If any scripture story applies to the family, it is that of Abraham and Sarah.

In his youth, Abraham was nearly sacrificed on an altar at the hands of his own father. Only divine intervention saved him.

Abraham could have been jaded, but instead he sought to marry and make priesthood covenants with God. Sarah was taken from him for a time. The two tried to have a family and were denied children. They were promised land, but a famine made it unusable. They tried and tried to obey commandments that they could not keep, through no fault of their own.

Their faithfulness was no protection against suffering.

Still, they strove for the pattern that God had established with Adam and Eve.

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” affirms the crucial importance of marriage and of having children, yet we cannot always keep these commandments in spite of our best efforts and even promises from the Lord. But Abraham and Sarah’s faithful example teaches us how to manage such heartache.

They cleaved to their covenants as they waited on the Lord.

Most of us will undergo periods of waiting. We will desperately long to keep a commandment that is denied us. A temple marriage may be denied us. Children may never bless our homes. Employment struggles may thwart our desires for self reliance. Our children may wander off the covenant path. And so we wait, but not idly. We hope. We cling to our covenants and we trust in God and in His timing.

Late in life, after Abraham and Sarah had done all they could do, they received again a promise from God that He would make them a father and mother of nations (Gen. 16:6, 16). And this time, He told them when it would happen. In one year (Gen 17:21).

Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”

Modern prophets have declared that “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” That happiness may not come easily or in the manner we want, but when we faithfully follow Christ, it comes.

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