Here is an assignment I completed back when I was taking my seminary preservice class. The assignment was to identify and understand doctrines and principles in the Family Proclamation. It reinforced in my mind what a tight and bedrock-solid document the Family Proclamation is.
Search for and underline the stated principles and doctrines (remember the definition and they usually answer the question ‘why?’)
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. [Why?] “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3).
Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. [Why?] Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The family is ordained of God. [Why?] Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan [for the eternal destiny of His children].
Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. [Why?] Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
[P]romote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. [Why?] [T]he disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
Search for and write down any implied principles you find.
If children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity, then illegitimacy and adultery are a violation of child rights.
If the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets, then the converse is also true--the protection and maintenance of the family will bring the blessings similarly foretold. (Those might be worth researching in and of themselves!)
Write two principles in an IF and THEN format.
IF I build my family upon the teachings of Christ, THEN my family life has a much higher chance of being happy than otherwise.
IF parents rear their children in love and righteousness, THEN they will be rewarded.
IF parents establish their marriages with sacred covenants in the temple, THEN their family relationships will be perpetuated beyond the grave.
Write two principles using, “I have learned that _________, therefore I will _________.”
I have learned that spouses are equal partners; therefore I will work to cooperate with my spouse.
I have learned that both work and wholesome recreational activities help establish and maintain my family; therefore I will try to make sure both are incorporated in my family life.
I have learned that my female gender is an essential and eternal characteristic, therefore I will embrace it and appreciate it as an eternal part of my identity.
Write an additional phrase like, “And thus we see…” or “Behold, whosoever will…” or “Therefore…” or “Notwithstanding…” to state discovered principles.
Notwithstanding disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate adaption, mothers and fathers have their own important roles in the family.
Answer the question with a simple phrase, “Why did the Lord want this proclamation created and distributed?”
To warn the world and to remind the world what it is starting to forget.