Day One Report: World Congress of Families


Jenny Oaks Baker and the Baker children.

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.

Highlights of day one include:

Opening Ceremonies and Plenary Sessions

  • Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke boldly about defending the traditional family and used The Family: A Proclamation to the World as a central focus in his address (full text here.) Note: Elder Ballard brought with him the official welcome from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. What does this say about how important and supportive our prophets, seers and revelators feel about this conference and speaking up for traditional families in the public square?
  • The crowd of thousands erupted into applause when Elder Ballard recognized his beloved wife.
  • There was a gorgeous musical rendition of “Love is Spoken Here” by Jenny Oaks Baker and the Baker children received tremendous applause and praise. It was fantastic!
  • Many LDS dignitaries were in attendance, including many wives of apostles and former General Auxiliary presidents, councilors, and board members.

Sheri Dew and Kristen Oaks, (wife of Elder Dallin H. Oaks).

Plenary Panel

John-Henry Weston – LifeSiteNews
“Abortion is our modern civil rights tragedy.”

“We need to be motivated by Christ. It is that great love that we must use in our fight for life and the fight for family. … We have to love people enough to tell them that certain behaviors harm them and are destructive.”

Key: Bishops, priests and religious leaders need to get involved and round up the troops. By not having them speak or if they shy away, our own base is eroded.

Dr. Charmain Yost – Americans United for Life
“Abortion is anti-woman.”
“You can’t be pro-choice and be pro-woman. Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”
“Pro-life IS pro-woman.”

Ignacio Arsuaga – CitizenGo
– We must be courageous. … If we don’t express our private views in the public square, we will stop thinking as we do now and the pervasive culture will conquer you. You need to speak up so others do not feel alone.

Jenet Erikson – BYU
– It is important to give the rising generation a vision for what is possible in marriage and family.
– If we see things in our own families or marriage that do not demonstrate the ideal, we can break the chains in our family and be a witness to what is correct.
– There may be people who have every reason not to want to follow the ideal. However, they can pave the way for the future and their new path can echo throughout generations.

panel day 1Dr. Miriam Grossman – Center for Medical Integrity

– “Science is pro-family; hard science is our friend.”
– Science is the best friend to the pro-traditional family. Science demonstrates that the male and the female are vastly different and unique. Every cell of the body is imprinted with DNA that is either male or female.

– Transgenderism is being glamorized, but it is not what we think it is. It is medically impossible and harmful to perpetuate the lie that a male can be turned into a female and vice a versa. One cannot change their sex.

– Recent as well as long term studies have shown that 80% of kids who experience gender dysphoria disorder (GDD) come to terms with their natural sex once they go through puberty. No matter what Hollywood tries to sell on this topic, it isn’t a medical, biological or physiological reality. Someone may feel they are of a different sex, but they are not. There is only a very small minority who truly have this type of disorder, and they need our compassion, love and help to work through the mental health issues they face that cause them to feel this way about themselves. Surgery and drugs are most often not the solution (she says that only a very tiny percentage of people indicate they were truly helped by this path).

 Dr. Jaroslaw Szymcsak (Poland)

“The safety of the children comes from their parents’ unity.”

Ronald Warren (CareNet)
If we win and reverse Roe v. Wade, are we prepared to win?  What is winning?  Is the focus on saving a baby or raising a child?  Winning is building an abundant life through linking marriage, sex, and family, and includes fatherhood.

Nic Vujicic (Australian motivational speaker, born without arms or legs)

“Miracles do happen. I have a pair of shoes in my closet just in case He answers my prayers.”

“If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet He can use you.”

“You can’t blame society for the practices in your home.”

Your belief in Jesus Christ should first be reflected in your family.


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