Two years ago, in October, my family and I went to watch the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) at the closest Stake Center. We had recently cancelled our subscription to cable TV and we were not used yet to use the Internet to watch conference. Therefore the Stake Center was our best option.
That morning very few people were with us in the chapel, and when President Monson started talking and announcing the plans for new temples constructions we were surprised – as many in the audience – by his announcing the construction of the Rome Temple.
When we heard that announcement, we could not refrain from jumping on our feet and shout, as many Italians would do when their favorite soccer team scores a goal!
Now, two years after that historic announcement, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, President Thomas S. Monson presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the future Rome Italy Temple, now being built on a pastoral site in the northeast corner of the city.
When in Rome last November, I had the privilege to visit that site with the Rome Mission president, and I was amazed at the thought that a temple could be eventually built in Italy, and especially in Rome. Thinking back to the time when I had been baptized, in 1985, I remembered how hard would have been at that time to think of being able to see such a day. But the Lord works miracles and His work moves forward.
On Saturday, he shared remarks and counsel before offering a prayer of thanksgiving and dedication on the temple site and construction project.
Following the prayer, President Monson stepped down from the podium, gripped a shovel and turned the maiden load of dirt to commence the construction of the temple.
Now some 25,000 Mormons here look to the years ahead when Italy’s first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will open.
But the church leader reminded them of those pivotal, essential moments from their nation’s past that cannot be forgotten.
The ancient apostles Peter and Paul were missionaries here,” he said. “Approximately 1,800 years later, in June of 1850, (Mormon apostle) Elder Lorenzo Snow and two companions, Elder Stenhouse and Elder Toronto, traveled to the valleys of the Piedmont Mountains in northeast Italy, where they began missionary efforts in this dispensation.”
He also paid tribute to the LDS Italians -- the local pioneers -- who proved faithful over many years by traveling across international borders to worship and serve in the Bern Switzerland Temple.
“Such devotion to temple work has contributed to the wonderful blessing which will soon be ours -- that of having a temple; a house of the Lord -- here on this spot in this beautiful city. Members throughout Italy, and indeed the entire Mediterranean area, will be able to come here, no longer needing to travel such long distances, often at great expense.”
I love the Temple, and I still remember the many trips we took to the Swiss temple, when we still lived in Italy. In one of those trips my first son Luca was born, two months in advance, and it was a great blessing, and probably it saved his life, to be born in that particular place and time.
I know that the Rome Mormon Temple will bless the life of thousand of people, bringing them closer to the Lord.
Filed under: Internet & Media, News & Politics
After the last General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) there has been some unrest among proponents of same-sex marriage in Utah. Some of the comments made in the talk of President Boyd K. Packer have not been received positively by some in the gay and lesbian community.
To disagree seems to me a normal aspect of social life. During elections this become absolutely obvious, but even when elections are not involved (if this is possible, since we are always between some kind of election) different groups have opinions or beliefs that do not always agree with each other, potentially leading to some sort of conflict.
In some cases the disagreement relates to issues that are so personal that it is hard for some to refrain from reacting in some way. They do not want to accept other people’s point of view, but they want to silence them. This is clearly the case of those who feel attacked by the Mormon Church when its leaders openly teach that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and not between two people of the same gender.
This topic tends to become so laden with strong emotions that it becomes extremely hard to express a point of view that defends traditional marriage without being accused of discrimination and malicious intents. This is what happened to President Boyd K Packer. In his talk President Boyd K. Packer was teaching young (and older) people about the dangers of present times, and what is most important for their happiness in this life and beyond. He said,
This general conference was convened at a time when there is such confusion and such danger that our young people hardly know which way they can walk. Having been warned through the revelations that it would be this way, the prophets and apostles have always been shown what to do…
To be entrusted with the power to create life carries with it the greatest of joys and dangerous temptations. The gift of mortal life and the capacity to kindle other lives is a supernal blessing. Through the righteous exercise of this power, as in nothing else, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fulness of joy. This power is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness. It is the key--the very key (added emphasis).
As prophets and apostles of God, men like President Packer need to stand for what is right, they need to defend true principles, even if they are not “politically correct” , and the same is true for the members of the Church. At the same time, however, as so well explained by Michael Otterson (Church Responds to HRC Petition)
While we disagree with the Human Rights Campaign on many fundamentals, we also share some common ground. This past week we have all witnessed tragic deaths across the country as a result of bullying or intimidation of gay young men. We join our voice with others in unreserved condemnation of acts of cruelty or attempts to belittle or mock any group or individual that is different - whether those differences arise from race, religion, mental challenges, social status, sexual orientation or for any other reason. Such actions simply have no place in our society.
Therefore, it is extremely unfair to compare the leaders of the Mormons Church (or its members) with those who commit those criminal acts against gays or lesbians. To commit such acts is not part of what the Mormon Church teaches. Michael Otterson explains,
As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, that should never, ever be used as justification for unkindness. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down.
My hope is therefore that
within this community, and in others, kindness, persuasion and goodwill can prevail (Michael Otterson).
This article has been recently published in the Journal of Family Issues. It is not my first journal article that was published, but the first in which I am listed as the first author, and therefore it is a little accomplishment to remember.
Gender and the Work-Family Interface: Exploring Differences Across the Family Life Course.
This study examines gender differences in the work--family interface across six family life stages using a global sample of IBM employees in 79 countries (N = 41,813). Family life stage was constructed using the age of respondent and age of youngest child. Results revealed that having young children at home was the critical catalyst for gender differences in the work--family interface. The greatest gender differences were found in the central stages of life when children require more temporal and economic resources from their parents. When life stage was not considered, the first and last stages tended to offset each other, concealing major gender differences during the central stages of family life. These findings signify that life stage is an important concept to consider in research related to gender and the work-- family interface. Implications to the development of work policies attentive to shifts in work--family linkages during the life course are discussed.