After meeting Karen I knew very quickly that I wanted to spend eternity with her. I am not a believe in “soulmates” but we definitely had a connection from the beginning. I believe that comes from having similar desires and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She has been my best friend since the day I met her. I know that I have been incredibly blessed to have her in my life but I also know that this did not just happen nor would it continue without effort on both of our parts.
Both of us came from homes where our parents had endured struggles that challenged them temporally and spiritually. We also were fortunate enough to see our parents work through their challenges together and come out stronger because of them.
I have loved our textbook this year. However, the chapter in the textbook, Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives, that pertains to facts to consider about marriage left me wanting. It does a great job of delivering the facts regarding the struggles with marriage but it does not cover marriage and the work necessary for marriage to be successful the way I see things. The closing paragraph of the chapter is good. It reads:
Both the soft stories and the hard evidence attest to the fact that good marriages are undeniably worth the work, sacrifice, and dedication they require. The benefits of marriage are unique; the disadvantages of alternative family forms are real, profound, and all too common. The benefits begin at the marriage ceremony; extend into the lives of husbands, wives, and their children across time; then stretch out to bolster neighborhoods, communities, and the world at large.
I would like to focus on the portion of the quote that says “marriages are undeniably worth the work, sacrifice, and dedication they require.” I found a great article in the October 1993 issue of the Ensign magazine. It discusses what is necessary for us to endure to the end. I would suggest that these same principles can be applied to enduring to the end in our marriages.
Besides keeping the commandments, other component parts of remaining faithful to our covenants include:
Looking unto Christ (see 3 Ne. 15:9)
Taking upon us the name of Christ (see 3 Ne. 27:6)
Offering our whole souls to Christ and continuing in fasting and prayer (see Omni 1:26)
Following the example of Christ (see 2 Ne. 31:16)
Worshipping the Father in the name of Christ (see D&C 20:29)
Seeking to bring forth Zion (see 1 Ne. 13:37)
Notice that the common focus of all of these exhortations is loyalty to Christ. Consequently, enduring to the end is more than just “being active” in the Church. Enduring to the end requires a personal awareness of obligations made to the Savior and a personal determination to keep those covenants faithfully. While the term “being active” describes visible behavior, “enduring faithful to the end” describes an inner commitment to the gospel and to the church of Jesus Christ.
I would add that this also describes an inner commitment to our spouse and the covenant we made at marriage.
Having a successful marriage does take work but the rewards far outweigh the efforts. A happy successful marriage is very possible when we remember to put the Lord and our spouse first. There is no room in this relationship for selfish desires.
I have loved this project and I hope that my family will enjoy reading some of my thoughts on this most important topic. I love you all!