By Divine Design


Today our guest writer is Ashley Jones….

who happens to be an amazing woman and one of my most memorable seminary students.  And I am happy to say that she turned out just as I expected.

Here is a little about her:
While on her mission in Frankfurt, Germany, Ashley read an article by Elder Ballard in the Ensign, talking about the importance of using the Internet to share the Gospel. One of the suggestions he gave was creating a blog. A few months after returning from her mission, Ashley started her blog, and has been posting for almost three years. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Public Relations and now works as a book publicist for a publishing company in Salt Lake City. She has eleven nieces and nephews and considers herself to be one of their favorite aunts…but don’t tell their five other aunts that.

You can check out her blog at http://www.organizedstress.com…. it is well worth your time!

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The Family: A Proclamation to the World 

was given to the world in 1995 in the General Relief Society Meeting by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I was 9 years old at the time,

so, like many 9-year-olds, this proclamation held no meaning. Sure, my parents thought it was pretty important, but for me, it was just another boring topic my parents would discuss in Family Home Evening.

Sixteen years later,

this document serves as a compass to me in my life. My eyes are opened; my attitude is changed; my life is better, because of the revelation stated in this proclamation.

Because of experiences and opportunities I have had in my life,

the following paragraph in particular impresses me the most when I read this proclamation:

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. Extended families should lend support when needed.

Some may read this and get angry or frustrated

with the idea that women are supposed to stay at home and nurture and raise children, and men are the primary caregivers. Let me point out three of the most important words in that paragraph: “By divine design.” What does the word divinity mean? Godhood, godly, having godly attributes. So let’s replace the word divinity and substitute it with the definition: “By Godly design.” Interesting perspective, isn’t it?

God, our Heavenly Father, designed this plan.

He is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. He knows exactly what is best for us, His children. He knows our strengths and weaknesses, and He has given each of us different responsibilities. Men: the responsibility to care for their families. Women: the incredible responsibility to bear, nurture and teach other human beings. A little overwhelming? Sure. But whose trust and confidence would you rather have in this responsibility? No one’s – just His. He trusts us; He has confidence in us to carry this banner. So in Paul’s words, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phillippians 4:13) We can do this, because He is there.

No, this doesn’t have to be a one-man show.

As you see in the paragraph, “In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.” Three words stick out to me in this paragraph: sacred, obligated, and equal.

• Both men and women are enlisted in this sacred responsibility – not just one or the other. Both bring strengths that will be needed in fulfilling specific responsibilities.
• We are obligated – what a strong choice of word! To my understanding, when we are obligated to do something, it doesn’t mean we should take it lightly. There is serious dedication involved.
• Equal. This word speaks volumes. Men aren’t better because they work; women aren’t better because they nurture. They are equal partners. They are a team working toward the same goal: doing everything they can to return to live with God, our Heavenly Father.

I love this proclamation.

I love what it teaches. I know this is revelation from our Heavenly Father and that it is so true and good. I eagerly look forward to the day when I, with my husband, can continue to fulfill my role and purpose on this earth: raise, nurture and teach my little ones, so they will understand who they are and who their Father in Heaven is.

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Remember to visit the other blogs hosting this celebration!

They have great things going on each day!  Montserrat from Chocolate on My Cranium,  Jocelyn from We Talk of Christ,  and Jaime from Welcome to the Madness.  Be sure to visit each blog every day!

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24 thoughts on “By Divine Design

  1. I love those phrases, “By divine design” and “By Godly design.” Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It was beautifully said. I’m going to go back and re-read it now. Thanks again! 🙂

  2. By divine design. It is so true. Those words are ones that lift and inspire me so many times. In a world that is struggling with so many issues, I can look at the proclamation and KNOW what my Father intends. Thank you for your wonderful post.

  3. I really appreciated you sharing the verse: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phillippians 4:13) in this context. Sometimes the daily grind of housework, changing diapers, etc is overwhelming and just not fun. 🙂 But today I really appreciated that scripture! Thanks!

  4. By divine design, and obligated… The world seems so quick to overlook divinity and obligations, thank you for the reminder that our prophets have given us this Proclamation telling us all that we can’t overlook them!

  5. I just came across your blog last week and have been devouring so many good suggestions. I’ve really had to pause and think and take stock. Thank you for taking the time to write so much about developing spirituality. I was recently called as a seminary teacher in Switzerland, where we live as expats. Talk about overwhelming! But it is getting better as I feel the strength of the Lord. I appreciate all of your helps on your site.

    I do have one completely unrelated question. And you’re going to laugh because it is so silly. But were you REALLY nine years old when the Family Proclamation came out? I just wonder because you’ve mentioned several times this is your 13th year teaching seminary, and it’s been 16 years since the proclamation. That puts you at starting teaching seminary at age 12 or 13 and that can’t be right! I also got married a little later in life (at least in Mormon terms) and was so happy to actually read a blog by someone who also had a similar experience to me (it’s not so common in Mormon blog-land). I wouldn’t trade how things have worked out for me – ever – but it had its challenges. When I read you were nine when the proclamation came out, I was floored…and a little disappointed. You can see how easy it is to do the math. 23 is considered “older” in getting married? I know this sounds crazy, but I just felt a bit deflated. Overkill on the BYU old maid mentality I observed when I was there (loved my experience there – just not that small part of it). Please say it isn’t so!

    Congratulations on your pregnancy – I hope everything goes well!

  6. OK – I’m really embarrassed. I just realized this was a guest post and not the red-hedded hostess. Sorry! I had been reading several posts on the topic of family and didn’t realize it was someone else. Please disregard my question (said a little sheepishly).

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