“The Family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” – The Family: A Proclamation to the World
A recent Florida adoption made headlines when a judge allowed the child’s birth certificate to list three parents—a lesbian couple and a gay man who contributed the sperm, according to a Yahoo! News article published Feb. 7. The 22-month-old girl was born to one of the women.
The decision ends a two-year paternity fight between the couple and the father, who is a friend of the women, the article states. The father initially agreed to donate his sperm but later decided he wanted a larger role in the girl’s life, according to the article. The two-year paternity fight ended with the judge allowing the biological father and both of the women on the birth certificate, according to the article.
According to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, a birth certificate is “an official document issued upon a person’s birth, attesting to the date and place of birth, parentage, etc.” Biology dictates that a child has two parents: a mother and a father. Any other combination is genetically, humanly impossible. So the judge’s ruling seeks to circumvent the point—attempting to pacify humans by defying the laws of nature.
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes called the Mormon Church, issued The Family: A Proclamation to the World in 1995. It reads:
“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
“The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and its importance in God’s eternal plan.”
Marriage offers a stable foundation upon which to build a family. Mothers and fathers have distinct roles and strengths that complement each other.
“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed,” The Family: A Proclamation to the World reads.
“It is useless to debate which parent is most important. No one would doubt that a mother’s influence is paramount with newborns and in the first years of a child’s life. The father’s influence increases as the child grows older. However, each parent is necessary at various times in a child’s development. Both fathers and mothers do many intrinsically different things for their children. Both are equipped to nurture children, but their approaches are different. Mothers seem to take a dominant role in preparing children to live within their families, present and future. Fathers seem best equipped to prepare children to function in the environment outside the family.
“One authority states: ‘Studies show that fathers also have a special role to play in building a child’s [self-respect]. They are important too, in ways we don’t really understand, in developing internal limits and control in children.’ He continues: ‘Research also shows that fathers are critical in the establishment of gender in children. Interestingly, fatherly involvement produces stronger sexual identity and character in both boys and girls. It’s well established that the masculinity of sons and the femininity of daughters are each greater when fathers are active in family life’ (Karl Zinsmeister, ‘Fathers: Who Needs Them?’ – address delivered to the Family Research Council, 19 June 1992).”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a talk in October 2012 titled, “Protect the Children.” He cited studies that showed children whose parents chose to forgo marriage suffered significant comparative disadvantages. He said:
“For children, the relative stability of marriage matters. We should assume the same disadvantages for children raised by couples of the same gender. The social literature is controversial and politically charged on the long-term effect of this on children, principally because, as a New York Times writer observed, ‘Same-sex marriage is a social experiment, and like most experiments it will take time to understand its consequences’ (Douthat, ‘Gay Parents and the Marriage Debate).”
“Children are an heritage unto the Lord,” Psalms 127:3 reads. Mothers and fathers have the solemn and sacred obligation to set aside their own needs and wants for the welfare of their children. President Faust said, “The family relationship of father, mother, and child is the oldest and most enduring institution in the world. It has survived vast differences of geography and culture. This is because marriage between man and woman is a natural state and is ordained of God. It is a moral imperative.”
This article was written by Lisa Montague, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.