Sunday, November 1, 2015

Oct 2015 - Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Brother and Sister Hurry. Brother Hurry used to be in
the "President's Own " Marine Band. Tyler just LOVES this couple.
He was at their home for Family Home Evening.
Me in the Wilkes front yard after we set up for Halloween..they go all out!
This week was pretty eventful...we went to Limon again, worked at the library, taught some families, got my training assignment (I'm going to be a trainer next transfer - which is this week), helped move a piano, had district mtg, helped move some couches...we do a lot of random stuff. The baptism is still scheduled for this Saturday.

I am working on volunteering at St. Francis hospital right down the road with some cancer patients over the holidays...also I am in the works of teaching a civics class at the library.

Another of Tyler's fav new friends in CO - Brother B.

This week I wore a purple tie as much as I could. Why? This month is National Domestic Violence awareness month. 

Some quick statistics about the nefarious disease of Domestic Violence in the United States:

  • Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
  • 1 in 3 women have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
  • 1 in 5 women have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.

  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

  • Personally, I feel this is a terrible detriment to not only society but to mankind as a race. It takes a true coward of a man to hit his wife. It is quite shocking to witness firsthand the rapid degradation of the family unit. 

    On my mission I have been able to see many families- coming in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The fact of the matter is - as the family goes, so goes society. The family has always been an anchor for the rocky journey through life and you don't have to be a public policy expert to realize this. I was lucky enough to be born into a family wherein I was taught right from wrong and exponentially more in the realm of life. Without my family I definitely would not be the man I am today! I recently wrote a post about my father but obviously it was a team effort that involved two very strong individuals. 

    There are certainly many circumstances in which families are broken apart by no fault of their own but truly one must be blind to deny the stark reality that the family is constantly being devalued within our modern society. Today - 40% of US births are to single parents. In 1960 that number was 9%! No political party, ideology, or interest group that I know of even tries to argue that growing up in a single parent household is desirable. Here is a recent study from the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan research group that is highly respected in the public policy field. 
    Less than half of U.S. kids today live in a ‘traditional’ family

    Some might say that this isn't an issue an our society  it is just an "evolution of values" or a "shift in ideals". This is simply not true. In the past 5 decades alone - 
    - Juvenile crime has increased sixfold.
    - Child Neglect and all forms of child abuse have quintupled. 
     - Psychological disorders among children have all worsened - from drug abuse to eating disorders. 
     - Depression among children has increased 1000%
     - Domestic violence against women has increased
     - Poverty has shifted increasingly toward children - 2

    These problems are very serious and they do not JUST affect a small portion of society. This is not an issue of race or ideology, this is an epidemic that is slowly but surely overtaking our most important and most basic human function. As  Time magazine writer, Caitlin Flanagan put it:
    “There is no other single force causing as much measurable hardship and human misery in this country as the collapse of marriage. It hurts children, it reduces mothers’ financial security, and it has landed with particular devastation on those who can bear it least: the nation’s underclass. …
    “The poor [have uncoupled] parenthood from marriage, and the financially secure [blast] apart their [own] unions if [they] aren’t having fun anymore.” 3 
     There have been many legislative proposals and well intentioned laws to combat this awful virus...However these only provide a catharsis, not a cure. What will really be able to save the struggling family unit from likely destruction will start within the home. Within the heart. Laws reflect the values and belief of the people within the representative body. If these values do not remain on the forefront of everyone's mind than surely we will continue down this long and dangerous road.
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (My Church) came out with a proclamation in 1995 (20 years ago!). It talks about the importance and value of family. I will share it below -
    The Family

    A Proclamation to the World

    We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
    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.
    In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
    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 of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
    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 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 a 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. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. 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.
    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.
    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.

    I hope that as we go throughout our daily lives we will remember the sacred importance of the family. Family truly is what life is all about! From Isaiah in the Bible to Henry David Thoreau, men have always understood this fact of life. I hope that our society can turn this ship around and revive the importance of strong families. It starts with each one of us.

    Ready to fight the Sisters...

    WHO WON???? Stay tuned to next week....

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