Message from the First Presidency, Jan 1971

I’ve started on my journey mentioned below of reading every Ensign published since the magazine’s beginning in January 1971. As I did so today, I was touched by the quote on the inside of the flap:

“My dear brothers and sisters: This is a rare opportunity to reach members of the Church in this way. It is estimated that nearly 350,000 families will receive the first issue of our new adult magazine, the Ensign, and this recorded message.

“As you listen and read, may I remind you of just how important the family unit is in the overall plan of our Father in heaven. In fact, the Church organization really exists to assist the family and its members in reaching exaltation” (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Message from the First Presidency,” Ensign, Jan 1971, inside front cover).

Think on the times nearly 40 years ago when this was published. TV programs were tame, movies were too. X-rated media could only be obtained in the seediest of locations on the “wrong side” of town. So look at the prophetic nature of this message from the First Presidency of the church in 1971:

“Family unity and family commitment to the gospel are so important that the adversary has turned much of his attention to the destruction of families in our society. On every side there is an attack on the basic integrity of the family as the foundation of what is good and noble in life….As the forces of evil attack the individual by tearing away at his family roots, it becomes critical for Latter-day Saint parents….” (I’ll stop quoting here, but invite you to read the rest — it is an amazing message.)

Just think if every person reading that magazine had doubled their efforts to save the family of their generation! What impact would that have now one and two (and perhaps three) generations later? For those who stay tapped into what is happening at the U.N. and in other locations, the breakdown of the family has reached monumental proportions.


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