The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
The carefully written document outlining the church’s doctrines and principles on marriage and family life was the fifth such “proclamation” in the church’s history and carried the signatures of each member of the faith’s highest governing bodies.
From teachings on sexual relations (“powers of procreation are to be employed only between … [a] husband and wife”) to gender (“gender is an essential characteristic of individual … identity and purpose”), to parental responsibilities (“teach [children] to love and serve one another, obey the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens”), the proclamation brings within its four corners an unambiguous reaffirmation of the faith’s core tenets on family life and human personhood.
Marriage between a man and a woman, the document declares, “is ordained of God.” Children “are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a mother and father who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” The sanctity of life, it continues, is vital to “God’s eternal plan” — so too is the “commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth.” Those who abuse spouse or children, it says, “will one day stand accountable before God.”
It ends with a call to “citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”
But in 1995, it’s fair to say that “officers of government” were already headed in that direction.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act had just been signed into law; following shortly behind, the Defense of Marriage Act codified “marriage” as “only a legal union between one man and one woman.” Soon the Child Pornography Prevention Act was passed, aiming to protect children and regulating certain pornographic depictions; the U.S. government also began supporting educational programs to help at-risk couples form and sustain healthy marriages and relationships.
So why, in the words of President Hinckley that September evening, was there such a need to “warn and forewarn”?
Well, seers, it’s said, peer a bit further over the horizon. And since 1995, there have been a number of trends that concern those of us who study family life.
While the percent of married individuals within the top two quintiles of income earners has remained surprisingly steady over the past three decades, for the bottom three-fifths, declines have been steep. And estimates today are that about 1/3 of young adults in the United States will never marry.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.