoming much better than you probably recognize.   (“Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan,” Ensign, Jun 2006, 82–87; emphasis added)

Two years later in the Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast: Building Up a Righteous Posterity held on Feb. 9, 2008--in which all members of the Church 18 years and older were invited--Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Aposltes stated:

Now, I hope this helps you understand why we talk about the pattern, the ideal, of marriage and family when we know full well that not everyone now lives in that ideal circumstance. It is precisely because many don’t have, or perhaps have never even seen, that ideal and because some cultural forces steadily move us away from that ideal, that we speak about what our Father in Heaven wishes for us in His eternal plan for His children.

Individual adaptations have to be made as marital status and family circumstances differ. But all of us can agree on the pattern as it comes from God, and we can strive for its realization the best way we can.

We who are General Authorities and general officers are called to teach His general rules. You and we then lead specific lives and must seek the Lord’s guidance regarding specific circumstances. But there would be mass confusion and loss of gospel promises if no general ideal and no doctrinal standard were established and, in our case today, repeated. We take great strength in knowing the Lord has spoken on these matters, and we accept His counsel even when it might not be popular.  ("General Patterns and Specific Lives," Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast: Building Up a Rightous Posterity; emphasis added)

Click here for more on the concept of an "ideal" marriage.

It can be seen that understanding the doctrine of marriage and parenthood is essential in building an eternal marriage.  The following are resources that will aid in understanding the doctrines of 

(1) marriage
(2) family
(3) husbands and wives as equal partners
(4) the divine role of men (husbands and fathers)
(5) the divine role of women (wives and mothers)

(1) The Doctrine of Marriage

Basic Fundamental Teachings Regarding Marriage

Role of Marriage and Child-Bearing the Plan of Salvation

Additional Teachings

(2)    The Doctrine of Family

(3)  Husbands and Wives as Equal Partners

(4)  The Divine Role of Men (Husbands and Fathers)

Teachings from the Church Leaders

Articles From Church Members in Church Magazines About Fatherhood

(5)  The Divine Role of Women (Wives and Mothers)

  Teachings From Leaders of the Church

Artricles From Church Members in Church Magazines Regarding Motherhood