Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve concluded the Saturday morning session of general conference on April 4 by urging members to advocate the value of marriage and family offered by the gospel.
Despite geographic, social, ethnic or religious differences, people of faith are similar in belief, Elder Perry said. While attending a Colloquium on Marriage and Family, he noted an Iranian Muslim scholar who quoted verbatim “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
“It was remarkable for me to see how marriage and family-centered priorities cut across and superseded any political and economical and religious differences,” Elder Perry said. “When it comes to love of spouse, hopes and worries and dreams for children, we are all the same.”
Despite commonalities, Elder Perry taught that only members of the church have the full perspective of the restored gospel. “What the restored gospel brings to the discussion on marriage and family is so large and so relevant that it cannot be overstated. We make it a subject of eternity,” he said. “We take the commitment and the sanctity of marriage to a greater level because of our belief and understanding that families go back to before this earth was, and they can go forward into eternities.”
Elder Perry spoke about the eternal principles taught in the children’s song “Families Can Be Together Forever.” These principles work to strengthen and stabilize culture and serve as basic units of eternity in the government of God.
“It is because of our belief that marriages and families are eternal that we, as a church, want to be leaders and participate in worldwide movements to strengthen them,” Elder Perry said. “A great number of secular people have concluded that a committed marriage and family lifestyle is the most sensible, the most economical and the happiest way to live.”
Elder Perry explained that while most media and cultural values suggest and even promote the decline of the family, the church actively participates in providing leadership and efforts to strengthen the family.
“We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace family organizations that God himself established,” he said. “We must continue to project that voice throughout the world in declaring why marriage and family are so important; why marriage and family really do matter and why they always will.”