To Mormons and non-members, the LDS church has always been an example of how important families are to society and God. The teachings of the church, in the past, have been that the family is central to God's plan for all mankind. Ask anyone familiar with the LDS church what stands out about the Mormons, that person would probably say the the LDS church is very pro family. The teachings of being married for eternity, the ability to be with loved ones and family members forever has been a tag line in the church for years. But does the church really practice what it teaches? If families are so important, why do doubting members feel as if the church's teachings rip families apart? These are interesting questions.
Ever since the 1995 declaration titled: (The Family: A Proclamation to the World), was published to the world, the LDS church has been involved in aggressive campaigns to sustain the traditional family. The church feels it has the right to defend its stance of traditional marriage. I don't want to address that issue today, but I wanted to touch on a topic that has been on my mind for sometime. The demands of the church on families is really ruining the family unit. True the church can teach good things but the generally the teachings are just common sense. But in evaluating the teachings, the church seems to teach one thing but do another.
As a BIC member, one without the royal ties to elite pioneer stock of the church, I find that the church is really anti family. The Mormon church becomes so intertwined in a member's life that the individual member becomes lost from the family and the church replaces the family of that person. Look at a normal Sunday for a member of the church. If that person holds a leadership position they may have anywhere from 1-2 hours of meetings before church. This consists of PEC for the men, followed by Ward Council. After that there are 3 hours of church services. Some leaders may have an addition meeting after church services. During the church block time, 1 hour of it the family is together but then the members are split up and go to different classes. For being a day of rest it sure seems like members have a part time job. All the leadership meetings consist of helping those struggling members with their faith and remaining active in the church. A few times it might consist of humanitarian help only but most of the time a church spin is always involved.
During the week it is no different, Monday is "family night". The church has counseled members to avoid sporting events, etc so families can have family home evening. I guess this is family time but the church wants its teachings presented there so again more programming blending family and church. Wednesday is night is youth night or Young Men/Young Women, where the youth have activities with friends and with local church leaders called from the local ward or parish. These activities always involve church teachings. So relationships with friends center around the church. These weekday activities also involve the Boy Scout of America programs for the youth but with an LDS spin. This is just the foundation for the week of LDS members. These activities don't include the other responsibilities that members feel pressed to do. Activities such as: temple visits, home teaching/visiting teaching, callings and other church leadership responsibilities, cleaning church meeting houses, family scripture study, personal scripture study, family history, missionary work, etc, etc. The list is ever growing.
The church has slyly intertwined itself in the life of its members so that the family and church become blurred and unfortunately members tend to choose church functions over family-that causes serious problems. The church's teaching is that it is the "kingdom of God" first or in other words, the LDS church over everything else including families. Once the blending of the Mormon church and family is accomplished then the LDS inc. has done its job.