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Family associations offer light beyond worthiness, but that light is mostly rejected

Some--if not all--churches preach a supremacy of the family unit. For some reason, they teach that one's spiritual relationship with God is a function of one's relationship with family members. The scriptures teach quite the opposite. One's standing with God is a function of what degree of heed and diligence one exercises in seeking and living his light. While that light can and does come through family members, it almost never comes from parents to offspring, it is almost never shared between spouses, and it is almost never received by parents or siblings from children.

Familial relations start with a tremendous advantage. Unfortunately, the challenge of overcoming the tendency to ignore bold signs of greater light often proves too much. Jesus said: "And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:36) He also said: "The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." (Luke 12:53) There is also an Old Testament verse about this: "For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house." (Micah 7:6)

Parental relationships start with a tremendous advantage. If one or both of your parents possess great light, you will receive a tremendous amount of light just by doing what every child should do.

While it is easier to receive light from parents than strangers, it is also much harder to move on in the event where the limits of that connection are reached, or when greater light from other sources conflicts with lesser light from parents: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:37)

Parents and siblings will almost never receive light from their children or siblings. Abraham's father tried to kill him. Nephi's mother resisted the light God gave him. Jesus' mother and siblings did not believe in him at first. David's parents and brothers thought very little of him. Joseph's parents were angry at the vision God gave him, and his brothers sold him into slavery. The principle problem here is pride. It is very hard for a human to view God's gifts to their children or siblings as a blessing to them because they care more about maintaining the earthly ascendency they suppose they have through family relationships. They care more about supposed earthly authority than they care about access to God's light. This skewed desire blinds them to obvious signs that God has given them as to the gifts of their family member. This happens even to great people, such as Mary the mother of Jesus and Jacob the father of Joseph. Both of these people thought highly of their children, but both made the lives of their children considerably harder by resisting the Lord's signs to them of their child's gifts and mission.

Spousal relations start with the greatest advantage of all. Spouses are dropped right into the greatest blessing available. They, more than anyone else, should know the gifts given to their spouse. They are around them all the time, and can see better than anyone else how completely their spouse lives God's character. Yet, how do they react? Consider the wives of Moses, Joseph Smith, Abraham, Lehi, and others. Spousal failures are not limited to women. Consider the example of Nabal and Abigail. In every case listed here, and many more besides, the spouse should have been the most appreciative of the sacrifice and contribution of the person with light. Instead, they were the greatest thorn in their side.

What do you do when your spouse fails to rise up to the light the Lord gives you? Paul said:

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. (1 Corinthians 7)

Obviously, then, marriage is a much greater decision with steeper consequences than is taught in the world today, even (and maybe particularly) by religious sects. In an apocryphal text, the Lord is quoted as saying:

“Marriage has a much greater significance than this depraved generation realizes, for it enters into marriage thoughtlessly and irresponsibly, and then cries, ‘Loose us from our obligations, for we have failed and cannot stand the bonds of the covenant.’"

“However, marriage is not the least of life’s crosses, and any who enter it thinking otherwise fall beneath the unexpected burden. If your wife is chosen wisely you will possess a treasure beyond price, but if foolishly you are condemned to a burden of sorrow."

In these situations, one must be willing not only to move on from these associations, but also to stay in them. Your operations are meant to be what most benefits the world, not yourself. I wrote a post on this yesterday. 

The information I am teaching here could be referred to as "the right of first refusal." It is the idea that God can grant access to light in a degree far greater than what you deserve through family associations. It's a way he churns up access to light here on earth. Because every baby starts at zero, he can seed a person into a family surrounded by people who will be exposed the light that baby acquires as they grow older. Fortunately, because that child's light will be a function of their individual heed and diligence, they can obtain and share greater light with their family than their family might otherwise have. Unfortunately, because of the way windows of truth work, if the child gains enough light, there will come a time when family members either have to spiritually sprint to keep up with the child, or they will be left behind.

When light is offered to you, and you reject it, you incur judgment. Where much is given, much is expected. Imagine what God expects of you when he offers you great light in exchange for simply having a baby or having a brother or sister. Because I know that someone will read this and say, "yes, but family relationships here are determined before this world, and so I was determined worthy of having a child or sibling with greater light." Maybe. But please also realize that bright spirits are at least sometimes sent to particularly wicked families in order to maximize the blessing they can provide the world through their willing abasement and God's justice. Abraham and Noah's fathers, for example, were quite wicked. If God will send bright spirits to wicked parents, how much more often does he send them to completely normal parents?

When family members reject, resist, or ignore superior light in a member of their family, they incur consequences upon themselves. These consequences include losing that member of the family to other associations with people who are willing to seek and heed the light.

1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. (Matthew 22)

They will also be refused entry to the kingdom of God until they become much more humble. The easy way was offered to them, they rejected it, and now they must enter the hard way.

23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. (Proverbs 1)

When a family member turns away from the light they have and additional light offered to them because they prefer to protect their family relationships, they incur consequences upon themselves.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62)

I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. (Hosea 5:15)