Church Honors President Carter’s Support of the Family
January 1979

“Church Honors President Carter’s Support of the Family,” Ensign, Jan. 1979, 79

Church Honors President Carter’s Support of the Family

Two presidents saluted the family as one of life’s greatest institutions at a special November 27 program in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, culminating National Family Week in the United States.

Before a capacity crowd, with national and international television cameras whirring, President Spencer W. Kimball urged his listeners to recognize the family as “our chief source of physical, emotional, and moral strength.” He presented United States President Jimmy Carter with a bronze statuette depicting the family circle. The miniature of a father, mother, and child is based on the original work by Utah sculptor Dennis Smith, Circle of Love, one of the pieces in the Relief Society monument to women in Nauvoo.

The presentation occurred during an hour-long program that featured music by the Tabernacle Choir, a 41-voice Primary children’s chorus, the Osmond family, and the Lamanite Generation, a Brigham Young University student performing group. Also included on the program were some of the Church’s award-winning public service television spots and narration by LDS artists Heather Young and Robert Peterson.

Before presenting the statuette to President Carter, President Kimball encouraged parents to help their children better understand the Savior and his commandments and to provide strength and love through family home evenings.

Although “there is much good in this land, and much to love,” President Kimball expressed concern over the rising incidence of child abuse and divorce. “Let no parent ever be guilty of the heinous crime of abusing one of Christ’s little ones,” he warned.

Responding to the recognition given by President Kimball and the Church for President Carter’s moral and ethical support of the family, the United States President spoke of his own family background, and the love and support he has always received from his parents, his wife, and his children.

Commitment of one member of the family to another “is an element often missing in today’s society,” he said. “We need the unchanging elements of a good family, truth, unselfishness, idealism, morality, security, and love.”

President Romney, President Tanner, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and President Kimball acknowledge the warm audience response. (Photography by Eric W. White.)