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The following is excerpted from the LDS Church News. To read the full article, click here

The Church cannot be strong if a majority of its leaders and members come from weak families, said President Dallin H. Oaks on Aug. 24.

“Conversely, if most of the families in a ward or stake are strong, the ward or stake will also be strong,” he said. “The same is true of the Church.”

Directing his remarks to the sometimes “neglected group” of “extraordinary importance,” President Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, addressed young married couples from 11 stakes in the Los Angeles area.

“Brothers and sisters, we know much more than you suppose,” he said. “You know we are constantly traveling to be with our members all over the world. What you may not know is that every week we receive reports from the most knowledgeable professionals in every field of concern in a worldwide Church — economics, politics, social sciences, legal requirements, diplomacy, the latest thinking on social issues, etc.”

The Brethren are informed “about the world in which we live,” but “we are even more intensely informed about our own members — the challenges they face in medical care, mental health, public schools, higher education, employment, the market place, retirement, and in their personal relations such as marriage, childbearing, adoption, child-rearing, challenges to faith such as questions about Church history, same-gender attraction, transgender issues, etc.,” he said.

“We struggle to be informed. We struggle to be close to our members who number about 16 million in about 150 nations.”

President Oaks’ message hit home for many in the congregation.

“The leaders of the Church are incredibly in-tune to the stage of life we face, and the trials it can bring when trying to maintain a righteous marriage,” said Deserae Alard, who attended the devotional. “Every word was relevant and resonated with us deeply.”

President Oaks called the group “the rising generation” who is “raising the next generation.”

To read the full article, click here