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- Keep the commandments

- Understand all are integral part of a family- Love, lift family members

Home is where Church members are nurtured and where they prepare themselves for living in mortality, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve said Sunday morning. "It is also where we prepare ourselves for death and for immortality because of our belief and understanding that there is life after death, not only for the individual, but also for the family."

Quoting from the Proclamation to the World Concerning the Family, issued a year ago by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Hales said the doctrine of the family begins with heavenly parents. "Our highest aspiration is to be like them," he said.

In the latter day the promise of eternal families was restored, when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood and the keys to perform the sealing ordinances were restored to earth.

"With the restoration of these keys and priesthood authority comes the opportunity for all who are worthy to receive the blessings of eternal families," he noted

But, Elder Hales continued, as taught in the scriptures, the eternal bond doesn't just happen as a result of the sealing covenants made in the temple. "How we conduct ourselves in this life will determine who we will be and what we will be, for all the eternities to come," he said. "To receive the blessing of the sealing that our Heavenly Father has given us, we have to keep the commandments and conduct ourselves in such a way that our families will want to live with us in the eternities."

"Because of the importance of the family to the eternal plan of happiness," Elder Hales said, "Satan makes a major effort to destroy the sanctity of the family." Elder Hales explained that while individual salvation is based on individual obedience - it is important for Church members to understand that they are each an integral part of a family and the highest blessings can be received only within an eternal family.

"When families are functioning as designed by God, the relationships found therein are the most valued of mortality," he said. " . . . Being one in a family carries a great responsibility of caring, loving, lifting and strengthening each member of the family so that all can righteously endure to the end in mortality and dwell together throughout eternity."

Elder Hales said some of the greatest lessons of gospel principles about the eternal nature of the family are learned by observing how members of the Church, when faced with adversity, apply gospel principles in their lives and in their homes.

"The knowledge and understanding of the doctrine that God lives and Jesus is the Christ and that we have an opportunity to be resurrected and live in the presence of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ makes it possible to endure otherwise tragic events.

"This doctrine brings a brightness of hope again into an otherwise dark and dreary world," Elder Hales said. ". . .These are truths that must be taught and practiced in our homes."