Are 'family values' outdated? Traditional family becoming the exception rather than the norm

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  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 2, 2012 9:36 p.m.

    What you all call "traditional family" was an anomaly in history. Around the world in different cultures, and across times, mortality rates were very much higher than today in the US, economic models were agrarian more than industrial, families were broken by death and misfortune, reconstituted, children were a roll of the dice, and on and on.

    Why religions in the US (especially Mormonism) latched onto a 1950s idealized view of families and called it "traditional" and "the will of god" is just downright naive and silly.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2012 8:26 a.m.


    Is it selfish to tell a goat "Sorry bud, but pretending you are human doesn't make it so".

    Telling the truth isn't selfish, trying to convince a generation to be relativist in order to justify whatever morality they want cause they were 'born that way' or all the other amoral justifications out there- that is selfish. Nearly every argument against traditional family relies on moral relativist ideas- which are rejected from the entire philosophical community. The only defense you have is Rawls and his equality- fortunately I can argue that point also. But as it stands, the burden of proof is on you, you haven't proven anything, and now you have resorted to labeling and hateful name-calling in order to justify yourself.

    Calling us the haters and bigots while you are the one labeling doesn't do anything to justify yourself. Please stop, please reconsider, and most of all there is help. You can spend a lifetime running from it, but it doesn't bring you happiness. The family proclamation isn't a selfish decree but a promulgation of a moral standard designed to further human happiness- the Book of Mormon even more so.

  • George Bronx, NY
    April 30, 2012 9:46 p.m.

    @KD lewis
    what poets play writes philosophers? what citation?

  • George Bronx, NY
    April 30, 2012 9:45 p.m.

    And where can we find this research koke? The research by the American psychological association, the national association of social workers, the American pediatric society and every other professional organization that studies human behavior and development contradicts your claim that the traditional family is superior.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 30, 2012 8:16 p.m.

    Those of you who are attempting to deny familial ties to those who don't meet your own specific criteria are exceedingly selfish. You want to keep the benefits of family to yourselves.

    Selfish, selfish, selfish.

  • Koke Spanish Fork, UT
    April 30, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    Here is a summary of the research:

    Children thrive better with a male leader in the home.

    Children thrive better with a female leader in the home.

    Children thrive better in a home where there are more than one parent.

    Children who thrive are far less likely to end up in socially costly situations and are more likely to contribute.

    Children who do not thrive tend to cost society heavily.

    Therefore, the society benefits most from a home where there are both sexes represented as loving adults. Where this is not the case, the statistical risk to society is higher.

    The traditional family, perhaps, exists because this is the natural course of things. Attempts to do other with are counter evolutionary and provide statistically unsatisfying results.

    In my opinion therefore, show me something that produces better results than the traditional family and I will agree to modulate social policy in favor of it. Otherwise, the conversation is silly.

  • KD Lewis Provo, UT
    April 30, 2012 5:17 p.m.

    @ alt134

    Don't jump to conclusions because of personal bias. My point is not that non traditional families don't have love. Since I am actually a member of a non traditional family, I should know that they do. However, I am defending the ideal (I emphasize ideal, because I am very familiar it is not always realized) because it is based on love. It ought to be promoted in society. That promotion does not lessen the contributions of other non-traditional families. I am very familiar with the noble sacrifices of single motherhood.

    @ spring street

    I cite the poets, playwrights, philosophers, and religious traditions have been advocating the idea of having families based on the core of a man-woman and their children for hundreds of years as evidence that the traditional family is not a post world war 2 concept. Perhaps what you see as the traditional "leave it to beaver" household is the traditional family 2.0, but the basic concept of is timeless.

  • 9MM Murray, UT
    April 30, 2012 4:21 p.m.

    Reading these type of articles makes me want to be a much better husband and father. We need to stop making up excuses for our poor social behavior! Too many children of countless generations have grown up in troubled circumstances, and too many spouses are treated with thoughtless regard, because we keep finding one excuse after another to neglect their care.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    April 30, 2012 1:20 p.m.


    "The greatest danger to children is when "parents" reject the God that gave us life, his doctrines and his requirements and replace God, doctrine and requirements with their own ideas. "

    "The breakdown of society is directly related to the breakdown of the family and the breakdown of the family is directly related to their rejection of God. "

    Wow. Makes me kind of sick reading this. So the greatest danger to children is a family that doesn't believe in God? Do you have any idea how ethnocentric you sound? Unbelievable.

    Can you PROVE this? I'd love to hear it.

    Try thinking AND speaking objectively. I can hear the last General Conference in your words .... obviously not your own thinking here.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 30, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    The family is under attach and Obama and his policies are leading the charge!! Someone needs to send out a riding going from town to town - Obama is coming OBama is coming!!!!

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    April 30, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards 12:02 p.m. April 29, 2012

    "Those who impose their own definitions of "family", "marriage" and "norm" should first tell us who gave them that authority."

    One word: polygamy.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 30, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    I have mixed feelings about this subject since I have a mixed race family, something that was not only illegal just a handful of years ago, but was much looked down upon as well. Today, the number of multiracial families either through marriage or adoption has doubled, and in many parts of the country is so common that it is hardly even noticed anymore. It blows me away that there was a time when there were actual laws telling people who can and can't be part of their family.

    On the other hand, this whole idea of creating a new "normal" around the homosexual agenda is problematic for me. It is so for many reason, but mostly notably because it represents only a single groups agenda. If the issue was cast broader, in that it protected all groups rights, not being tied to a singular group, I could live with that. If it aimed at expanding the rights of all - to all allow gays to adopt, and to allow birth parents to dictate the type of household their child would be raised, I could live with that, ensuring everyones freedoms and rights.

    Tough issues indeed.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    April 30, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    For the record, there are many members of the LDS Church who wholly reject the judgmental filth being spewed by supposed members on this forum. As was aptly stated by RanchHand "a family is what those within the unit define it to be."

    If you are one of two brothers who have no parents, you are a family. If you're a gay couple who love your adopted daughter, you are a family. If you're a single mom struggling to raise two children, you are a family. No matter what your family makeup, it only fortifies my marriage to see unconditional love, irrespective of who gives it.

    Indeed, the vile doctrinal claims made by members of the LDS Church on this thread are unintentionally chiding our own Church's position but 110 years ago. They forgot that the first substantive case to reach the SCOTUS on interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause was Reynolds v US - the case of a polygamous LDS man who sought exception from the US" Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act. In just over a century, members of the Church have seemingly gone from victims to culprits. Absolutely reprehensible and hypocritical to the highest degree.

  • George Bronx, NY
    April 30, 2012 10:45 a.m.


    actually in hunter gather societies the women provided the majority of the food eaten by the clan through gathering, the meat from hunting only accounts for a fraction of the food consumed by the clan. Further in such societies an individual was beholden to and taken care of by the entire clan not the parents.

    You and the rest of the late posters can claim what ever you which but the facts are the facts and the fact is your definition of family is a modern construct and the research does not support the claims that children raised in such a construct fair any better then several other types of constructs.

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    April 30, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    If you really want to look at scientific evidence, the most unreliable resource is 'expert opinion'. These experts are trying to convince people that the 'king has clothes' when he really doesn't.

    Since society is becoming more open and behavior are in the open as well. Proof will be as more and more adopt these behaviors. There isn't a long history of people who have adopted non family units- I wonder why??? We know it's happened in the past- what happened to these groups??

  • IDC Boise, ID
    April 30, 2012 9:40 a.m.

    There will always be different types of family units. However, I don't think there is an argument against having 2 committed parents raising a child. Anything else is a compromise and there wil be negative consequences in most if not all cases. In a committed relationship, the two parents can work as a team. Physical needs are fulfilled in that relationship and the parents have to spend less time seeking that physical fulfillment and have more time to spend parenting. Single parenting is a compromise and I hope I never have to do it on my own. I greatly respect those who can raise children well on their own.

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    April 30, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    The traditional family is the standard, the benchmark. That many fall on one side or another - that is a fact of our society.

    Life happens and we need to adjust and make the best of what is thrown at us - as so many people do. But who would choose a blended family or single parenthood over a successful first marriage and family? What child would prefer being raise in two separate homes or in one where one parent is absent - with the lifetime logistical and emotional complication that goes with that?

    I have close family in these situations. Do they love their kids any less because they are not a traditional family? No. But if they could have chosen - they would have chosen the standard.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    April 30, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    Economics, more than anything else, has changed the traditional family. One bread winner couldn't do it in the 80's. Now two can't do it either.

  • Igualmente Mesa, AZ
    April 30, 2012 8:05 a.m.

    People get pretty defensive about the way they are living out their mortality.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    April 30, 2012 7:57 a.m.

    I think rather than feeling bad about not conforming to a traditional role, those outside a traditional family setting should acknowledge that certain social pressures exist for the good of society, and when they are attempting to make a life outside of that tradition, there is going to be some discomfort. It's really quite selfish to think that all social pressures exist to make you feel personally good about yourself--that only happens if you conform to it.

    The fact remains that we need traditional heterosexual couples to remain faithful one to another, and raise children that are strong, well-adjusted and biologically in tact. Children who have familial access to both sets of their genetic make up, can naturally understand their own physiology, and thriving requires no special inquiries and minimal additional expense.

    Society has an interest in preserving the next generation. It does so through elevating the most successful and acceptable practices. Those who choose to dwell outside the norm should receive training on how to cope, but should not redefine the norm without at least demonstrating that their situation is vastly superior to that which already works.

  • BalancedFulfilledLife MISSOURI CITY, TX
    April 30, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    Loved the article. Love my family. Glory be to God for ordaining "traditional" marriage and family. God's plan for us is his plan of happiness, and it is centered on families comprised of a husband, a wife and their children.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2012 7:17 a.m.

    It seems to me most of the commenters missed the main point of this op-ed. The editorial board deliberately avoided answering the question in the headline and instead said we need to ask different questions.

    What constitutes a family? What is the purpose of family? What kinds of policies could we as a society enact that would support family and help achieve broadly agreed upon positive outcomes?

    It's not a debate about "God created a specific kind of family" but rather a recognition that family itself constantly changes and evolves. The so called traditional family - the heterosexual nuclear family - hasn't been around a very long time. Prior to that, other forms dominated family life. A healthy society could support multiple forms of family if it agreed that family existed to nurture children into adulthood and sustain healthy adults.

    Those goals easily encompass far more than nuclear family in its suburban home - co-housing communities, extended families, same-gender couples raising children, blended households, even non-family networks sharing resources can all be encompassed in policies based on the board's broadly defined goals. And that's a good thing.

  • peter Alpine, UT
    April 30, 2012 7:10 a.m.

    I will never define "traditional norm" by neither what evidence based guidelines from "experts" nor a majority may claim to be "norm" because mankind does not set the rules in this area, God does. And, I would rather live in a god-fearing society than in a godless society.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    April 30, 2012 5:46 a.m.

    I would think the more important question is, "What happens to a nation when the traditional family is no longer the norm?" That is the experiment we seem intent on running.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    April 29, 2012 10:58 p.m.

    Compared to many other animal species, human children take much longer to raise to adulthood and require much more care and training. Consequently, human beings have evolved into a heterosexual, pair-bonding species in which the female stays home with the children while the male goes hunting. Human societies have a vital interest in encouraging strong pair-bonds or marriages because the young of the species are trained and taught and nurtured in the home provided by the bonded pair. The young of the human species who are raised in a home in which there is a strong heterosexual pair-bond, tend to thrive and are likely to be productive adult members of their society and form strong pair-bonds themselves. Children who are raised in a home or situation in which the heterosexual pair-bond is weak or damaged or missing often don’t thrive.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 29, 2012 10:41 p.m.

    @ sjgf: You know what is even more interesting than my use of the word "nuclear"? Your objection to it.

    Did you even read the article?

    The nuclear family - the one you deem so destructive - is defined as a married heterosexual couple who resides together and their children - in other words, the traditional model that you think is so important.

    Prior to WWII, it was very common here in the United States for newly married couples to live with one of their families for a time. It was also common that as the parents aged, they would move in with their grown children who would care for them. This family model is known as "multigenerational" - and even today it is the norm in a great many societies.

    The "nuclear" family is a construct of the post-war effort to get young couples to spend money by buying their own homes when they got married instead of living with his or her parents.

    Multigenerational families are much more traditional and have a greater success rate than nuclear families. But just because a family has a different set-up doesn't mean they cannot be successful.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 29, 2012 10:01 p.m.

    Are 'family values' outdated?


    This headline is almost Yellow Journalism.

    The nuclear family is still the ideal that is strived for. Problem is, not as many are living up to that ideal anymore due to divorce.

  • travelrus murray, UT
    April 29, 2012 9:45 p.m.

    Oh my, I may need to stop reading the Deseret News after reading this artical and forum. I'm offended by your ideas of what the traditional family should be. I have a wonderful blended family. I have 2 sons and 2 step-daughters they are all very loving and productive people. I do not need belief in god to make my family strong. My faith is not in god but in the good I see in human kind. I only hope that someday there will be tolerance for the people around you who are not like you.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 29, 2012 9:42 p.m.

    @voice of reason

    "It takes a man and a woman to have children. Until you can prove otherwise, then clearly I am not the one abandoning reason and denying the truth."

    clearly you do not understand modern reality or science if you believe that to be true.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 29, 2012 9:11 p.m.

    oops facts not fats

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2012 9:10 p.m.


    I could go into very just and valid reasons why God doesn't give signs to you but I'm sure you will not accept them anyway, so I will address a more pressing point. In the future, if you want I can devote an entire 4 comments to the matter of what I or other persons arguing 'for religion' need prove in order to have objectively credible arguments.

    And before you say "see, you can't prove your God", please realize that differing a point to a later date where I have 400 more words to argue with is not a surrender of reason- but wanting to have equal ability to defend my position. It is only fair where my space here is already limited and proving God's existence or the legitimacy of LDS doctrine isn't obligatory to sustain traditional family values.


    In the meantime, I would rather suggest that the burden of proof is not on those arguing for traditional family but on those arguing against it.

    It takes a man and a woman to have children. Until you can prove otherwise, then clearly I am not the one abandoning reason and denying the truth.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 29, 2012 8:58 p.m.

    @mike richards

    actually what the fats show us mike is that your dogma just does not stand up in the light of day. YOu have nothing to support your claims other then your unverifiable belief in a higher power. While I commend peoples willingness to try to get you to understand I have been around long enough to know you cannot really have a rational conversation with a person that bases their entire thought process on their dogmatic adherence to their selective reading of an ancient script.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 29, 2012 8:53 p.m.

    @KD Lewis
    its not the idea of family people are attacking its your narrow view of what constitutes a family which yes does only date back to the late 1940's and no the evidence does not support the claim that it is the best or only viable option.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 29, 2012 8:47 p.m.

    Mike Richards, J Thompson, VoR;

    Prove it. You keep claiming that "god" said this, "god" said that.

    Prove it.

    Your god has no standing except in the lives of those who follow it. Nobody else, regardless what you may believe, is obligated to live by the dictates of your god. You are welcome to do so. You keep claiming that "god" gave you the authority to define who gets to live how; you are incorrect.

    According to your own scriptures, your "god" gave EVERYONE the choice to live their lives by their own conscience, not yours.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2012 8:28 p.m.

    @KD Lewis
    "Religion aside, the idea of the nuclear family is best for individuals and society because it is based on love and selflessness."

    Now hold on just a minute. You're attacking non-traditional families as if they don't love or aren't selfless for their children. Good luck teaching that to the single working moms who chose life instead of abortion and are working two jobs, the one they get paid, and then taking care of their child. Yeah tell them they don't love or aren't selfless.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2012 8:25 p.m.

    Just because a family is "non-traditional" doesn't mean it doesn't have family values. Remember, a lot of those single mothers some deride were the women who when faced with a choice chose life.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 29, 2012 8:24 p.m.

    I believe that the "traditional family" is not outdated since it is "timeless", tried and tested, effective, time-honored and so on. In another sense, and a superficial one, it is often claimed to be "dated", passe, a relic, but so are these claims, they have been made many times before I am sure.

    I remember hearing that the most recent and successful attempt to bring as many women as possible into the workforce was so that there would be more taxpayers, more government revenue in other words. I could add that it has meant a glut of labor, which would make labor cheaper, as well as lots of work for divorce lawyers. Sounds credible to me.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    April 29, 2012 7:53 p.m.

    @ A voice of Reason:

    “Purple” is a range of hues.
    “Dinosaur” is a group of diverse animals.
    “Fly” is a means of locomotion – there are many other means of locomotion.

    In spite of the many differences within each meaning, however, there are certain requirements to being included in those categories.

    While a human cannot be a purple dinosaur, there are many different dynamics that classify as “family” and “marriage.”

    To claim that the only valid definitions of “family” and “marriage” are the very narrow definition approved by your religion is to ignore thousands of years of history and to set your religion above all others.

    You and Chris B. actually prove the point you are trying to argue against.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    April 29, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    I'm not a member of your religion. I don't believe in your god. I'm not subject to your rules.

    And yet I am a productive member of society. I pay all my bills. I have no debt. I have no wish of the 'nuclear' family. I am and will remain single.

    Does that make me less of a citizen of the US

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 29, 2012 6:21 p.m.

    "Family is an institution that God established on this Earth with Adam and Eve" Adam and Eve..seriously?

  • KD Lewis Kaysville, UT
    April 29, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    Some of the commenters on this thread are treating the nuclear family as almost a bad thing. This is due to their anti-religious bias, nothing more. Religion aside, the idea of the nuclear family is best for individuals and society because it is based on love and selflessness. The claims that the nuclear family hasn't existed for more than 50 years is bogus because people have loved each other and committed their lives to each other and their children for millenia. Is that really such a bad idea, to have a society that encourages people to try and find true love and build a family around it? While yes its getting harder for people in our society to have that blessing, that doesn't diminish the value of it. We should be trying to celebrate success and ideals, not bring them down to appease the envious.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 29, 2012 6:11 p.m.


    Science? History? Those are your claims to authority? Many have tried to use that argument when telling us how superior they are to God. Yet, what has science taught you about the family? What has history taught you about the purpose of life? Did Newton answer your questions about the importance of the family? Did the history books tell you that the traditional family is just a figment of our imagination?

    Science compared to God is like a candle compared to the Sun. Both give light but there the similarity ends. We barely know how to split the atom, but God has set in place worlds without number revolving around "Suns" without number. Those suns don't depend on our knowledge of the science of fusion before they go about their work. Our inability to keep satellites in orbit more than a few years is childish compared to God's ability to keep worlds without number in their proper orbit without consulting us.

    Don't you think that you could give him just a little respect for what he has accomplished - without the aid of human history or human science?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    April 29, 2012 4:51 p.m.

    The research clearly shows that children are best raised by parents who are committed to child rearing and who love them whether or not they are their "biological children." I've raised two boys who were not my literal offspring. In every other sense I am their father. I'm surprised in this day and age anyone would be so insensitive to question that. They certainly don't.

  • sjgf South Jordan, UT
    April 29, 2012 4:41 p.m.


    Your use of the word "Nuclear" is so fitting.

    The purpose of a nuclear bomb is to take some unstable compounds and cause them to make everything around them unstable, thus causing massive destruction.

    While it is unfortunate that many families deteriorate naturally (death of a spouse, or divorce, or irresponsible people -- typically teenagers -- creating babies outside of marriage), the introduction of purposefully unstable families -- nuclear families -- into our society causes the instability to spread and destruction of society to occur.

    Some single men actually think it is cool to adopt a baby with no intention of providing the child with a mother. Some women actually think it is cool to create or adopt a child without providing a father for their child. Some same-sex couples think it is cool to adopt children without providing both a father and mother for their children.

    Just a few years ago, all the situations listed above were illegal. Society did what it could to protect stable families.

    Our society is now fostering and promoting unstable nuclear families -- and with each new instability, others push the envelope further to see if they can create a yet less stable family.

  • WACPaddingOurSchedule pocatello, ID
    April 29, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    St.George, Utah
    If this article and forum came from a state periodical other than the DN here in Utah, we would have a large variety of opinions. Some great uplifting stories would be discussed that do not include the very religious back rounds of many here on the DN.
    You folks understand this, right?


    State periodical = bought and paid for opinion.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2012 3:33 p.m.


    Are human beings whatever we define ourselves to be? I remember on a Deseret News article about a Cuban transgender wedding, that "Chris B" posted a fantastic comment on the problem with this logic.


    "I would now like everyone to address me as Franky. In addition, I am no longer human. I am now a purple dinosaur that can fly.

    Thank you.

    If you do not, you are intolerant."


    Family is an institution that God established on this Earth with Adam and Eve. God has maintained a record in one form or another even from our first parents all the way down until this time- to provide us with the tools we need to succeed and come back to Him. As soon as we start defining the most basic truths as something else, even a lie- then we have rejected what we know to be true in favor of living a lie- living a life where we value what will not bring us happiness in the end.

    We can mislabel all we want, but no matter how much we try to call an apple an orange- we know the truth and will be held accountable to it.

  • cris Hamilton, IL
    April 29, 2012 2:09 p.m.

    Anyone who spends that kind of money on a wedding is spending way too much money.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 29, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards: I am using science and history as my authority. It is very easy to confirm the past - and there is very little controversy over it. I am not defining anything - I am merely relying on pre-existing definitions that have been around for thousands of years.

    You are using religion as your authority - something that is not easy to confirm and which has a great deal of controversy. Additionally, you are attempting to change or ignore long standing terms to fit the terms espoused by your religion.

    If you are going to ask who gets to impose their definitions, perhaps you should first explain why your religion should supersede any other religion as well as the verifiable facts of history.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    April 29, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    There are times when the traditional nuclear family doesn't work. Should a woman stay with the father of her children if he comes home from work every night and beats her?

    Should a man stay with the mother of his children if she berates him everyday to the point that it causes a stress-related illness?

    So it's not a black and white issue. There are many gray areas.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    April 29, 2012 1:19 p.m.

    If this article and forum came from a state periodical other than the DN here in Utah, we would have a large variety of opinions. Some great uplifting stories would be discussed that do not include the very religious back rounds of many here on the DN.
    You folks understand this, right?

  • Leopard Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 29, 2012 12:20 p.m.

    The country in the last 50 years has had an interesting ride. Norms broke down, people were encouraged to explore self-interest, the "me generation". I had the good fortune to be raised by two people, who "hung on like he-double hockey sticks" through thick and thin. They are in their eighties and still together. Back in the sixties, I listened to the new gurus, sex, drugs and rockin' roll. I had some inner tickle that told me it was baloney. Might have been God. In any case back in the eighties after being a societal observer, (down in Californ-i-a) I began to withdraw from general society and limit my associations. The male/female nuclear families (with a few grandparents thrown in) have healthy, constructive well educated children, building their lives of firm ground. I've watch the fragile children, not so fortunate, go down to destruction, some survived and made it, most have not. I have watched my daughter's friends and generation and now my granddaughters, things are getting worse. The economy and the country are under stress, more and more of the fragile will go down to destruction.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 29, 2012 12:02 p.m.


    Those who impose their own definitions of "family", "marriage" and "norm" should first tell us who gave them that authority.

    We are not on this earth by chance. We are not some kind of animal experiment to see which form of family is the best. We are not pawns of government or of society where we have to grope for truth.

    We are sons and daughters of Almighty God who placed us here so that we could prove to ourselves whether we would be obedient to eternal laws; the laws that governed us before we were placed here; the laws that will govern us after we leave. Being sons and daughters of God, he did not leave us here without direction, without principles, without purpose. He placed and married our first parents, Adam and Eve, and taught them how to raise their children.

    The breakdown of society started in that first family. When sons and daughters rejected truth, they defined for themselves the rules by which they would live. They were not successful.

    No one who rejects the divine nature of mankind will succeed. He will only break himself while trying to do the undoable.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 29, 2012 11:33 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards and sjgf: The "nuclear" family has only existed since the late 1940's. It is impossible to claim that differentiating from a "norm" that has existed for less than 100 years is going to have some long lasting negative effect.

    There have been numerous family dynamics throughout the generations. There is no basis to assume that further evolution will be any more harmful than past evolutions have been.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 29, 2012 11:18 a.m.

    Those who would put a distance between "religion" and "family" know very little about either religion or family.

    They would have us believe that the $1.4 TRILLION that the federal government spends on broken families every year is necessary. They fail to understand that every person who receives part of that $1.4 TRILLION has a family whose primary responsibility is to care for the personal needs of each person in the family. NONE of that $1.4 TRILLION is authorized by the Constitution. Every dollar of that $1.4 TRILLION is an effort by the government to make up for failed families.

    They would have use believe that the failure of schools to teach the children is not caused by the breakdown of the family, where traditional parents expected that their children would behave properly in school and apply themselves; instead, today's family expects the school to be a baby-sitter.

    The break-down of the family has far reaching effects. The breakdown of society is directly related to the breakdown of the family and the breakdown of the family is directly related to their rejection of God.

    Study history and you'll see the pattern.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    April 29, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    Wonderful article. Keep it up Deseret News. I love the fact that you can support your claims with imperical (not sure abou the spelling, sorry) proof. People may scoff and try to change the rules that God has declared, but in the end it will be to no avail.

  • sjgf South Jordan, UT
    April 29, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    Here's a perfect example of why there are so many news articles claiming that "Tea Party" people are right wing extremists.

    200, 100, 50 years ago, everyone agreed that the traditional family was the norm. But over the last 50 years, extreme left-wing groups and people have been trying to undo all traditional values.

    The result? What was once considered the norm -- middle of the road politically, is now considered "extreme right-wing". Anybody who still believes in time-tested traditions is now labeled an "extremist."

    Every time the traditionalists win a battle to preserve their cherished traditions, the news articles claim how "right wing extremists" are moving our country more to the right.

    Not so, they're just slowing down the constant drift to the left, but you'd never know it by the bias of the news organizations.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    April 29, 2012 10:51 a.m.

    Isn't this like the religion confusion?
    Perhaps your family values are not the same as mine? Are you bad, am I good? Are you good, and I am the bad one?
    Let's just skip all of this and do what's best for our individual families.
    Reading the DN will get really boring if we continue down this road.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 29, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    The greatest danger to children is when "parents" reject the God that gave us life, his doctrines and his requirements and replace God, doctrine and requirements with their own ideas.

    Those who believe in same-sex marriage would tell us that no harm will come to children who are taught that same-sex sex is appropriate. They would tell us that children raised in that kind of home will be "normal". They have not only redefined "marriage" but also the word "normal".

    Those who believe that a single parent household is the ideal might have us believe that a strong father or a strong mother, in a single parent household, gives his/her children all the leadership, the nurture and the life's experiences necessary to shape those children so that those children can properly function.

    The sad truth is that many "families" are irreparably broken. The children in those "families" suffer.

    God gave us the "norm" - one man, one woman who covenant to marry are a "family". When children are given to them, they care for those children and teach them to live righteously. They teach those children to reject the ways of the world.

  • isrred Logan, UT
    April 29, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    The premise that only heterosexuals have "family values" is a flawed premise that SHOULD be rejected.

  • Mr.Glass Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    This editorial only considers evidence that supports a religious belief and ignores evidence that children of same sex couple households enjoy the same outcomes as children of biological parents. The gender of parents does not matter.

    Why do children in single parent households struggle? The simple answer is that it's more difficult to raise children when only one person is doing all the work. Children raised by more than one parent, no matter the gender or biological relationship, are just as likely to thrive as children raised by biological parents. Let's set aside gender for a moment and consider adopted children? This editorial implies that adopted children are at a great disadvantage, an assumption I find contrary to the views of my friends who were adopted as children.

    The editorial is simply the result of an exercise of citing studies supporting its beliefs and ignoring evidence contrary to to them.

    Given the definition of traditional family values, does this editorial suggest that polygamy was not healthy for children? Are they suggesting that the nuclear family of biological parents is better than divinely inspired polygamy of the past?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 29, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    Before asking "which" new kind of "family" should be accepted as the norm in America, shouldn't we determine why the traditional family model is no longer recognised as being the "norm"?

    What caused the traditional family to dissolve? Could the words "self-centeredness" define the primary cause? Would being family-centered instead of self-centered return the family to its proper place?

    Would anyone argue that the broken families where many children are being raised is better than the traditional family? Would they argue that those who grew up without a father or a mother in the home would have a desire to have a spouse who is a father or a mother to their own children?

    Would anyone argue that those who receive handouts from government agencies would rather find a way to support their own families without public aid?

    Would anyone who has no family tradition of respecting and following God be expected to instill those values in their own children?

    When God is the center of our personal lives and his definition of marriage is accepted as being the "norm", then our role as parents is clear as is our responsibility.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 29, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    A family is what those within the unit define it to be.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    Moral values are cyclical. Decadent Roman society became a puritanical (ostensibly), celibate religion and a rigid Victorian England changed into the punk UK of today.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 29, 2012 8:00 a.m.

    If you can't accept change, you can at least complain about it.