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Apostle Joins Other Faith Leaders at Marriage Forum

“One of the great tasks of our time — one on which our diverse faith communities should be united — is to help people understand the true meaning and purpose of marriage,” said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at a forum on marriage in New York City.

The Mormon apostle joined Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of the Congregation Shearith Israel in New York for the Humanum Colloquium in New York, Thursday, March 9, 2017. Rabbi Soloveichik is also director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University.

 

Rabbi Soloveichik commented on the importance of speaking about family in such a diverse setting. “It’s wonderful for people of one faith, facing challenges in this world, to both see old friends from another faith, and to make new friends from that faith,” he said. “That’s what makes moments like this so wonderful.”

“We are addressing a sober and serious subject,” Elder Bednar said. “In fulfilling their marriage covenant, husbands and wives perform distinct but complementary roles.”

In a time that many in society today prioritize their own desires over the needs of spouses and children, Elder Bednar stressed that marriage has divine origins.

“Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God,” said Elder Bednar, quoting from the Church’s family proclamation. “This divinely designed pattern of marriage is neither an experiment nor a sociological innovation. Rather, it is a relationship ‘central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.’”

“We are losing the basic understanding that society has a unique and profound interest in marriage because of its power to form a male-female union that is the optimal setting for the bearing and rearing of children,” he added. “In marriage and family life, we learn and grow together as God intended.”

Elder Bednar said marriage allows us to focus on and serve others. “In marriage, we live not exclusively for ourselves but for our spouses and children and posterity.”

However, Elder Bednar said many people have a secular concept of marriage. “Influenced by this increasingly pervasive ideology of self-centeredness and selfishness, too often men and women pursue relationships and marriage focused on their own needs and desires rather than on building stable marital and family relationships.”

He said today’s “skewed conception of marriage” has serious and personal consequences that can lead to heartbreak, despair and divorce. A growing number of people are giving up on marriage. “Millions of children are being born into situations where they cannot experience the true nature and purpose of marriage and stable family life.”

“All people, especially the rising generation, need a vision of the richness of family life and its potential for developing the highest and best in each of us,” Elder Bednar said.

Cardinal Dolan expressed similar sentiments. “Everybody wants to be happy,” he said. “And if married couples can show that the way God intends for us to be happy is when a man and woman give themselves to one another totally and selflessly in a love so fruitful that it becomes incarnate in a baby is the happiest way to live, if we can reclaim that luster, folks, that will show the world the sanctity of marriage as God defined it.”

Cardinal Dolan said he wants people to remember that even though the world’s view of marriage is changing, “we’re not alone in our battle to defend the sanctity of marriage. You and I believe, without any touch of arrogance at all, that God is on our side.”

The New York City gathering follows an international and interreligious symposium on the complementarity of man and woman hosted by the Catholic Church at the Vatican in November 2014. At the gathering in Rome, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency called for a “renaissance of happy marriages.” In 2015, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke on marriage and family at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the first time the event has been held in the United States.

 

Read Elder Bednar’s entire transcript.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith in God's time.:

I COULDN’T PICK JUST ONE OF THESE QUOTES TODAY, LOVE THEM ALL. I NEEDED THEM ALL TODAY. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Daily

The more often we see the things around us, the more they become invisible to us. Learn how you can live in thanksgiving daily by noticing the wonders and beauties of this world.

The Doctor said “And Angel Must Have Caught Her”

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Fasting and Praying for Emma

The author lives in the Capital Region of Denmark.

windows in Denmark

 

My family had just returned from a wonderful vacation. After dinner I let our two children, four-year-old Markus and three-year-old Emma, play in the upstairs bedroom of our fourth-floor apartment. In Denmark, windows open out like shutters. The windows are usually locked, but we had left them slightly ajar during our vacation so the apartment would be ventilated during our trip.

As I was doing the dishes, I suddenly felt that something was terribly wrong. I ran into the living room as Markus came running down the stairs. He was screaming with fear, saying Emma had fallen out of the window—a window about 40 feet (12 m) above a cement sidewalk. I ran down the stairs, repeatedly screaming Emma’s name. I saw my little daughter lying on the cement as if she were lifeless. She was completely limp when I picked her up, and I thought my worst fears were confirmed. My husband, who had followed me outside, took her in his arms and immediately gave her a priesthood blessing.

The ambulance came quickly, and Markus and I said a prayer while the paramedics worked on Emma. Soon we were all in the ambulance heading to the hospital.

At the intensive care unit we were quickly joined by family members who came to support us. Markus went home with his cousins, while my husband and I stayed behind, not yet knowing about Emma’s condition.

After what seemed like a long wait, one of the doctors finally came in, asking for details about the accident. They said that normally a fall from such a height would have resulted in internal injuries and only a small chance of survival. Emma had a broken pelvis and a concussion, but her scrapes were only superficial. The doctor said an angel must have caught her.

Even though Emma’s survival was a miracle, she was still unconscious because of head trauma. My husband and two close friends again administered to Emma. In that blessing she was promised a complete recovery without any lasting problems and that this would be a positive experience in her life. I felt immense gratitude for the power of the priesthood. All my nightlong pleadings had been heard.

Emma came out of her coma four days later. During those four days, friends, members of the Church, and others fasted and prayed for her. I felt the prayers of faithful Saints weave around me, strengthening my family and me. I felt as if Heavenly Father had wrapped His arms around me and filled me with comfort.

Our stake had held a fast on the day before she woke up. We believe that Heavenly Father heard our prayers and that Emma’s waking up was a direct result of the fast. From there Emma recovered quickly. Five days later she said her first word since the accident, and nine days later she was released from the hospital. She spent five weeks in a wheelchair and then started physical therapy.

About a month after the accident, my back suddenly gave out on me from lifting Emma. A feeling of not only physical but also spiritual powerlessness came over me. How could I continue to take care of her?

One night the guilt of being so powerless became too much to bear. I left the house and found a park bench, where I prayed to Heavenly Father for about an hour. For the first time in my life, I felt the miraculous power of the Savior’s Atonement overcome me. All the pain and sorrow I had been carrying was taken from me; all my burdens were lifted off my shoulders after that prayer. Emma was still in a wheelchair, and I was getting regular back treatments, but I was strengthened to carry on.

One year later, Emma could run, laugh, tell stories, and think as a four-year-old should.

We know there is a loving Father in Heaven, who cares for us and knows us individually. He knows what challenges we go through. I will never doubt the miracles He gives us through prayer, fasting, and priesthood blessings.

What Is Our Response to Trials?

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom

“When difficult things occur in our lives, what is our immediate response? Is it confusion or doubt or spiritual withdrawal? Is it a blow to our faith? Do we blame God or others for our circumstances? Or is our first response to remember who we are—that we are children of a loving God? Is that coupled with an absolute trust that He allows some earthly suffering because He knows it will bless us, like a refiner’s fire, to become like Him and to gain our eternal inheritance?”

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy, “I Am a Child of God,” Liahona, May 2016, 27.

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