Family Ordination?

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” reads in part: “The family is ordained of God.” What does this mean? (This is one of my wife’s puzzlers.) My inital reaction was that it meant something simple like, “The institution of the family — being defined as a husband, wife, and children — was created by God for the eternal benefit of His children.” But the use of the word “ordain” seems to imply something more than mere creation or invention of the institution. It implies a Divine imprimatur and may suggest that the family is the exclusive vehicle for eternal progression. This seems consistent with Church doctrine (whatever that is), as I understand it.

More interestingly, use of the word “ordain” connotes some connection to the Priesthood. The word “ordain,” of course, is related to “ordinance” and to “order,” thereby invoking the notion of authority. Is this significant? Perhaps this is intended to refer to the temple sealing ordinances. Any thoughts?

4 comments for “Family Ordination?

  1. February 23, 2004 at 12:45 am

    I suspect the phrasing is tied to our notion that we were ordained before the foundations of the world. The family happens to be the structure in which these ordinations are manifest. Thus while only individuals are ordained, they are ordained in a structural system of which the family is a part.

  2. Adam Greenwood
    February 23, 2004 at 8:05 am

    Descending from the exalted spheres, I’d argue that ordained is just a fancy word for ‘ordered,’etc. You see that usage in English, e.g., ‘The king has ordained that all yeomen must . . . .”

  3. February 23, 2004 at 11:00 am

    I’ve assumed that “ordained” in this context means that God has set the family apart as a holy order. Like the Church, the priesthood, and other holy orders, the family has a specific purpose or function in the plan of salvation. I suppose you could analogize it to a priesthood ordination where a man is set apart to carry out specific functions in the Church.

  4. Anonymous
    October 16, 2004 at 6:20 am

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