(For those of you that don’t know, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was written in 1995 by the prophet and apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The document is what Mormons believe about families, and it is often referred to as The Family Proclamation.)
After reading this man’s experience, I was inspired to memorize The Family Proclamation as well. I wanted the words and doctrine written in my heart.
So I shrunk down the size and made multiple copies. I kept a copy in my purse, my bathroom, my car and by my nightstand. I even laminated one for my shower. (Conditioner is supposed to sit for 5 minutes, right?) I looked at the small copy any chance I could get.
I don’t remember how long it took me, but I did reach my goal. I memorized the whole thing. I could recite The Family Proclamation from start to finish.
Shortly there after my little nephew was born. My sister knew instantly that something was wrong, but the doctors didn’t. She finally convinced them to do some tests and they came back showing some chromosomal abnormalities, but there was very limited information on what that meant for Beck’s future.
As theories swirled and uncertainty raged, our family took comfort in specific doctrine taught in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
Over the years, phrases from The Family Proclamation have come to mind at different times of need.
When Locke told me he wanted to be a girl, I said, “Sorry buddy. Gender is an essential characteristic of premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” Then I summarized more on his terms: “God made you a boy. You were a boy before you came here, you are a boy on this earth, and you will be a boy in heaven after you die.” Locke asked surprised, “Really? God made me a boy?” Locke seemed sincerely satisfied by my answer.
(If this gender identity resurfaces and manifests in more times and in more ways, I will deal with the magnitude of that issue. For now, I’m not too worried being as I wanted to be a boy most of my childhood so I could play football instead of wear dresses.)
When a blog commenter questioned how Chad and I ran our household I replied: “Fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
When my kids whine when they have to learn this or do that, I remember that I am accountable before God for what I teach my children. The Family Proclamation teaches “Mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God”.
But now, my memory has fogged, and I can’t recite every word of it any more.
I knew I wanted to memorize it again. I wanted the phrases to flow through my head freely as they once did. And I wanted my children to memorize it also. I wanted The Family Proclamation written in their hearts as well.
I found a great website, Chocolate on my Cranium, that broke up The Proclamation into memorizable chunks. She attached a picture with each phrase as well to help the younger kids comprehend and remember what they were learning.
She also created smaller versions to make into mini flip charts. I printed them but did not cut them up. I plan to use the pages as review weeks instead.
I printed off every page at one time, put them in sheet protectors, and then put them in our Family Memorization Binder. I wanted to be prepared for the whole year — instead of scrambling each week to get the new page printed.
We started in January, and we memorize one phrase (one page) a week during the first 5 minutes of Family Scripture Power. We plan to do a page a week with some weeks combining two pages that are shorter so we can memorize it in one year. I also schedule in some review weeks to give us time to catch up if needed or to really solidify our memorization.
This week is a review week and we have made it through 8 phrases/pages. This morning we reviewed The Family Proclamation from the beginning. After saying it once or twice, we went around in a circle and only said one word each. The next person had to say the next word and so on. This method keeps us on our toes and gets us out of the route mode. It also helps to work together to accomplish a family goal.
My favorite part of memorizing The Family Proclamation thus far is the mini discussions we get to have each morning. I usually pick out one word or phrase to explain, or we talk about how the phrase impacts our life right now. For example, our state was dealing with same-sex marriage legislation the week we were memorizing the phrase “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.” This lead to great discussions about what God wants vs. what Satan wants, how the law works, and how to treat others that believe differently than us.
It is my hope that “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” will be a continual source of peace, understanding, clarification and motivation throughout my children’s lives. I want the words and doctrines that are taught in this document to written in my children’s hearts as well as mine.