A New Opportunity to Defend Families Worldwide: The Intercultural Dialogue
by Gary and Joy Lundberg

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the first International Year of the Family. Concerned people from all walks of life all over the world have asked, “What can I do to strengthen and protect the family?”  The Intercultural Dialogue in Celebration of the 2004 International Year of the Family provides a landmark opportunity for every caring individual and organization to make a crucial difference in safeguarding marriage, family and children.

The purpose of the Intercultural Dialogue is to provide an international forum to governmental leaders, pro-family non-governmental organizations (NGOs), religious organizations, academic groups and committed citizens to bring together the collective results of their efforts during the International Year of the Family.

You are invited to join this important collaborative effort.  Click here to learn more https://www.yearofthefamily.org.  Please inform your associates and other family-friendly organizations of the Intercultural Dialogue.  As partners in the Intercultural Dialogue, your recommendations and findings will be included in the Secretariat’s report to the Doha International Conference for the Family in November 2004.  At that conference, diplomatic representatives from many nations will gather to adopt an official Declaration reaffirming that the “family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.”  (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16(3).)

As Partnership Coordinators of the Intercultural Dialogue, we invite you to participate in this historic event.  Please email us at [email protected] letting us know that you are interested in helping.
What You Can Do Today

In his recent State of the Union address President George W. Bush made a statement regarding marriage that must have caused rejoicing in the heart of every dedicated Latter-day Saint.  He said:

 “A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under federal law as a union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states.

“Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people’s voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.” (Taken from the text of his address found at 

As a people dedicated to promoting The Family: A Proclamation to the World, we must take action immediately to protect the sanctity of marriage.  In this Proclamation our Church leaders state: “We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. . . . Marriage between man and woman is essential to his eternal plan.  Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”  The Proclamation concludes with a call to action: “We call upon responsible citizens and officers of the government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

As members we must not stand on the sidelines wringing our hands in dismay as we observe the forces of the adversary working masterfully at convincing people that traditional families and marriages are not important.  The time to act is now.  Today, you who are citizens of the United States can call or write your state legislators (Utah is debating this issue right now) and federal senators and representatives and let them know of your support for the Federal Marriage Amendment, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.  A direct link to email links or phone numbers of these U.S. government leaders is https://www.capwiz.com/fof/

Also, we urge you to take this opportunity to thank President Bush for his courageous stand in defense of marriage at https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.  Those of you who are citizens of other nations also need to contact your government officials and let them know your stand on these vital issues. If you would like to further study this issue click on https://www.defendmarriage.org.

Please take this action today and then contact us at [email protected]  to join the Intercultural Dialogue.  This needs to be a worldwide movement to protect our families. Together we will make a difference.

We cannot thank you enough for assisting in this great cause.  For the most part, your help will not take a large block of time.  Whatever your contribution is, it is vital to strengthening the foundation of all local, national and international societies.  Working together, we will significantly protect families worldwide.

[If you cannot access https://www.yearofthefamily.org you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader. This program can be obtained free at

https://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.  When you are at their site, go to the box that says “Step 1 and step 2.”  In step 1 click on the language and your operating system then go to step 2 and download the version you want.  The best is the full version.]

2004 Meridian Magazine.  All Rights Reserved.