As administrator of the ninth World Congress of Families (WCF) to be held next fall in Salt Lake City, and as a lifelong Utah resident and Latter-day Saint, I appreciate the opportunity that Erika Munson’s Nov. 2 op-ed provides to explain why Sutherland Institute is bringing the ninth World Congress of Families to Salt Lake City.
When my dad founded the Institute almost 20 years ago, one of the core principles was: “To live as free people, Utah law, policy and culture must cherish family as the fundamental unit of society.” To this end, Sutherland has long worked on a variety of issues, from immigration to prison reform, with groups holding a diversity of viewpoints, always with these questions in mind: How do we strengthen families through public policy? How do we address challenges relating to the breakdown of the family? World Congress of Families IX has that same focus.
As the World Congress has done in the past, WCF IX will convene internationally recognized scholars, political leaders, world-class entertainment and family advocates to help organizations throughout the world learn, share ideas and collaborate on ways to strengthen the family.
Another essential part of this effort is bringing together diverse faiths that, despite doctrinal differences, unite to support the family – Evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons, Protestants, Jews and Muslims.
The World Congress of Families stands with millions across the globe who do amazing work on a wide range of critical issues affecting the family, including declining fertility, human trafficking, parental rights, euthanasia, marriage, adoption, pornography, drug and alcohol addictions, fatherlessness, divorce, religious freedom, sanctity of human life and so on.
Notably, past speakers at WCF events include The Hon. John Anderson, former Australian deputy prime minister; Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy (Holy See) and adviser to Pope Francis (Holy See); Sheri Dew, former second counselor in the LDS General Relief Society presidency; Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, chief rabbi of the Inter-Provincial Rabbinate in Holland; the late President Lech Kaczynski, past president of Poland; Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr.; Elder Russell M. Nelson, apostle of the LDS Church; Paige Patterson, past president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Jehan Sadat, former first lady of Egypt; Ellen Sauerbrey, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; and Brad Wilcox, associate professor of sociology, University of Virginia. Read more