Unformatted text preview: Becoming One
Guy L. Dorius Brigham Young University ALL MARRIED COUPLES HAVE DIFFERENCES She likes butter. He likes margarine. She is a lowenergy person. He is a highenergy person. She is relationshiporiented. He is goaloriented. She is lefthanded. He is righthanded. She is practical. He is a dreamer. She likes the toilet paper roll to roll toward her. He doesn’t care which way it rolls. She likes to listen to soft violin music. He likes to listen to loud country music. She has a difficult time making decisions. He makes them easily. ALL MARRIED COUPLES HAVE DIFFERENCES She likes a variety of foods. He likes the same old standbys. She came from a loud family in which everyone shouted at each other. He came from a quiet family in which hardly anyone ever raised a voice. She wants to resolve conflict immediately. He wants to wait awhile. She wants to talk when she is angry. He doesn’t want to talk when either of them are angry. She believes stoplights are ordained of God to bring order into our lives. He believes stoplights are tools of Satan to disrupt his life. She is a perfectionist. He is disorderly. She keeps a clean desk. He has a roll top. ALL MARRIED COUPLES HAVE DIFFERENCES She likes one or two pets. He likes several. She is a saver. He is a spender. She is a planner. He is impulsive. She asks for directions when she get lost. He feels that asking for directions is a sign of weakness. She feels comfortable taking things back to the store when they aren’t exactly what she wants. He stores them in the garage. She likes to take her time. He is always in a hurry. ALL MARRIED COUPLES HAVE DIFFERENCES She does one thing at a time to conclusion. He likes to do many things at once. She hates paperwork. He handles paperwork easily. She smashes bugs in the house and kills spiders. He carefully takes them outside to safety. Chuck & Barb Snyder, Incompatibility: Grounds for a Great Marriage, pp. 1533. Covenant Marriage Three summers ago, I watched a new bride and groom, Tracy and Tom, emerge from a sacred temple. They laughed and held hands as family and friends gathered to take pictures. I saw happiness and promise in their faces as they greeted their reception guests, who celebrated publicly the creation of a new family. I wondered that night how long it would be until these two faced the opposition that tests every marriage. Only then would they discover whether their marriage was based on a contract or a covenant. Another bride sighed blissfully on her wedding day, “Mom, I’m at the end of all my troubles!” “Yes,” replied her mother, “but at which end?” When troubles come, the parties to a contractual marriage seek happiness by walking away. They marry to obtain benefits and will stay only as long as they’re receiving what they bargained for. But when troubles come to a covenant marriage, the husband and wife work them through. They marry to give and to grow, bound by covenants to each other, to the community, and to God. Contract companions each give 50 percent; covenant companions each give 100 percent. Marriage is by nature a covenant, not just a private contract one may cancel at will. Jesus taught about contractual attitudes when he described the “hireling,” who performs his conditional promise of care only when he receives something in return. When the hireling “seeth the wolf coming,” he “leaveth the sheep, and fleeth … because he … careth not for the sheep.” By contrast, the Savior said, “I am the good shepherd, … and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Many people today marry as hirelings. And when the wolf comes, they flee. This idea is wrong. It curses the earth, turning parents’ hearts away from their children and from each other. Bruce C. Hafen, “Covenant Marriage,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 26 The Three Wolves
1. 1. 1. Natural Adversity Our Own Imperfections Excessive Individualism Solving Emotional Problems the Lord’s Own Way
Our bishops face increasing calls to counsel members with problems that have more to do with emotional needs than with the need for food or clothing or shelter. My message, therefore, is to the subject: solving emotional problems in the Lord’s own way. Fortunately, the principles of temporal welfare apply to emotional problems as well. Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1978, p. 9193 We seem to be developing an epidemic of counselitis which drains spiritual strength from the Church, much like the common cold drains more strength out of humanity than any other disease. That, some may assume, is not serious. It is very serious! On one hand, we counsel bishops to avoid abuses in welfare help. On the other hand, some bishops dole out counsel and advice without considering that the member should solve the problem himself. There are many chronic cases, individuals who endlessly seek counsel but do not follow the counsel that is given. I have, on occasions, included in an interview this question: “You have come to me for advice. After we have carefully considered your problem, is it your intention to follow the counsel that I will give you?” This comes as a considerable surprise to them. They had never thought of that. Usually they then commit themselves to follow counsel. Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1978, p. 9193 Solving Emotional Problems the Lord’s Own Way Selfreliance—Is this worth battling over, “Is it I” Family—Who is your family? Who can you turn to? Couples do well to immediately find their own home, separate and apart from that of the inlaws on either side. The home may be very modest and unpretentious, but still it is an independent domicile. Your married life should become independent of her folks and his folks. You love them more than ever; you cherish their counsel; you appreciate their association; but you live your own lives, being governed by your decisions, by your own prayerful considerations after you have received the counsel from those who should give it. To cleave does not mean merely to occupy the same home; it means to adhere closely, to stick together: Spencer W. Kimball Devotional Address, BYU, 7 September 1976 Solving Emotional Problems the Lord’s Own Way Selfreliance—Is this worth battling over, “Is it I” Family—Who is your family? Who can you turn to? The Church—The Bishop Teach those who are having marriage problems to go to the father of the ward, their bishop, for counsel. No psychiatrist in the world, no marriage counselor, can give to those who are faithful members of the Church the counsel from one any better than the bishop of the ward. Now, you bishops don't hesitate to say, marriage is the law of God, and is ordained by him, and man and wife are not without each other in the Lord. Harold B. Lee, The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 251. It would seem that a major underlying cause of divorce is in not understanding that marriage and families are Godgiven and Godordained. If we understood the full meaning we would have less divorce and its attendant unhappiness. Couples would plan for a happy marriage relationship based on divine instruction. If couples understood from the beginning of their romance that their marriage relationship could be blessed with promises and conditions extending into the eternities, divorce would not even be a considered alternative when difficulties arise. The current philosophy—get a divorce if it doesn’t work out—handicaps a marriage from the beginning.
Elder David B. Haight “Marriage and Divorce” Ensign, May 1984, pp. 1214 What then, might be “just cause” for breaking the covenants of marriage? Over a lifetime of dealing with human problems, I have struggled to understand what might be considered “just cause” for breaking of covenants. I confess I do not claim the wisdom nor authority to definitively state what is “just cause.” Only the parties to the marriage can determine this. They must bear the responsibility for the train of consequences which inevitably follows if these covenants are not honored. In my opinion, “just cause” should be nothing less serious than a prolonged and apparently irredeemable relationship which is destructive of a person’s dignity as a human being. Surely it is not simply “mental distress” or “personality differences” or having “grown apart” or having “fallen out of love.” (James E. Faust, April 1993, Conference Report, p. 46). Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. “How everything affects me” is the center of all that matters—selfconceit, self pity, worldly selffulfillment, self gratification, and selfseeking. …Another face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances all fall into this category of pride. Contention in our families drives the Spirit of the Lord away. It also drives many of our family members away. Contention ranges from a hostile spoken word to worldwide conflicts. The scriptures tell us that “only by pride cometh contention.” (Prov. 13:10; see also Prov. 28:25.) The scriptures testify that the proud are easily offended and hold grudges. (See 1 Ne. 16:1–3.) They withhold forgiveness to keep another in their debt and to justify their injured feelings. The proud do not receive counsel or correction easily. (See Prov. 15:10; Amos 5:10.) Defensiveness is used by them to justify and rationalize their frailties and failures. (See Matt. 3:9; John 6:30–59.) The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their selfesteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.”
"Beware of Pride," Ensign, May 1989, pp. 46. A man who holds the priesthood accepts his wife as a partner in the leadership of the home and family with full knowledge of and full participation in all decisions relating thereto. Of necessity there must be in the Church and in the home a presiding officer (see D&C 107:21). By divine appointment, the responsibility to preside in the home rests upon the priesthood holder (see Moses 4:22). The Lord intended that the wife be a helpmeet for man (meet means equal)—that is, a companion equal and necessary in full partnership. Presiding in righteousness necessitates a shared responsibility between husband and wife; together you act with knowledge and participation in all family matters. For a man to operate independent of or without regard to the feelings and counsel of his wife in governing the family is to exercise unrighteous dominion.
Howard W. Hunter, “Being a Righteous Husband and Father,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 49 There is a difference in the way the priesthood functions in the home as compared to the way it functions in the Church. In the Church our service is by call. In the home our service is by choice. A calling in the Church generally is temporary for there comes a release. Our place in the home and family, which is based on choice, is forever and beyond. In the Church there is a distinct line of authority. We serve where called by those who preside over us. In the home it is a partnership with husband and wife equally yoked together, sharing in decisions, always working together. While the husband, the father, has responsibility to provide worthy and inspired leadership, his wife is neither behind him nor ahead of him but at his side.
Boyd K. Packer, “The Relief Society,” Ensign, May 1998, 72 My children and I were at her bedside as she slipped peacefully into eternity. As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than twothirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams. Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Women in Our Lives,” Ensign, Nov. 2004, 82 HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be freshlooking. He has just been with a lot of workweary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. Prepare the children; take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him. SOME DON’TS: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind. Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax. THE GOAL: Try to make your home a place of peace and order, where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. (Taken from a 1950’s high school homeeconomics textbook!) There are so many in our day who are unwilling to forgive and forget. Children cry and wives weep because fathers and husbands continue to bring up little shortcomings that are really of no importance. And there also are many women who would make a mountain out of every little offending molehill of word or deed. The great Atonement was the supreme act of forgiveness. The magnitude of that Atonement is beyond our ability to completely understand. I know only that it happened, and that it was for me and for you. The suffering was so great, the agony so intense, that none of us can comprehend it when the Savior offered Himself as a ransom for the sins of all mankind. It is through Him that we gain forgiveness. It is through Him that there comes the certain promise that all mankind will be granted the blessings of salvation, with resurrection from the dead. It is through Him and His great overarching sacrifice that we are offered the opportunity through obedience of exaltation and eternal life. May God help us to be a little kinder, showing forth greater forbearance, to be more forgiving, more willing to walk the second mile, to reach down and lift up those who may have sinned but have brought forth the fruits of repentance, to lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more. For this I humbly pray, in the sacred name of our Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 81) Marriage and the Great Plan of Happiness Remember the central importance of your marriage. Pray for its success. Listen Avoid “ceaseless pinpricking.” Keep your courtship alive. Be quick to say, “I’m sorry.” Marriage and the Great Plan of Happiness Learn to live within your means. Be a true partner in home and family responsibilities. Joe J. Christensen, “Marriage and the Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, May 1995, 64 “The Savior of the world spoke of that unity and how we will have our natures changed to make it possible. He taught it clearly in the prayer He gave in His last meeting with His Apostles before His death. That supernally beautiful prayer is recorded in the book of John. He was about to face the terrible sacrifice for all of us that would make eternal life possible. He was about to leave the Apostles whom He had ordained, whom He loved, and with whom He would leave the keys to lead His Church. And so He prayed to His Father, the perfect Son to the perfect Parent. We see in His words the way families will be made one, as will all the children of our Heavenly Father who follow the Savior and His servants: “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:1821). In those few words He made clear how the gospel of Jesus Christ can allow hearts to be made one. Those who would believe the truth He taught could accept the ordinances and the covenants offered by His authorized servants. Then, through obedience to those ordinances and covenants, their natures would be changed. The Savior’s Atonement in that way makes it possible for us to be sanctified. We can then live in unity, as we must to have peace in this life and to dwell with the Father and His Son in eternity. Henry B. Eyring, “That We May Be One,” Ensign, May 1998, 66 ...
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- Harold B. Lee, Boyd K. Packer, Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, emotional problems