BYU professor champions the family

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — A BYU law professor prominent for his international efforts to safeguard and strengthen the family as an institution, visited Sweden Nov. 4-8 and spoke to members of the Swedish Parliament.

Richard G. Wilkins, professor of law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU, and managing director for the World Family Policy Center, has done extensive research during the past six years on the social role of the family in society. He was invited to Sweden, where the number of divorces are the highest and number of born babies the lowest in the world, to lecture in three cities before audiences totaling about 500 people. They included news media, family-oriented organizations, Church members at three firesides, and during two hours a group of government leaders at the Swedish Parliament.

This group, Forum for the Family and Human Rights, wants to continue working together with the Church, and specifically with Professor Wilkins, on the necessity of strong, stable families, and the support needed from the society to achieve that goal.

Professor Wilkins has been invited to another meeting in February 2003, together with Allan C. Carlsson of the Howard Institute, to meet a larger group of politicians to discuss their family policy and Parliament work. Two of these politicians also have been invited to participate in the World Congress of Families III in Provo, Utah, in July 2003, along with with politicians from neighboring countries.

"In Sweden we will try to activate all stakes, districts, and wards to use May 15, 2003, for family focuses and bridge-building activities with other suitable family oriented organizations and churches," said Per Nilsson, national director of public affairs for the Church in Sweden.

"This has been a Stockholm Key City project for more than a year. A report of professor Wilkins' events has already been submitted in Frankfurt on Nov. 9 to all the national directors of public affairs in the Church's Europe Central Area. The intended focus is to use the United Nations Family Day on May 15, 2003, as a starting point in the whole area and invite two members of Parliament from each area country to attend the World Congress of Families III in Provo 2003."

Professor Wilkins had an extensive number of scientific reports and statistics to support all his statements about the importance of strong, stable, good families. He also referred several times to the inspired Family Proclamation issued by the First Presidency.

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