More book reviews are on the way, but I wanted to share this from General Conference. It is a serious and sobering reminder of the importance of the marriage relationship. As you've heard me say before, it is worth the effort!
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, General Conference October 6,2012, said this about marriage in his talk about protecting children (emphasis added):
"There are few examples of physical or emotional threats to children as important as those arising out of their relationships with their parents or guardians. Of utmost importance to the well-being of children is whether their parents were married, the nature and duration of the marriage, and, more broadly, the culture and expectations of marriage and child care where they live.
The most powerful teaching of children is by the example of their parents. Divorcing parents inevitably teach a negative lesson. There are surely cases when a divorce is necessary for the good of the children, but those circumstances are exceptional. In most marital contests the contending parents should give much greater weight to the interests of the children. With the help of the Lord, they can do so.
Children are also victimized by marriages that do not occur. Few measures of the welfare of our rising generation are more disturbing than the recent report that 41 percent of all births in the United States were to women who were not married. Most of the children born to unmarried mothers—58 percent—were born to couples who were cohabitating. Whatever we may say about these couples’ foregoing marriage, studies show that their children suffer significant comparative disadvantages. For children, the relative stability of marriage matters.
We should assume the same disadvantages for children raised by couples of the same gender. The social science literature is controversial and politically charged on the long-term effect of this on children, principally because, as a New York Times writer observed, “[s]ame-sex marriage is a social experiment, and like most experiments it will take time to understand its consequences.”
We are speaking of the children of God, and with His powerful help we can do more to help them. In this plea I address not only Latter-day Saints, but also all persons of religious faith and others who have a value system that causes them to subordinate their own needs to those of others, especially to the welfare of children.
Religious persons are also conscious of the Savior’s New Testament teaching that pure little children are our role models of humility and teachableness.
“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4)."