The following article by marriage and family life educator Laura M. Brotherson appeared Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009 in the Mormon Times.

Parents spend a lot of time, money and energy trying to figure out what to give their children for their birthday or for Christmas. With Xbox, iPods and cell phones all the rage these days, we often overlook giving children what they deeply want and need the most — a mother and father who love each other.

Parents who maintain a strong and vibrant marriage set a positive example of working through the inevitable ups and downs of marriage. Having married parents creates a haven of security and well-being from which children can flourish.

The Proclamation on the Family states: “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother…”

President Howard W. Hunter gave this counsel to husbands that also applies to wives: “One of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

President Boyd K. Packer also taught, “The safest place and the best protection against the moral and spiritual diseases is a stable home and family. This has always been true; it will be true forever.”

Read the balance of the article here.