In his address to international religious leaders at the Vatican Summit, President Henry B. Eyring reaffirmed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stance that marriage is between a man and a woman and that he is a personal witness that through marriage, man and woman “have transcendent power to create happiness for themselves, for their family and for the people around them.”
Recalling stories from his own marriage, President Eyring opened by testifying that he was grateful to give evidence of the power of marriage. He shared stories of meeting his wife, their marriage and posterity, their temple covenants and the power of their differences.
“Our differences combined as if they were designed to create a better whole,” he said. “Rather than dividing us, our differences bound us together.”
President Eyring has been married to Kathleen Johnson for 52 years. They have six children and 31 grandchildren. He shared that his first great-grandchild was born the day he arrived in Rome.
President Eyring explained that unselfishness is the key to marriage between a man and a woman.
“We must find ways to lead people to a faith that they can replace their natural self-interest with deep and lasting feelings of charity and benevolence,” said President Eyring, “Only then will people be able to make the hourly unselfish sacrifices necessary for a happy marriage and family life — and to do it with a smile.”
President Eyring also cited the Church’s 1995 document “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” After reading a portion of the document he stated the principles outlined are what people must do to obtain a “renaissance” of happy marriages and families.
President Eyring invited fellow leaders to “stand up to defend” marriage between man and woman in his closing statements. He spoke for 15 minutes and was among religious leaders from 14 other international faiths invited to attend the three-day summit hosted by the Catholic Church.