What are some challenges that threaten unity in marriage?
“Marriage is more than your love for each other. … In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his kingdom. … So love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, quoted in D. Todd Christofferson, “Why Marriage, Why Family,” Apr. 2015 general conference).
“Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son” (Moroni 7:48).
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
“Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made” (D&C 25:13).
How can we be guardians of the marriage covenant?
“In the premortal world, Lucifer rebelled against God and His plan, and his opposition only grows in intensity. He fights to discourage marriage and the formation of families, and where marriages and families are formed he does what he can to disrupt them. He attacks everything that is sacred about human sexuality, tearing it from the context of marriage. … He seeks to convince men and women that marriage and family priorities can be ignored or abandoned, or at least made subservient to careers, other achievements, and the quest for self-fulfillment and individual autonomy" (D. Todd Christofferson, "Why Marriage, Why Family," Apr. 2015 general conference).
“The natures of male and female spirits complete and perfect each other, and therefore men and women are intended to progress together toward exaltation” (David A. Bednar, “Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan,” Liahona, June 2006).
“Where there is respect, there is also transparency, which is a key element of happy marriages. There are no secrets about relevant matters in marriages based on mutual respect and transparency” (L. Whitney Clayton, “Marriage: Watch and Learn,” Apr. 2013 general conference).
Terrific Marriages Are Completely Respectful, Transparent, and Loyal
- Husbands and wives make all decision about finances together.
- They keep their social media use fully worthy in every way.
- They permit themselves no secret Internet experiences.
- They freely share with each other their social network passwords.
- They do not look at virtual profiles of anyone in any way that might betray the sacred trust of their spouse.
- They never do or say anything that approaches the appearance of impropriety.
(See L. Whitney Clayton, “Marriage: Watch and Learn,” Apr. 2013 general conference.)
How can we strengthen and help each other and build unity in a marriage?
“I am satisfied that a happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion” (Gordon B. Hinckley, "What God Hath Joined Together," Apr. 1991 general conference).
“A couple is to become one in establishing their family as the basis of a righteous life. Latter-day Saint husbands and wives leave behind their single life and establish their marriage as the first priority in their lives. They allow no other person or interest to have greater priority in their lives than keeping the covenants they have made with God and each other” (Handbook 2, 1.3.1).
“If there is forbearance, if there is forgiveness, if there is an anxious looking after the happiness of one’s companion, then love will flourish and blossom” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Look to the Future,” Oct. 1997 general conference).
Sisters and brothers, how often do we intentionally speak kind words to each other?
- When was the last time I sincerely praised my companion, either alone or in the presence of our children?
- When was the last time I thanked, expressed love for, or earnestly pleaded in faith for him or her in prayer?
- When was the last time I stopped myself from saying something I knew could be hurtful?
- When was the last time I apologized and humbly asked for forgiveness--without adding the words, "but if only you had or but if only you hadn't?"
- When was the last time I chose to be happy rather than demanding to be right?
(See Linda K. Burton, “We'll Ascend Together,” Apr. 2015 general conference)