Church members promote family values in U.N. setting

GENEVA, Switzerland — Members of the Church here helped launch the 10th anniversary of the United Nations-designated International Year of the Family 2004 by hosting a Families Values luncheon Nov. 17.

In a setting overlooking Lake Geneva on a day of beautiful sunshine, 37 guests, including wives of ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, listened as Bonnie Parkin, Relief Society general president, Coleen K. Menlove, Primary general president, and Margaret Nadauld, past Young Women general president, spoke to the theme "Families: The Strength of Communities and Nations."

Following their addresses, the guests gathered for informal conversations. Several delegates gathered various literature arranged in 10 languages that was displayed on tables, including copies of the Book of Mormon.

The next day, many of those who attended called the Church Public Affairs office to express their appreciation for the luncheon and praise the speakers. Church leaders noted that all who attended the luncheon represented countries that had received significant humanitarian aid from the Church, except Tunisia.

On the day of the luncheon, the co-chairwoman of the Women's Guild approached Church leaders to invite a choir of children to sing at the annual bazaar held Dec. 2. She was acquainted with the Church from humanitarian aid given to her country of Honduras during times of natural disaster.

With short preparation time, Primary children of the Geneva stake participated in the opening ceremonies of the United Nations Women's Guild International Annual Bazaar held in the Palais des Nations, U.N. European headquarters. The bazaar raises money to fund various charitable organizations throughout the world.

The little chorus of Primary children was overwhelmed by the huge crowds that attended. While mingling in the foyer, representatives from more than 160 countries turned their attention to the Primary children when they began singing, "No'l des Oiseaux, and "le Niege."

Following the choir's performance, U.N. Director General Sergei Ordzhonikidze gave opening remarks that largely extolled the children for their performance. The children and their directors, Gerard Cadet and Sonia Junod, were then applauded by members of the guild.