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“We Need Each Other To Create A Culture of Peace”: Interreligious Celebration of Marriage in Colorado

Written by  December 1st, 2017
The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints lay minister and his wife The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints lay minister and his wife

On November 18th, an Interreligious Celebration of Marriage event took place in the Denver Family Church. It was hosted by the Women's Federation for World Peace of Colorado and was sponsored by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU). Six married couples participated: two with a photo of their spouses, and four with their spouses present. The sanctuary was decorated with white streamers and banners of the world’s religions to heighten the celebratory atmosphere. The main theme of this event was that we need each other to create a culture of peace: no one religion, denomination, race, or ethnicity can do it alone. Marriages and families centered on God, especially those that merge different religions or backgrounds, bring people together for a common purpose and therefore are the foundation of a harmonious society.

At the beginning of the event, four speakers presented their perspectives on marriage and family: Massoud Farazandeh, Prayer Imam for the Lady Fatima Center; Moyna Hudgens, a member of the United Methodist Church and a Colorado UN Chapter representative; Carlos Pierce, lay minister of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints; and Dr. Michael Hentrich of FFWPU. One of the couples who participated was a young Catholic couple. They brought their 9 well- behaved children. The wife is expecting twins and is due any day! They were the hit of the event.

James and Jennie Davenport, representative couple, with Jim and Linda Howell, officiatorsJames and Jennie Davenport, representative couple, with Jim and Linda Howell, officiators

A WFWP video was shown which amazed and inspired the guests with the depth and breadth of Reverend and Mrs. Moon's service and educational projects, and by WFWP’s presence in the UN. Photos of some of the marriages performed by Rev. and Mrs. Moon were also projected: the marriage of 2,075 and 6,000 couples in 1982; the marriage of 30,000 couples in 1992; World Peace Blessing at the United Nations in 2001; and the 144,000 Interreligious and International Clergy Blessing in 2002. These are known as "Marriages for Peace" in which couples make a commitment to create loving families that will build a world of peace together. It was quite amazing to see so many people who started or recommitted their marriages with such a strong love for each other, God, and the world.

All of the participants echoed the same happy sentiment: "It was a wonderful event!" The Prayer Imam expressed a bit more: "We should be gathering together more like this, rather than just being in our own places of worship. I am glad you all focused on marriage and family. It is the essence of life." The lay minister of the The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints said, "Thank you for inviting my wife and I to this event. We felt warmly welcomed and we, too, believe in marriage between a man and a woman and that marriage is eternal."

Group photoGroup photo

To conclude, I want to share "12 Points for a Happy Marriage" written by Thomas Hudgens, the husband of Moyna Hudgens, who participated in rededicating their marriage. She shared these "commandments" with all of us during her presentation.

"Commandments for a Husband"

1. Love your wife.

2. Let her know she is the most important person in the world to you.

3. Have intimate relations at least 3 times a week.

4. Never go to sleep without kissing her "good night."

5. Never put her down- always build her up.

6. Give encouragement in all she does.

7. Find things to do together, those you both like, and those that only she likes.

8. Allow her to have time to herself, if she wants it.

9. Share financial information with her.

10. You are a team, so work together.

11. Be willing to say, "I'm sorry."

12. Always resolve disputes based on "what" is right, not "who" is right.

Wise, inspiring words that both husband and wife can live by to have a happy marriage.