Gathering Families is an effort to gather Latter-day Saint families and Judeo-Christian families in an online community to share ways to sustain and defend the family as the fundamental unit of society. We believe and support the tenets espoused in The Family: A Proclamation to the World which states, “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.” Gathering Families seeks to gather families in order to sustain each other in uplifting and upholding these valuable and unique roles.
The Noah Webster 1828 dictionary defines nurture as “that which promotes growth, education and instruction.” It sites Ephesians 6:4 which states, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” We believe that parents hold the keys to provide guidance, counsel and direction to the children God has blessed them with. In an address entitled, “Filling Our Homes With Light and Truth”, Latter-day Saint leader, wife and mother Cheryl A. Esplin said, “Families are the Lord’s workshop on earth to help us learn and live the gospel. We come into our families with a sacred duty to help strengthen each other spiritually.”
Gathering Families seeks to foster relationships among families who are striving to impart a Biblical worldview to their children in order to help them fully “learn and live the gospel.” These children will be the next generation of defenders of the natural family and must be able to articulate and defend the truths espoused in The Family: A Proclamation to the World in their families and in the public square with conviction and compassion. Biblical scholar Max Lions has said, “The vast majority of churches never venture into the topics of government, economics, psychology, sociology, education, science, and other subjects for Christians to understand Biblically. With no teaching in these areas, many Christians assume that either the Bible does not address these subject, or worse, that what God has to say on these subjects is not important to us today.” Because of the divine role of fathers and mothers, we can reverse this trend and help our children stand as witnesses to God’s divine design for the eternal happiness of his children. The gift of agency, the keystone of the plan of happiness, can best be preserved when generations are linked in a strong chain of teaching and learning—each generation gaining wisdom and strength from the legacy of the last.
On May 20, 2015, Pope Francis made a plea to parents to reassert their role as primary educators of their children and asked parents to stop looking to ‘experts.’ He prayed, “I hope that the Lord will give Christian families the faith, the freedom and the courage necessary for their mission. If family education rediscovers the pride of its leadership, many things will change for the better, for hesitant parents and for disappointed children. It is time that fathers and mothers return from their exile – because they have exiled themselves from the education of their children – and reassume fully their educational role. We hope that the Lord will give parents this grace: not to exile themselves from the education of their children. And only love, tenderness and patience can do this.”
In an address entitled, Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom on April 5, 2015, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also made a plea to families. He said, “We face increased pressure to bow to secular standards, forfeit our religious liberties, and compromise our agency.” He then asked families to remember the story of Captain Moroni in modern day scripture. He said, “Remember Captain Moroni, who hoisted the title of liberty inscribed with the words ‘In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.’ Let us remember the people’s response: exercising their agency, they ‘came running together’ with a covenant to act.” He concluded, “My beloved brothers and sisters, don’t walk! Run! Run to receive the blessings of agency by following the Holy Ghost and exercising the freedoms God has given us to do His will.”
Gathering Families feels a duty and a calling to heed these admonitions. The blessings of agency are espoused and preserved in the natural family by divine design—for the family is the first form and eternal manifestation of good government. Modern-day prophets have revealed that families are exalted together in families and that this is the Plan of Happiness that blesses the lives of all of the world’s families. It is for these reasons, among many, that both the natural family and the rights of the natural family must be preserved.
The World Congress of Families will be hosted in Utah this fall from Oct. 27-30. Gathering Families supports the World Congress of Families Principles, and seeks to involve more families in the event than can be accommodated. As such, we are organizing a Family Night on Monday, Oct. 26th that will be a statewide event with gatherings at many locations. To be host and/or be part of this momentous event entitled, “Family Lights The World”, we invite you to visit our Host An Event page.
Oct. 26th marks the beginning of Gathering Families’ long march to:
1-Sustain and defend the role of fathers and mothers in a covenant marriage
2-Help parents reassert their roles as primary educators of their children
3-Gather families who recognize the wisdom of natural law, who espouse a Biblical worldview, and who will rise up in the public square to preserve the family as the fundamental unit of society
We invite you to gather with us.