By Russell M. Nelson
Given at the World Congress of Families V in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Aug. 12, 2009
"You are well aware of the ominous statistics. In the past 50 years, the birthrate has dropped in nearly every nation of the world. In the nations of Europe the birthrate has dropped from the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman to the present rate of 1.5.1 Nations that cannot maintain their populations could even disappear, along with their culture and heritage. Data from the United States show similar worrisome trends. In 1960, minor children formed half of the population; now they constitute only 30 percent.2 Predictions are that by the year 2025, single-person households will outnumber families with children.
What would happen to the future of nations if the next generation failed to appear in significant numbers? The answer is alarming! Yes, we would be poorer economically, but even poorer spiritually." United Nations World Population Prospects: 2006 revision - Table A.15n.
Dear friends, future happiness and even the future of nations is linked to children. Families with children need to be re-enthroned as the fundamental unit of society. We simply must value children more than we do! Without a new generation to replace the old, there is no wealth; without families, there is no future.
Children come from the union of a man and a woman. The happiest and most secure children come from happy and secure marriages of fathers and mothers. History and contemporary studies have shown that marriage of a husband and a wife, with both contributing their distinctive natural traits to the family, provides the ideal context within which to rear productive, compassionate, and moral individuals."