I used to be a tour guide at the Humanitarian Center, in downtown Salt Lake City. The building was always a beehive of activity with various groups coming in to spend an hour or two packaging kits, making quilts, or sorting donated items. Dignitaries from all over the world would tour the facility. In many cases, these dignitaries would ask for help for their people and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, owners of the Humanitarian Center, would happily make the arrangements.
As a tour guide, I loved sharing information and stories about how the LDS Church was often the first, along with the Red Cross, to arrive at any disaster or crisis throughout the world. And it felt good to be part of a Relief Society that worked to provide hygiene, newborn, and school kits that could be stored and shipped throughout the world at a moment’s notice.
It was another great day of learning and research in Salt Lake City for thousands of people from around the world.
More to come from other speakers throughout the day.
Francisco Tatad – Former Majority Leader in the Senate of the Philippines
– There is no greater gift than the gift of life. There is no greater gift than the ability to procreate. If we truly understood this, it would be mind-blowing.
– How do we move forward in the marriage, life and family battle? We need to have a deep understanding and love for the gift of life at all stages.
Mark Tooley – Institute on Religion and Democracy
– Mark talked about the decline of faith WITHIN America’s religions. Why? Liberal and progressives within churches are moving to post-modernism and secularism,
– Progressives are trying to dilute their faith’s doctrine and moral traditions to accommodate secular culture. How? Minimizing the importance of traditional families and moral values.
– As more Christians cleave to their traditional faith, they will need to stand up stronger against the tide within their own churches and continue to declare the importance of truly living the doctrines of their faith. This will prompt a new generation of people who are willing and eager to take a stance on moral issues.
– Despite what we think of Christian apathy, there has been an improvement of dialogue on tough social issues that have elicited strong responses from various religious leaders. Continue reading →
There were so many incredible sessions at day two of the World Congress of Families that we will need to break this up into two posts. In short, it was outstanding!
Main Plenary Session
Cathy Ruse, Esq. (Senior Council, Family Research Center):
Wow! What a powerful and articulate woman! She received several standing ovations in a packed to overflowing ballroom. She is an accomplished attorney yet she identified herself to us as:
1. A Catholic Christian
2. A mother
– “No man can be a mother and no woman can be a father. All mothers know this.” Many are so blinded by their ideologies that they can’t see the simplest and most basic of things. If we declare the truth about mothering and fathering, we are now called bigots and insensitive.
– The government institution cannot raise, feed and clothe children. Only mothers and fathers can do that for children, and that is why the government is involved and concerned about marriage.
– Regarding same sex marriage, society is not satisfied with winning SCOTUS. It was never about tolerance. It’s about punishing everyone that does not agree with you. “Society says if you disagree, you’re a bigot. Well, I disagree!
– The law isn’t interested in love and never has been. Who you love isn’t the government’s business—until now.
Concurrent Session #6: The Distinctive Roles of Mothers and Fathers in Families
Dr. Candi Finch (Chair)
Jenet Jacob Erickson, Ruel Haymond, Warwich Marsh, Miriam Grossman MD
This segment was EXTREMELY full to overflowing! There were easily 4 times more people standing than there were seated in the chairs. It definitely was a standing room only ordeal. I will give you an overview of what the bulk of the speakers discussed then, bullet points of some specifics.
It appeared to me that the speakers spent more of their time regarding the importance of fathers in the marriage, home, or equation, than all about the mothers role. This was the case with the two male speakers for sure and Jenet spent a good amount of time with both genders. Dr. Grossman did speak primarily about the uniqueness of motherhood and the science behind it.
Opening ceremonies for the World Congress of Families at the stunning Grand America Hotel began with pageantry as a procession of young adults from countries around the world entered, carrying flags from their native lands. A crowd of 3,000 gathered to listen to the some of the best and brightest pro-traditional family scholars, educators, psychologists, statisticians, researchers, politicians, religious leaders, Hollywood film producers, and United Nations policy advocates in the world. The Mormon Women Stand team is here this week to report on the events of this historic congress, and we wanted to share this powerful information with our nearly 40,000 followers in hopes that you, too, can join in standing for life and the traditional family.
Reporting from Mormon Women Stand: Jan Tolman, Bethany Packard, Angela Fallentine and Gina Holt.
Elder M Russell Ballard offered a bold keynote address to the World Congress of Families as he welcomed delegates from around the globe and reminded them that, “marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God and … the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
The full text of Elder Ballard’s remarks follows:
Eternal Families and Love for One Another
World Congress of Families
Elder M. Russell Ballard
We thank you for the honor of selecting Utah to host the first World Congress of Families in the United States. I extend an official welcome from the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, especially Elder Dallin H. Oaks who has supported your work for many years. Our church is also known as the LDS or Mormon Church, and its international headquarters is in Salt Lake City. We hope you enjoy your stay with us.
You may have already seen the Salt Lake Temple. If not, I encourage you to visit Temple Square.
Temples are very important to Latter-day Saints, because in them couples are married for “time and eternity,” not just “till death do you part.” As the Church proclaimed twenty years ago in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and … the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
This doctrine explains our strong position on the family. We also believe we are to reach out to all people with understanding, love, and compassion. The focus of my remarks will be:
First, I will explain the doctrinal reasons that traditional families play such an important role in our church. Second, I will explain the relationship between religious sensitivities surrounding the family and religious freedom. Finally, I will suggest some guiding principles on reaching out to those around us, despite any misunderstandings or disagreements. Continue reading →