This week General Conference Odyssey covers the Saturday afternoon session of October 1975.
This past week, I listened to a session at the UN where one woman after another got up to demand the world pay attention to human rights; the poor, the women, the alternative lifestyles, etc. They conjoin worthy rights with radical rights.These are a small minority of big voices who slip their agendas in silently and unrelentingly.
Where were the voices of women who speak for the rights of families, for the privilege to raise a child the way they feel is best? Are we not mothers who want happiness for our children?
Our world is full of people who are searching for that happiness, and “they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:7-12). Many don’t know who they are, so they experiment with alternative lifestyles. In their experimenting, often too late they discover that happiness cannot be found in selfish behavior and they remain miserable. In this conference address, Mark E. Petersen said,
“To us, the family is the cornerstone of civilization and must ever be. It is the foundation of proper human relationships.”
Our church teaches its people who they are. Every child knows the words to this song: “I am a Child of God and He has sent me here. Has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear.” There is no truer, more important message than knowing we are each part of the family of God.
Evil, designing people would have us want our variously constructed homes to be equal through government programs. If a father or a mother is missing, due to absence, work, or substance abuse, this means that every home must be treated as though it has this detrimental loss. Our beloved Heavenly Father has a much better program given to our prophets through revelation. It involves Home and Visiting teachers who are meant to care for their families who struggle, our Welfare program that teaches, trains, and subsidises families until they are able to get back on their own feet and most important of all, everyone is offered knowledge and testimony that Jesus Christ has done all that really matters for them.
We know that families come in all different shapes and sizes. Individuals learn best when families learn how to sacrifice, love, uplift, teach and work together. Focusing on the happiness of our families helps minimize misery. Elder Petersen spoke what we must all declare:
“We are a people committed to sobriety and good character, to honesty and righteous living. We teach virtue and chastity as basic cardinal principles of our faith. We advocate the stability and preservation of the home.
“We teach our men and women fidelity in its loftiest meaning … We believe the family was intended to become an eternal unit, to be projected beyond death and the resurrection into an everlasting and immortal life. It is to prepare ourselves in worthiness for such a destiny that we teach this high standard of fidelity on the part of both husband and wife.”
No government program will ever teach that.
Elder Petersen even went through a list of benefits in being a Mormon woman. Mormon women were the first to vote in the nation. As a Mormon woman, we have a greater amount of liberty than most women throughout the world. As a member of the Relief Society, Mormon women are leaders, speakers, teachers; women who recognize they have a voice and use it to teach truth and promote family happiness. Relief Society is also an organization that donates much time and money to the relief of the poor throughout the world. Mormon women have the ability to be unstoppable when they mobilize and speak with the power God has given them.
There is nothing like a Mormon mother because she recognizes that her role as a mother is God-given; that this responsibility is more vital than a career. She learns to balance both, always putting motherhood first.
As a wife, mother, and grandmother I would like to keep my freedoms intact. If the government decides to grant equality for all human rights supporters, where does that leave me? My freedoms will be greatly limited. My posterity will not have the protection I desire for them but will be subject to what I view as degraded and even perverse values.
I want to be free to teach my children and grandchildren that they don’t have to wonder who they are, for they are children of a God who loves them. I want to teach my children and grandchildren that if they are obedient, by being responsible and accountable for their actions, they will avoid much of the sorrow of this sin-sick generation. I want to teach my children and grandchildren that Jesus Christ lives and that he is the Redeemer of this world.
Additional General Conference Odyssey posts:
We have only seen the beginning Marilyn Nielson