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Young Women General President Bonnie L. Oscarson rallied women to defend “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” at the Women’s Session of the 185th Annual General Conference on Saturday, March 28.
She began her talk with a story of Mary Madeleine Cardon, who, after being converted to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stopped an angry mob from disturbing a worship service in Italy. Sister Oscarson encouraged women of the Church to draw strength from Mary’s example and to defend “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
“The sanctity of the home and the essential purposes of the family are being questioned, criticized and assaulted on every front,” she said. She described how the home and family have been under attack from the media, the Internet, television and even lawmakers.
“The Proclamation on the Family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world, and I testify that the principles set forth within this statement are as true today as they were when they were given to us by a prophet of God nearly 20 years ago,” she said.
Sister Oscarson then outlined three principles taught in the Proclamation that she called for women of the Church to defend against the evils of the world. “We need to boldly defend the Lord’s revealed doctrines … even when the world is shouting in our ears that these principles are outdated, limiting or no longer relevant,” she said.
The first principle she discussed was of marriage between a man and woman being ordained of God. “Let us be defenders of marriage as the Lord has ordained it, while continuing to show love and compassion for those with differing views,” Sister Oscarson said.
The second principle she described was the divine roles in the family unit. She encouraged members of the congregation to teach their children that there is no greater calling than being a mother and father in Heavenly Father’s plan. “Each of us has a part to play in the plan, and each of us is equally valued in the Lord’s eyes,” Sister Oscarson said.
The third principle of the proclamation she outlined was the sanctity of the home. She talked about the word “homemaker” and how the reputation of the word needed to be changed.
“We should remember that a loving Heavenly Father is aware of our righteous desires and will honor his promises that nothing will be withheld from those who faithfully keep their covenants. Heavenly Father has a mission and plan for each of us,” she said.
Sister Oscarson encouraged those who attended to defend the sanctity of the principles outlined in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” no matter what.