How many times does history have to repeat itself before we learn that values matter? Families matter. Moral courage matters. Honor and integrity matter. Not only for individual happiness and prosperity, but for the good and strengthening of society. Which fails us first…The family or society? Too many parents become distracted by all that society is offering, and they fail to focus time and instruction toward their children. Children, having no guidance because of absent parents, become swayed by what society is offering, and the cycle continues, but compounds with each new generation.
We are hearing and reading more and more religious leaders speak up for the preservation of the family. They are seeing and understanding the destructive trends of our society for what they are…civilization killers. One such religious leader who spoke out recently was M. Russell Ballard, a leader in the Mormon Church. “Much of the world has lost its way in particular with regards to priorities and values in our homes.” “Happiness is directly related to home and family. There is no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home. No service is greater than that which promotes and preserves family life.”
Ballard spoke of the growing disregard for marriage in the United States. “A New York Times article read that the children born to unmarried women has crossed the threshold. More than half the births to American women under age thirty occur outside of marriage. Among couples in the U.S. who marry, half get divorced. Other couples lose their way by allowing other things to interfere with family.” Ballard stated, “statistically those who have less education and consequently lower incomes are less likely to marry and go to church, and much more likely to be involved in crime and have children outside of marriage.” “Prosperity and education seem to be connected to a higher likelihood of having traditional families and values. The question of course is about cause and effect.
Do some sectors of our society have stronger values and families because they are more educated and prosperous? Or are they more educated and prosperous because they have values and strong families.” Ballard believes the latter to be true. “Society at large is strengthened as commitments to families grow stronger.” “When couples marry they greatly increase their capability of economic well being. When children are born in wedlock and have both a mom and a dad their opportunities and likelihood of occupational success skyrocket. When families work and play together neighborhoods and communities flourish, economies improve and less government and costly safety nets are required.”
“The bad news is that the family breakdown is causing a host of societal and economic ills . But the good news is like any cause and effect. Those ills can be reversed if what is causing them is changed.” “Inequities are resolved by living values. The most important cause of our lifetime is our family. If we devote ourselves to this cause we will improve every other aspect of our lives.”
Thank you Russell Ballard and other religious leaders who are all too aware of what is happening in our society! Thank you for speaking out and helping us see more clearly what is happening to society because of the family. If only such family focus and commitment could be legislated! But unfortunately it can’t. Our society is in need of reform, and it’s only going to happen when we make the changes that place family as our A #1 priority .