“Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan…”
I was recently introduced to the funny and thought provoking blog, Middle-aged Mormon Man (thanks, Em & JB). I feel inspired by his being inspired to celebrate “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”.
My Al and I had a discussion about the Proclamation about a month ago which prompted me to find a way to display this wonderful document in the Mini Haus. My own framed copy of the official print is currently far far away in storage, since we came to Germany with only our suitcases.
So, I decided to look it up on lds.org and hand write it.
Which led to using my drawing pencils and sketch pad.
Which led to my making it a little frilly.
Now I just need a frame.
I was too lazy to use a straight edge so my writing is haphazard. But that is so me. Haphazard. (Look it up. You’ll see a picture of me.)
Writing out every word forced me to really spend some quality time with the Proclamation. That’s why a few days later, when the opportunity came to recite it, I could. I actually quoted it. And I’m terrible, TERRIBLE with verbatim.
I was with the Sister Missionaries on our way to meet with a man–not of the LDS faith–and have a friendly discussion about each others’ views of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As we were entering the U.S. military installation, we had to spend a few minutes at the gate getting the go-ahead for me to escort the Sisters in. As we waited, one of the German security guards said, “Tell me–What is your church’s view on the family?”
One of the sisters turned to me and asked if I wanted to answer.
I thought, Cool, here’s my chance to put my hours of working on my proclamation to the test. So I answered him with, “We believe that the family is central to God’s plan.”
In thick Deutch accent, the guard replied, “But what do you think the wife should do? Does she hang out in disco clubs?”
The sisters proceeded to give him a 10 second answer in the negative. I don’t recall what they said because I was distracted by two things: 1) I started to question the accuracy of my quote and 2) the second guard came out with the ok for us to enter the gate so we could move along to our appointment. That’s what Haphazards do; they question themselves and get distracted by the squirrel*.
When I came home, I pulled out my just finished proclamation and couldn’t see the words I quoted. See, I am terrible at verbatim.
That is– I wasn’t wrong in what I said, I just basically paraphrased. I didn’t really need to recite it word for word. I know what I believe. Still, I stomped my foot and growled at my not getting it right.
“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan…”
That is what I meant to say. Oh well.
Moving on to my favorite part of the Proclamation.
Something different stands out to me every time I read it. I think that has to do with whatever phase of life I’m in at that moment. In this case, my focus (or attempts at focus) is to work on the following portion,
“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon 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…”
Through hard lessons of a marriage before My Al, I learned what it’s like when a relationship is lacking many of those principles as their core. My view on the family is that those principles are the glue. I know that when I’m working on those things, I feel an inner strength that is beyond me. Having a companion who works on those same things at the same time doubles that strength. It allows Jesus Christ to be our Savior.
We fall short on all of those things from time to time, but they are always our aim. Haphazards can still hit a bulls eye in the right Archer‘s hand.
By the way, I looked at the proclamation again and read the first sentence…. I wasn’t so terrible at verbatim after all.
*Have you met Dug?