Sunday, August 28, 2011
Families with No Children
" 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. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation."
The bishop is the father of the ward. The Relief Society president is the mother of the ward. They did not give birth to the members on the ward and they are likely not all their descendants, so what does it mean to be a father or mother, especially with the information in the proclamation on the family?
The duties of a bishop and a relief society president and different and generally one does not do the other's responsibilities.
Are we still fathers and mothers even if our kids are grown or if we never have had children? If we are fathers and mothers then are duties are still the same whether we have children in our home or not. As priesthood holders, our children are all around us. As members of the Relief Society their children are all around them. The father is still "to preside over [his] famil[y] in love and righteousness and [is] responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for [his] famil[y]." Priesthood holders provide leadership and protection for everyone around them. The mother is still "primarily responsible for the nurture of [her] children." Relief Society sisters nurture those around them.
Do not allow the fact that there are no children in your home or the fact that you are away from your family to keep you from doing your duty as outline in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.