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Elder Holland’s Message to Those Who Struggle with Idea of “Traditional Family” or “Perfect Family”

Elder Holland’s Message to Those Who Struggle with Idea of “Traditional Family” or “Perfect Family”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife Patricia participated in Family Discovery Day during the 2021 Rootstech Connect virtual conference.

As part of their presentation, Elder and Sister Holland recorded the following message that has been a healing balm to those who received it with gladness.

Elder Holland spoke to those who struggle with the concept of family. He said:

Elder and Sister Holland sharing their thoughts as part of Rootstech 2021 Family Discovery Day

“We know there are many of you who, for whatever reason, struggle with the idea of what is often termed the “traditional family” or the “perfect family.”

Perhaps abuse has darkened the brightness of what might have been a celestial home. Perhaps divorce has left you on your own searching for answers about the past and protection for the future. Perhaps you’re prayerfully and patiently still waiting for the blessing of being united to your own eternal companion or having children you cannot yet bear. 

For our faithful LGBT friends, perhaps your heart and mind are struggling to find hope and peace your place in the eternal picture. Please, all of you know this, we see all of you and we love all of you. If you will be faithful and keep your covenants with the lord, I promise you that every opportunity and every blessing enjoyed by others will be afforded you in the lord’s divine timetable – and i mean every opportunity and every blessing. 

No matter when in the unfolding of our eternal lives those future blessings are given to you, you are now – and you will be then, part of a family. Now try if you can, and I know you can, avoid getting tripped up by the phrase “traditional family” and instead replace it with a phrase like “eternal family.”

With an eternal perspective comes understanding that we are all part of one big family – the family of God. That is why we call each other brother and sister.

Imagine a world where people understood our true family tie to one another. What civility would we cultivate? What division would we avoid? What love would we let warm our devotion and divine connection to one another?

Now hear me out on this crucial point. I promise you that it is engaging in our personal family history and the temple experience it leads to that we discover the reality of our eternal relationship as brothers and sisters in the family of God.

That great realization can repair family rifts – if there be any. It can heal bruised hearts – if there be any. And it can unify otherwise strained relationships – if there be any – all in an undeniably powerful way.

If we understood this truth, how we would treat one another differently! How we would lift up hands that hang down and strengthen feeble knees!  Let’s not just call each other brother and sister. Let’s show one another what it means when we realize we are one big eternal family. That will change overnight, many of the thoughts, and the deeds, and our actions.”

eternal family family discovery day

Elder Holland speaking to his children in his childhood home.

Sister Holland then shared the following words. They are short and succinct but truly brought a powerful spirit as she spoke them.

“We are missing the mark if, when we tap into our family roots, we fail to recognize our divine roots, our foundation, and our connection to our Father in Heaven. He loves us, He worries about us, and He hopes we will listen to the counsel He wishes to give us. Bonds. Ties. Connections. Eternity.

I love thinking that my husband and I, and our children, are safe in Heavenly Father’s arms forever if we keep His commandments and truly desire that blessing.”

To listen to the full Family Discovery Day presentation the Holland’s gave, which included video of them visiting the meaningful spots of their family’s history in St. George, Utah, USA – you can click this YouTube link.

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Norton Nowlin

Thursday 4th of March 2021

Did not Jesus say in Matthew 22:30 (NIV) that, "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven?" Hence, no one will be married to another in heaven. So, the earthly family is not as important as an individual Christian's accountability before Jesus. Family ties will end at death, and the grace of our Savior Jesus will be the important factor in determining whether a resurrected soul will spend eternity with God. Did not Jesus also say, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." All human beings are God's children and are all accountable to Jesus for the grace that he has offered them through faith in his precious saving blood. If human beings do not accept the grace of Jesus for salvation from sin while they are mortal on the earth, they will be judged according to their works while a mortal human at the great white throne of judgment after the Christians saved by grace have been resurrected and are in heaven. Works are like filthy rags to Jesus. They are meaningless. Faith in Christ's saving grace, according to Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV), is the only way to salvation, and salvation is not resurrection from the dead. It is, instead, being saved by grace and knowing that you have a place with Christ in heaven. A Christian does not work his way to heaven. A Christian is saved by grace and will work thereafter to glorify God. Faith is the clincher, and Jesus is enough!

Mark I Ward

Thursday 11th of March 2021

@Norton Nowlin,

We have the promise of being sealed to one another by the Holy priesthood which takes precedence over that verse. Love is eternal. And family is eternal as well. He that loves father or mother more than Me… is referring to his first commandment. Love God with all of our hearts, might and strength, we don’t bow to our parents if they ar not teaching the commandments of God, If our family is turning away from God, we are to remain with Him. Your concept is shallow.

Do you really suppose that we don’t rely upon the grace of God for our salvation? God’s plan of salvation began with Grace. Because of His grace, He sent Jesus Christ into this world to be the ransom for all mankind. Yes it is by grace, because without the grace of God, no one could ever be saved. Eph 2:8-10 is the whole passage, you should read it all not just two incomplete sentences. Also this is about justification if you examine the other letters of Paul where he discusses being justified by grace.

Works are the other side of the Faith Coin. Yes we are all saved because of grace, We are not saved by the works of the law of Moses, but by our faith and confidence in Jesus Christ's atonement,. We are not saved into some inactive salvation. When we are really saved, we demonstrate that salvation by our works of righteousness. The works are not what saves us, but they enable us to become more Christ like. Eph 2:10 is a key to the whole idea that we are saved by grace and our faith in Jesus Christ, Yes indeed Jesus Christ is enough, no matter what we do, Christ's act of atonement is what gives us salvation, and we rely upon His merits for ours.

Mark I Ward

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