In the most recent General Women’s Meeting, Bonnie Oscarson boldly declared,
“[T]here is a war going on in this world in which our most cherished and basic doctrines are under attack. I am speaking specifically of the doctrine of the family. The sanctity of the home and the essential purposes of the family are being questioned, criticized, and assaulted on every front. During this 20th anniversary year of the family proclamation, I would like to issue a challenge for all of us as women of the Church to be defenders of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” (Defenders of the Family Proclamation, May 2015 Ensign).
I wholeheartedly agree with Sister Oscarson. There are so many different ways we can defend the principles and doctrines in the family proclamation. Having said that, here is something that may be of interest to our Mormon Women Stand community.
The World Congress of Families
This October in Salt Lake City, The World Congress of Families IX will be holding the ninth international gathering of delegates, from many professions and a variety of faiths, who are working to restore core family values within society. According to their website, The World Congress of Families IX welcomes friends and people of goodwill from all nations for the premier global gathering of parents, youth, lawmakers, scholars, religious leaders, and advocates united to affirm, celebrate, and encourage the natural family. Past congresses have included keynote addresses from Elder Russell M. Nelson and Wendy Watson Nelson, Margaret D. Nadauld (as General Young Women President), Mary Ellen Smoot (as General Relief Society President), Sheri Dew (as Councilor in the General Relief Society Presidency), Elder Bruce D. Hafen of the First Quorum of the Seventy, Erich W. Kopischke of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and more. There will be a general authority speaking this year as well.
The WCF conferences (awarded via a selection process similar to Olympic bids) have been held across the globe, and advocate for values such as the sanctity of life and honoring the family as the fundamental unit of society. This is the first time the conference will be held in the United States. Guest presenters include representatives from the Vatican, the United Nations, pro-family Hollywood directors and actors, members of European royalty, an LDS general authority, Sheri Dew and Stephanie and Christian Nielson and many more. Entertainment will be provided by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The Utah Youth Symphony, The Piano Guys, and activities include special events, tours, and a gala dinner.
As a past attendee at an overseas World Congress of Families, I have personally experienced the value of learning from the world’s top scholars, religious and political leaders. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and so the timing and content of these two things is remarkable.
Now to the exciting information on the young adult scholarships …
The World Congress of Families Young Adult Scholarships
There are opportunities for hundreds of young adults around the world, ages 18-27, who embrace marriage, family and the sanctity of life, to be awarded scholarships for airfare, food, hotel accommodation and registration. Young adults are fundamental in the cause of the family because they represent the rising generation and have significant influence in public dialogue, culture and opinion-making. The youth of today will be the parents, policy-makers, teachers, public servants and opinion leaders of tomorrow.
Scholarship applications can be downloaded from www.wcf9.org and emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org along with the required essay, meme, poem, video, or photo of original
artwork. Questions can be emailed to email@example.com. The final deadline is July 1, 2015.
One final thought from Bonnie Oscarson’s talk in the 2015 Women’s Meeting titled “Defenders of the Family“:
During this 20th anniversary year of the family proclamation, I would like to issue a challenge for all of us as women of the Church to be defenders of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” We need to boldly defend the Lord’s revealed doctrines describing marriage, families, the divine roles of men and women, and the importance of homes as sacred places—even when the world is shouting in our ears that these principles are outdated, limiting, or no longer relevant. Everyone, no matter what their marital circumstance or number of children, can be defenders of the Lord’s plan described in the family proclamation. If it is the Lord’s plan, it should also be our plan!
Let us be defenders of marriage as the Lord has ordained it while continuing to show love and compassion for those with differing views.
… Let us help build the kingdom of God by standing up boldly and being defenders of marriage, parenthood, and the home. The Lord needs us to be brave, steadfast, and immovable warriors who will defend His plan and teach the upcoming generations His truths.
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