Families the hope of nations, Mormon apostle says

By Jamshid Askar
Deseret News
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009

Citing the importance of children to both families and nations, Elder Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Quorum of the Twelve spoke Wednesday on the third and final day of the fifth World Congress of Families in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

"On all sides, the family is under attack," he said. "Many wonder if the institution is no longer needed. Our response is certain. If there is any hope for the future of nations, that hope resides in the family. Our children are our wealth; our children are our strength; our children are indeed our future."

Also speaking at the conference were Elder Nelson's wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, a professor of marriage and family therapy for 25 years before her April 2006 marriage; and Sheri Dew, president and CEO of Deseret Book Company and former counselor in the LDS Church's Relief Society general presidency.

Founded in 1997, the World Congress of Families is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 60 countries that seek to strengthen the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the "seedbed" of civil society.

Elder Nelson cited "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" as "a document that supports the development of happy children who are morally strong." He read extensive excerpts from "The Family" and encouraged conference attendees to procure a complimentary copy of the document at the WCF or download the text in any of 81 translations from the Internet.

"This Congress can also help with persuasive statements and continuing efforts to defend marriage and promote the interests of children in traditional families," Elder Nelson said. "While competing voices battle for approval, the message from this conference must be clear. ... Our message is certain! Children are the hope for the future of our nations!"

Saying "We all know that every nation is ultimately at the mercy of its families," Dew added: "If families are riddled with problems, society eventually collapses under the weight of problems too vast for any government to meet. If families are strong, society is strong."

She called for move to principles of virtue. "A virtuous life is an easier, more fulfilling life. And it is one of the most powerful keys to strengthening families and therefore to strengthening our world."

Sister Nelson emphasized just how important spiritually strong families are to the fate of nations.

"After decades of my work," she said, "as a nurse, a psychologist and a marriage and family therapy professor, researcher and clinician, I believe that if we want to face an uncertain future with certainty, we need families that are spiritually strong."


BYU NewsNet

McConkie teaches how to answer gospel questions

Daily Universe Staff
27 Aug 2005

This story appeared in The Daily Universe on Thursday, August 18.

By Ashley Dickson


Three principles taught by Joseph F. McConkie in a lecture Wednesday aim to help members of the church answer gospel questions with accuracy and purity.

“Never, never, never let someone who is not a faithful member of the church tell you what to believe,” McConkie said. “It doesn’t matter where they got their information. It really doesn’t have a thing in the world to do with it.”


McConkie taught the importance of using scripture interpretations correctly. The true intentions of certain passages can only be known to those who understand through the spirit, he said.


“Different people understand different things,” McConkie said. “It’s one thing to read it – and another thing to understand it.”


Similarly, scripture is “not the word of God, it has no particular worth, it is nothing more than black ink on white paper, unless you read it with the same spirit by which it is recorded,” he said.


The second principle for answering gospel questions is to have a clear understanding of where the LDS Church stands and what Mormonism is all about.

McConkie said he often asks missionaries what their message is.


“The answers are often not nearly as good as the should be,” he said. “Our message is that God speaks. That’s what sets us apart from the world. That’s the message – that’s the heart of it.”


Don Lawrence, from Mesquite, Nev. said he agreed that it all comes down to one thing.


“It all boils down to revelation,” he said. “whether it’s in this dispensation or previous dispensations.”


McConkie told the audience he believes too may members of the Church try to water down the message of the gospel, in an effort to make more sense to others.


“You can’t take faith out of the message,” he said. “You’ve got to be true to the message if you expect the spirit to sustain what you’re saying.”


Stephen Schraedel, from Orem, said he has learned this principle while teaching the 11-year-olds in his ward.


“I’ve tried using the simple stuff and the kids don’t seem to be as interested,” Schraedel said. “If you teach clear scriptures to the kids, some are riveted to every word you say. Not all will be, but they’re hungry for the gospel and they don’t want it watered down.”


McConkie’s third principle was to be different. He said the greatest heresy in missionary work is to find common ground.


“Did Joseph and Hyrum die in Carthage to seal their testimony with their blood so we could go out and say ‘look, we’re just like everyone else,’” McConkie said.

Lawrence said he was glad to receive encouragement to be different.


“We’re told to be a peculiar people anyway, so why not?” Lawrence said.

Note: The Mormon Gospel does not involve Jesus Christ as the Christian Gospel does.

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 1 Corinthians 15:1-5.

Note: The Mormons have been blinded to the Christian Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4