Promoting Family Well-being Worldwide
The church not only supports Latter-day Saint families with its programs and activities, but it also promotes traditional family well-being worldwide. One of the church's initial family outreach efforts was its public service radio and television spots advocating for family solidarity. These continuing messages, entitled Homefront, began in 1971 and have helped establish the church worldwide as a pro-family proponent. The church's promotion of family well-being has become bolder, despite criticism and hostility by some individuals and groups. For example, O. Kendall White, Jr., (1986) identifies the Mormon belief that neither the man or woman is complete without the other as the ideology that places the church in opposition to modern feminist and gay social movements.
The church believes it has a God-given mandate to preserve the traditional family unit worldwide. Church President Gordon B. Hinckley defends the church's opposition to efforts to legalize same-sex marriage: "This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. ...We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out" (1999, p. 52).
As responsible citizens, church members are encouraged to voluntarily join with other like-minded religious and secular groups in coalitions to advocate and defend the traditional family through donation of time, talent, and means. Church members have been key players in national and international efforts to promote traditional marriage and family. Such efforts include the Defense of Marriage Act legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in 1996 and the establishment of the Family Studies Center and the World Family Policy Center at the church-sponsored Brigham Young University (Wardle, Williams, and Wilkins 2001).
The leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints warn its members and the world that "[d]isintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. . . . We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society" (The Family 1995, p. 102).
See also: RELIGION
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DENNIS T. HAYNES
MARK O. JARVIS
Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsMormonism - Mormon Beliefs And Practices, Myths About Mormon Beliefs And Practices, Strengthening Lds Families, Promoting Family Well-being Worldwide