While speaking at the VI World Congress of Families today in Madrid, Spain, Elder Erich W. Kopischke of the Seventy and president of the Europe Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emphasized the importance of marriage and families in today’s society. Sister Mary Ellen Smoot, former general president of the Relief Society, the Church’s women organization, introduced his speech.
Invited to address the audience at the opening plenary session of the congress, he said: “A civilization and a society can and will be only as strong as its families. This idea has probably been stated a hundred of times at pro-family conventions and conferences like this around the globe. I would like to add to this obvious truth the following statement: A family can and will be only as strong as the marriage on which it is based.”
Concurrent with the sessions of the Congress, Elder Frerich Görts, former undersecretary of the German federal government and currently serving as representative of the Church to European Union institutions, attended the International Parliamentary Forum.
The Forum gathered the foremost activists and leaders of civic, educational and research organizations – defending the natural family and life as fundamental principles -, together with political representatives to analyze and propose possible solutions addressing the political and international legislative areas as well as the participation and impact of civil society.
While Elder Kopischke was addressing an audience of more than 2.000 delegates representing hundreds of pro-family organizations and scholars, and Elder Görts was engaging with political and civic society leaders, Elder Jim and Sister Carol Brande, public affairs missionaries, were managing a booth at the exhibit area of the World Congress of Families with the help of local members of the Church.
The booth featuring Family Home Evening, a Church program established in 1915 to encourage parents to build and strengthen family relationships, is expected to attract hundreds of visitors with its warm and welcoming design. There, visitors will be able to watch a selection of family-related videos, learn about the Church's support to the traditional family and leave with something special to remember.