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The following was written by Megan Armknecht. To read the full article on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, CLICK HERE.

When Luis Lopez Rodriguez of Ecuador decided to be baptized, his mother fought the idea. “Initially, the situation was quite complicated. She thought I was being forced to join the Church.” Luis was eventually baptized but knew he would be living the gospel alone in his family.

Like Luis, many members of the Church—particularly youth and young adults—do not come from families where everyone belongs to the Church. Sometimes children join but parents do not. Other times one spouse is an active member of the Church while the other has different religious beliefs. A couple could marry in the temple, yet one spouse could drift away from the Church.

Each family’s situation is unique, but differences in beliefs and practices can strain family relations, says Dr. Adam Fisher, a psychologist who has worked with LDS Family Services and Brigham Young University Counseling and is now with the Family Institute at Northwestern University.

However, the gospel of Jesus Christ offers hope to all families, regardless of individual circumstances, as “happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”1 Gospel principles strengthen every family, no matter the situation. This includes families in which not all are members of the Church—what we sometimes call “part-member families.” Although Latter-day Saints in such families face unique challenges, striving for love, communication, and respect in their families can help them strengthen their testimonies, build friendships, and bring peace into their homes.

Live Together in Love

Love heals and strengthens both members and nonmembers in part-member families. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, has taught, love is part of the “fabric of the plan of salvation”2 as well as the family. When members and nonmembers living in the same family show love through service and kindness, the family becomes more unified.

To read the full article on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, CLICK HERE.