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The Family: a Proclamation to the World:


USU78

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The Family:  A Proclamation to the World:

A Warning Given; A Prescription Shared/

A Warning Rejected; Consequences Suffered

            In the mid 1990s there was a pretty clear understanding that then trends in family life were detrimental to children’s development and well-being.  It was of such concern that thinkers in the US and elsewhere were suggesting methods for combatting those trends through legislative and other actions, with especial focusing on children’s and families’ health and well-being.[ii] 

             Also part of this background was the AIDS pandemic.  Although the pandemic had been going on perhaps for several years, its effects were first made clear in 1981[iii], its viral cause was first  isolated in 1983[iv], and that viral cause, HIV-1, was first connected to AIDS in 1984[v], just eleven years prior to the Proclamation.

             It was against this backdrop that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first announced and published The Family:  A Proclamation to the World (23 September 1995).

 A.    A Warning Given.

             Elder Bruce C. Hafen later stated, on the twentieth anniversary of the Proclamation: 

  

                      The proclamation was not merely a collection of pro-family platitudes. It was a serious prophetic warning about a major international problem. And now, 20 years later,  the problem is getting worse, which shows just how prophetic the 1995 warning was.[vi]

 Indeed, its peroration is quite clear on this point:

  

                       WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse  or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon  individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

 [Emphasis added]. 

 B.     A Prescription Shared.

             The Proclamation’s last sentence amounts to a prescription urged upon both private individuals and government officers.  It states:

 

                        WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental         unit of society.

 C.    A Warning Rejected.

             Although there has inarguably been a happy and accepting response to the Proclamation from conservative religious organizations and their leaders in the twenty-five years since its publication, and the response by members generally of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been enthusiastic[vii], there has been a general rejection by society at large.  The effects have been, sadly, as predicted.[viii] 

             That rejection is perhaps best exemplified by the US Supreme Court’s 26 June 2015 decision in Obergefell v Hodges[ix], wresting as it does natural rights to marriage from the people, making it a secular sacrament, and enjoining upon a then unwilling populace and most of the States a radical departure from thousands of years of human laws and traditions.  Its justification, summed up by its author in a 5-4 decision, bespeaks the novelty of its decision, as well as the supposed legal basis therefor:

 

                        No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love,  fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases  demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would  misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their  plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.[x]

 [Emphasis added].  The subjective desires of those rejecting marriage as it had existed, time immemorial, thus trump everything.  “The Constitution grants them that right” signals a cynical wresting of a document whose stated purpose is to protect individuals from governmental impositions upon pre-existing rights to making it and the government whose creation it signaled the sole grantor of rights.[xi]

 D.    Consequences Suffered.

             The long-term effects of the rejection of the prophetic warning and prophetic prescription have yet to play out.  The disintegration of families and stable, child-friendly family life continues apace.  Causes and effects of the inevitable consequences of disintegration are not difficult to discern.  What is less clear is what Biblical calamities of other kinds we might be observing without knowing it.

             Virology research appears to have blossomed during the more than thirty years since HIV-1 was isolated and tied to its effects in infected people.  Weaponization of viruses and other disease vectors is one of the larger problems affecting people and nation states.  Technically illegal under international law, how are we to discern what research into weaponizable viruses is for good defensive purposes and what for bad offensive purposes?  There is high-level speculation upon who knows what evidence at present that the present COVID-19 epidemic in the US was caused intentionally, based upon “bad” research at one or two government facilities in Wuhan, China.[xii]  It is not particularly controversial that the epidemic at very least was caused by dissemination of the virus being studied for “good” purposes. Ultimately it does not matter since, as Mormon pointed out, “it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished[xiii], and it is immaterial whether the wicked intended a particular result, just that a wicked person acted, and a punishing effect ensued.

             The author speculates that the spread of AIDS, the Wuhan COVID-19, and other recent pandemic infections are among the consequences warned of in the Proclamation.  Its language does not require that the “calamities foretold” be solely related to family disintegration.  Plagues are among those calamities in scripture.[xiv]  Causation of calamities by disobedience is presumed in scripture, even if a calamity has no obvious connection to whatever has been disobeyed.

             It is thus possible, and the author believes likely, that the present plague is but one of the foretold calamities flowing from the rejection of the Proclamation’s warning and the refusal to employ its prescription.  Social distancing, masks, self-immuring, ceasing local social and economic activity, and other governmentally imposed prescriptions for dealing with the present calamity ultimately will be ineffective, as they all address the wrong problem. 

             The real problem is rejection of G-d’s word and reliance upon those persons and institutions which cannot affect a solution to the inevitable and foretold consequences of taking a particular course.  Defiance of G-d’s prescription and flouting of G-d’s word solves nothing, but only exacerbates the prophetically predicted problem.

 E.     Endnotes.

 

The Real Root Causes of Violent Crime: The Breakdown of Marriage, Family, and Community, Heritage.org (17 March 1995).

 [ii] Combatting Family Disintegration, Crime, and Dependence: Welfare Reform and Beyond, Heritage.org (8 April 1994). 

 [iii] AIDS first diagnosed as reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, CDC (June 1981).

 [iv] Luc Montagnier’s team at the Pasteur Institute in Paris (1983).

 [v] Robert Gallo’s team at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland (1984).

 [vi] The Proclamation on the Family: Transcending the Cultural Confusion, Ensign (August 2015).

 [viii] Trends in Children’s Family Instability, 1995–2010, J Marriage Fam. 2016 Oct; 78(5): 1173–1183, where it states, in part:  Recent family trends suggest that children’s family instability could be on the rise.  A key factor is the growing share of births that occur to cohabiting mothers. At the time of the Raley and Wildsmith’s (2004) study, which examined children born during the mid- to late 1980s and early 1990s, roughly 11% of all births were to cohabiting mothers (during 1990–1994). This figure has more than doubled, to 24%, for the 2005–2009 period (Manning et al., 2015). Given that children born to cohabiting mothers experience the highest average number of transitions (Raley & Wildsmith, 2004), we can expect that children’s family instability has increased over the past decade.

                “At the same time, cohabitors’ union outcomes are shifting such that they are less likely to eventuate in marriage and more likely to end through separation. During the late 1980s, about 60% of cohabiting unions culminated in marriage. Today, just 40% are expected to be formalized through marriage (Lamidi, Manning, & Brown, 2015). The rising instability of cohabiting unions sets the stage for additional family transitions; specifically, it presents opportunities for repartnering and multiple-partner fertility, exposing children to still more family transitions (Cherlin, 2009Guzzo, 2014a).”

                 See, additionally, 25 years of HIV research on virology, virus restriction, immunopathogenesis, genes and vaccines, Clinical and Experimental Immunology (October 2008), where it states:  Today [2008] there are 33 million people infected with HIV and 25 million deaths attributed to it. There is no cure, and as described in detail below, there are no validated vaccine candidates at hand. However, as Simon Wain-Hobson (Pasteur Institute) suggests, perhaps the current state of research 25 years after the discovery of HIV should be discussed in terms of advances in knowledge rather than failures to cure, given that there was no world-wide web, GFP or ‘genomics’ then, the first retroviral tree was generated in 1985, it took 8 years to understand that HIV persisted in lymph nodes, and a further 7 years to appreciate that SIV/HIV causes massive CD4 T cell loss from gut lymphoid tissue during acute infection. May the next anniversary look back upon the current topics of immunopathogenesis, viral restriction systems, host genetic influences and vaccine design and know that victory was close at hand.”

[ix] 576 US 644 (2015).

 [x] Id.

 [xi] On 16 June 2020 SCOTUS ruled that the word “sex” in a statute in 1964 means in 2020 means not the sex of a person for purposes of employment, but, in addition, homosexuality and transgenderism.  Bostock v Clayon Co, Georgia, __ US __ (2020). This, of course, is nonsensical.  The word has never meant that, including in 1964. “And thus we see” that lawyers and judges have become utterly corrupt in this crisis year of 2020.  Cf., Alma 10:13-32; Alma 11:20.

 [xiii] Mormon 4:5.

 [xiv] Rev 9:20; Rev 11:6; Rev 15:1, 6, 8; Rev 16:9, 21; Rev 18:4, 8; Rev 21:9; Doctrine and Covenants 84:97; Doctrine and Covenants 87:6; and Doctrine and Covenants 97:26; et al.

 © Ronald L Dunn (2020)

 

 

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2 hours ago, USU78 said:

It is thus possible, and the author believes likely, that the present plague is but one of the foretold calamities flowing from the rejection of the Proclamation’s warning and the refusal to employ its prescription

I believe its a consequence of man experimenting with animals.

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12 minutes ago, theplains said:

I believe its a consequence of man experimenting with animals.

I don't think the specifics are important and probably aren't knowable [absent G-d's specific communication].  Causation chains would take us back from "experimenting with animals" through a human causal chain to an Ur-cause, which, as stated, I believe is ignoring Prophets' proclamations to the world.

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