The Clay Basket of the Family

In ancient days, those who lived on the land as nomads, in their travels from place to place, would carry fire in a clay basket. These live coals conveniently supplied their family with quick fuel to warm and cook their food as well as the heat to warm their homes. When the fire burned within its boundaries of hearth, stove or pit, it served the family and community well. It provided warmth and life-sustaining nourishment. If a fire ever exceeded its bounds, it had the potential to destroy all that supported life in the family and community. Fire, when allowed to escape outside of safe boundaries, is destructive. That is its nature. Fire left to burn unchecked will consume everything in its path.

There is a fire within each of us. It was designed by God for a specific purpose and if not guarded and kept within very specific bounds, can ravage and destroy individuals, families, and even whole civilizations. The cause and devastating effect of the Roe v. Wade Federal Court decision shows evidence of the consuming calamity this out-of-control fire has caused in America . We can clearly see what happens when this fire within has been allowed to exceed its bounds. What are the natural boundaries which can protect and guard this necessary and crucial force of nature in ourselves for the good of society?

The power of procreation within each of us, like fire, can serve to warm and nourish the family, or it can disintegrate it. This fire has had its self-evident and natural bounds within our civilizations in the most central governing structure and unit of society–The Family. A child is naturally born and belongs to its Mother. The Father is connected to them through the institution of Marriage. This sacred institution of Marriage is the most essential Clay Basket in our lives. The purity and integrity of this institution creates the proper and necessary bounds for that fire and power to be contained and as a result bless a family and community. It holds the foundation of all private enterprise in a free society.

To quote a very wise man who lives a life of consecrated service to the entire World:
"Another contention raised is that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To a certain extent this is true for all of us. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And then we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences. Those considering abortion have already exercised certain choices.

To clarify this concept, we can learn from the astronaut. Any time during the selection process, planning, and preparation, he is free to withdraw. But once the powerful rocket fuel is ignited, he is no longer free to choose. Now he is bound by the consequences of his choice. Even if difficulties develop and he might wish otherwise, the choice made was sealed by action.

So it is with those who would tamper with the God-given power of procreation. They are free to think and plan otherwise, but their choice is sealed by action.

The woman’s choice for her own body does not validate choice for the body of another. The expression “terminate the pregnancy” applies literally only to the woman. The consequence of terminating the fetus therein involves the body and very life of another. These two individuals have separate brains, separate hearts, and separate circulatory systems. To pretend that there is no child and no life there is to deny reality."
~ President Russell M. Nelson

Just as our ancient ancestors understood the crucial and necessary role of keeping the fire within its bounds of the Clay Basket, and have kept this fire burning on the hearth, we must seek to understand and protect the safe and nurturing clay basket of the family in order to contain and use for good our God-given fire within. 

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