Families, communities, and nations are strengthened by following the principles and precepts set forth by “The Family– A Proclamation to the World.” Those readers who have been following my blog for any length of time recognize that I often refer to and/or quote from the Proclamation. I know that any family can become stronger by following the teachings in this document provided by God through His Prophets and Apostles.
It seems that many children in our society have become “throw away” items. Millions of children are killed by their own parents. Others are abandoned when they get in the way of whatever life the parents desires. Still others are used and abused. Too few are recognized as gifts from God for which He will hold us accountable.
Carah Burrell is a former nanny and is now married with two daughters. She is also an advocate for the rights of children. She “volunteers as advocacy director for Them Before Us, the only organization solely devoted to defending children’s rights in family structure.” She recently posted an article titled “Insights on the Proclamation from a Children’s Rights Activist.” Her article made me realize that all sorts of minorities have lobbyists and advocates in Congress except children. We all must become advocates for children.
If you’re an adult, you have a right to assemble, a right to privacy, a right to a fair trial – all these things we recognize as basic human rights. Do children have a natural right to their mother and father whenever possible? If the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is to be believed, and if we were to ask any child about their deepest desires, the answer is yes! This right is up there with “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In fact, a child’s likelihood of finding and keeping the latter often hinge on whether or not we can secure the former.
Burrell brings food for thought when she talks about a child’s “right” to have both their mother and father in their life. She continues her article by giving some statistics about children and how they are affected by the choices made by adults.
Drill down into any social ill and you’ll see that children from broken families are over-represented in every single risk category. From drug abuse to suicide, incarceration to homelessness, children that are emotionally starving for love and a relationship with their mother and father contribute to our most pressing social issues.
71% of pregnant teens are fatherless.
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes – 5 times the average.
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
47% of children living in poverty are fatherless – 4 times higher than children with married parents.
We put billions of dollars into social programs that seek to band-aid the gaping wound left by family break-down, and still our children are floundering. Why? Because the government cannot love a child.
Burrell’s answer for why children are still floundering is the greatest witness against socialism I have seen. “Because the government cannot love a child” tells us that government is not the answer to why children are still struggling.
If government is not the answer, this includes all parts of government – schools at all levels, government handouts, laws at all levels of governments, etc. If government is not the answer, the answer must be found in the home. Even the United Nations accepts the fact that children need both their father and their mother wherever possible. Burrell continues as follows.
Article 7 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says, “As far as possible, [children have a] right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.” Although it’s clear that children have rights, the swell of intent-based parenting laws, no-fault divorce, third party reproduction, adult-centric adoption, abandonment, and cohabitation show that too many adults have no problem ignoring them. Any adults – male or female, gay or straight, single or married should not take something from a child that is their right simply because it suits their adult desires.
This statement says that children have a right to be reared by both father and mother. Once a child is conceived, the mother and the father are responsible to see that the child’s right to both father and mother is met. This statement supports the following words of the Lord as contained in the proclamation on the family.
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives – mothers and fathers – will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The Lord expects husbands and wives to love and care for each other as well as for their children. He does not condone divorce except in the most extreme circumstances. He expects us to solve our problems in ways that will strengthen our families. Since we know that government is not the answer as to why children, youth, and even young adults are struggling, we must turn to another source – the home.
The home is the answer to many problems of society. We need homes where fathers and mothers love and care for each other and their children. We need homes where children are taught about God and His plan for the happiness of all His children. We need homes where the gospel of Jesus Christ is lived and taught. We can strengthen our communities and nations by strengthening our homes, and we can do this best by bringing God into our homes.