'Effective cure for decaying family life'

Honor priesthood

Respect roles of father, mother"Members of the Church have the most effective cure for our decaying family life. It is for men, women and children to honor and respect the divine roles of both fathers and mothers in the home," Elder James E. Faust of the Council of the Twelve counseled Saturday afternoon.

"In what I have to say," he explained, "I do not wish to offend anyone. I affirm my profound belief that God's greatest creation is womanhood. I also believe that there is no greater good in all the world than motherhood.

"Single parents, most of whom are mothers, perform an especially heroic service," he added.

"Yet modern sociological studies powerfully reaffirm the essential influence of a caring father in the life of a child - boy or girl. . . . Much of the crime and many of the behavioral disorders in the United States come from homes where the father has abandoned the children. Sociologically, it is now painfully apparent that fathers are not optional family baggage. We need to honor the position of the father as the primary provider for physical and spiritual support."

Many people don't understand the Church's belief that God has wisely established a guiding authority for the most important institutions in the world, he related. "This guiding authority is called the priesthood. The priesthood is held in trust to be used to bless all of God's children.

"I urge the husbands and fathers of this Church to be the kind of a man your wife would not want to be without. I urge the sisters of this Church to be patient, loving and understanding with their husbands. Those who enter into marriage should be fully prepared to establish their marriage as the first priority in their lives."

Elder Faust admonished: "It is far more difficult to be of one heart and mind than to be physically one. Such domestic harmony results from forgiving and forgetting, essential elements of a maturing marriage relationship. True charity ought to begin in marriage, for it is a relationship that must be rebuilt every day."

Surmising what might be a "just cause" for breaking the covenants of marriage, he said, "In my opinion, `just cause' should be nothing less serious than a prolonged and apparently irredeemable relationship which is destructive of a person's dignity as a human being.

"At the same time, I have strong feelings about what is not provocation for breaking the sacred covenants of marriage. Surely it is not simply mental distress,' norpersonality differences,' nor having grown apart,' or havingfallen out of love.'

"Perhaps we regard the [sealingT power bestowed by Elijah as something associated only with formal ordinances performed in sacred places. But these ordinances become dynamic and productive of good only as they reveal themselves in our daily lives," Elder Faust admonished.

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