An Apostle of  Jesus Christ from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) just spoke to a global audience of faith leaders, by invitation of Pope Francis – at the Vatican!

I hope you take the opportunity to sit down and watch/listen to President Henry B. Eyring’s inspired address delivered during the Vatican marriage summit on the complementarity of man and woman to witness the truth of natural marriage and the family as God has ordained and to present personal evidence. (See also The Divine Institution of Marriage.)

What he spoke and how he spoke it, for me, is among the most inspired teaching I have ever experienced on the necessity of defending marriage, only between a man and a woman. I truly felt God was with him as he delivered his speech, which included an extensive recitation of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

His delivery touched me deeply -- so humble. For some reason, I had this image in my mind that he would be standing before a large body and give a powerful and moving address in defense of the family – shake the earth! I’ve been to the Vatican. The outside court is astoundingly large. I guess I pictured him out there – I don’t know.

Anyway, rather he was sitting down and reading his address, methodically, with sincere feeling – nothing showy about it – at all. He wept. He witnessed. His character emanated through his inspired words.

On occasion, his audience would respond by clapping or laughing – making it known that the group was relatively small. And yet, it was among the most powerful, moving addresses I have ever witnessed. My soul was moved to its very core. I wept. I felt his witness. Eternal truth was proclaimed through the still, small voice – piercing.

I feel certain that every sincere seeker of truth who loves the God ordained institution of marriage and the family was moved and felt the Spirit through his words and personal testimony.

As he shared his personal witness of marriage and the beauty of the complementary relationship between him and his wife of 52 years, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own 36 years of marriage, thus far. He said:

Our differences combined as if they were designed to create a better whole. Rather than dividing us, our differences bound us together. Above all, our unique abilities allowed us to become partners with God in creating human life. The happiness that came from our becoming one built faith in our children and grandchildren that marriage could be a continuing source of satisfaction for them and their families.

He went on to testify, “Where there is selfishness, natural differences of men and women often divide. Where there is unselfishness, differences become complementary and provide opportunities to help and build each other."

I believe this same pattern applies to church service and how the Lord has organized the different roles of men and women under the priesthood of God.

President Eyring further explained, “If unselfishness is the key to complementary marriage between a man and a woman, we know what we must do to help create a renaissance of successful marriages and family life.”

How grateful I am to have developed an understanding, and personal testimony, of God’s divine design of each sex, male and female, and our complementary differences, which create a whole through His Son Jesus Christ. Areas (differences) I resisted initially, through covenants made in holy temples, and kept, have proven their power to make us one! That’s power – the power a world that has rejected moral absolutes for personal selfishness cannot know.

And so, we suffer, temporarily, as more and more are convinced that turning away from traditional values (increasingly considered antiquated) for progressivism, thought to be more enlightened. Comforting, was the “promise” that President Eyring proclaimed, as a special witness of Jesus Christ wherein he stated, “As we work to build and encourage faithful, loving marriages in which men and women become as one and nurture their families, the Lord will multiply our efforts. As we join together in this work, I promise progress toward that happy result.” 

Pertinent to my own experience as I’ve strived to uphold the doctrines and counsel taught in the Family Proclamation (through my writings) have come multiple accusations that teaching, or holding up, the “ideal” is hurtful and harms people – felt by some to be judgmental, even anti-Christian. To this, President Eyring explained, “Those are things people must do for us to have a renaissance of happy marriages and productive families. Such a renaissance will require people to try for the ideal—and to keep trying even when the happy result is slow to come and when loud voices mock the effort.” 

So regardless of all those who attempt to shame the faithful for upholding marriage and family as God has ordained and is taught within the walls of His Church, President Eyring urged “We can and must stand up and defend the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.”

I am more committed than ever to continue to stand and defend marriage, because I know that this is pleasing unto God and necessary as a covenant member of His Church. 

How grateful I am to be living in a day where the Lord is gathering His elect from the four corners of the earth and to be witnessing this miracle. He is bringing together through opposition to His plan His children. What an amazing event is this global marriage summit, hosted by our Catholic friends. Thank you. May we unite under this greatest of all the doctrines of God: the family.

Watch Video: President Henry B. Eyring: To Become As One

Read transcript:

Summary of Vatican Marriage Summit, Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Kathryn Skaggs

Follow complete coverage of Vatican 2014 on Mormon Newsroom:

Photo Credit: Mormon Newsroom


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