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A Synopsis of Paper 84: Marriage and Family Life

Before the connection between sex and pregnancy was understood, family units were maternal. Maternal love is an instinctive endowment of the adjutant mind-spirits, and is proportional to the length of infancy. Men were first attracted into marriage not by love but by hunger, because they knew that where women and children were sheltered, food could usually be found.

When herding gave control of the main source of food to men, the father‑family came into being. Later, men became involved in agriculture, and women were able to devote more time to homemaking and child rearing. The shift from the mother‑family to the father‑family is one of the most radical adjustments that ever occurred in the human race. The mother‑family is natural and biologic; the father‑family is social, economic, and political.

Sexual equality is worthy of an expanding civilization, but it is not found in nature. When justice, peace and fairness prevail, women gradually emerge from slavery. The modern factory changed working conditions so that men and women compete more evenly in the work force. Evolution has succeeded in doing that which revelation failed to accomplish.

Civilization can never obliterate the differences of behavior between the sexes. Women cannot thrive on men's rights any more than men can thrive on women's; each sex will always remain supreme in its own domain. Men and women are two distinct varieties of the same species living in close association. Complete understanding between the sexes is not possible; differing male and female viewpoints persist throughout the superuniverse ascension. These differences are highly beneficial. A man and woman cooperating are vastly superior in most ways to either two men or two women.

Marriage is now passing out of the property stage and into the personal era. New mores are emerging to stabilize marriage and the home even as modern child rearing is becoming more difficult. Problems arise from the degree of racial mixtures, acceptance of superficial education, and parents' frequent absences from home. Advancing ideals will promote the idea that bringing a child into the world is the supreme responsibility of human existence.

Attempts to shift parental responsibility to the state or church are suicidal to civilization's advancement. Civilization depends on the willingness of one generation to invest in the welfare of the next. The family teaches the essentials of brotherhood: patience, altruism, tolerance, and forbearance. Families are best managed through family councils rather than through autocratic methods. A good family reveals the love of the Creator to parents and children alike.

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