A Note to June Newlyweds about “diversities of gifts”
The words are “you two are one.” Married! Joined together for a glorious adventure, now and for all time. What a beautiful promise!
At this moment it is just a promise. The words have been said, but the promise must be lived. And this will take great love—unselfish love—genuine love that is willing to go more than halfway for the benefit of the beloved partner.
This will take great faith—faith in one another—as unique individuals; faith in each other’s particular gifts and talents and abilities; faith also in one’s self, in one’s own worth and contribution to the marriage; faith in the eternal perspective of marriage and in the Creator who designed it thus.
This will take also the exercise of certain special gifts, “diversities of gifts,” as the apostle Paul says, for to one is given wisdom; to another knowledge; to another faith; to another the gifts of healing; to another the working of miracles; to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues. (See 1 Cor. 12:4, 8–10.)
A man and a woman think differently. They see things from masculine or feminine viewpoints. While they may be poles apart in thinking about some things, yet striving to be one in all things, they have need for wisdom and for knowledge to keep marriage always a glowing promise.
Be wise enough, young husband, never to leave home for a meeting or for work, the office, or the field and the plow, without remembering a kiss before departure. Be wise also, young bride, and be there at the door, waiting and eager to receive the kiss.
Believing is as catching as measles, as the mumps, as indifference, or as indolence. Keep alive the gift of faith between you; believe in each other’s worth, in the life you have chosen to share, in the goodness of the world, in the efficacy of work, in the power of love.
So the toast was burned, the offering rejected, the harsh words spoken, and the feelings shredded. Oh, be quick to exercise the gift of healing between you, with a kind word or an apology, with an amusing look at the situation.
Truly there are “divers kinds of tongues,” matching the mood of irritation, gloom, depression, joy, or affection. And there are also certain interpretations of tongues. Listen to the tone and, as the years unfold, learn to interpret it wisely.
Listen, young husband, when your wife’s tongue is sharp or soft, tight-lipped or loud, harsh or angry or cold. Consider: is this the time she wants tenderness, comfort, or sympathy? Or is this a time when she just wants you to go lose yourself and say not a word?
Be wise, young wife, when your husband comes home. Listen to his silence or his groan, his dour look or his gay loquaciousness, and interpret it carefully. Perhaps this is the moment for sharing that lemon pie and detailing all the little happenings of the day. Perhaps this is the time to quietly place a sandwich before him, with his favorite book and comfortable shoes, and then disappear.
There are diversities of gifts. Be knowledgeable. Be receptive. Exercise wisely these gifts in marriage, and soon you will be working the miracle of loving and living together.
“An Apple a Day”—Remember?
Early summer apples are likely to be juicy, tart, and quick-cooking. And the first taste of a summer apple is delicious.
Eat apples in generous quantities raw—they provide some vitamin C. Bake them in pies; apples in summer make beautiful applesauce.
Use apples in salads: chopped with celery and nuts, or sliced with orange sections and onion rings.
Use apples with meat: baked with a ham slice and served with raisin sauce, or cooked with crumbled sausage to spoon over pancakes.
Use apples with vegetables: with sweet potatoes and marshmallows, or diced and cooked with diced red cabbage.
Use apples in desserts: grated in pancakes sprinkled with powdered sugar for a treat shared with a friend on a warm June evening.
For apple pie: Mrs. Jeane P. Larsen at Idaho State University says her family likes the apples in their apple pie filling grated rather than sliced. After the grated apples have been seasoned with sugar, butter, and cinnamon and slightly cooked, they are poured into a pie dish that is lined with aluminum foil, then frozen. After quick-freezing, the pie filling can be lifted from the pie plate, wrapped more securely in its foil wrapping, and returned to the freezer for use some future day. The pie plate returns to daily duty, thus saving room in the freezer. When apple pie is on the menu, Mrs. Larsen fits the pie shell to the pie plate, slips the frozen pie filling from the foil into the shell, and completes the cooking. Time saved! Taste enhanced!
Bread May Come Back Cake
That Monday night was a lot like other family nights. With our five daughters we had had a depth of togetherness, and now, filled with the spirit of sharing, and amazingly enjoying it, we were ready for a closing prayer and dessert when Shelley, a fifteen-year-old sophomore in high school, snapped her fingers and lighted up with one of her inimitable ideas.
“Hey, everybody,” she enthused, “wait a minute. Before you go I want to read you something really neat.”
She wheeled out of the room and returned in a breathless minute waving a piece of typing paper.
“Every girl in the ward is going to have this on her mirror,” she explained. “It is all about how not to let the group get to you—about just being yourself and relaxing and not worrying about what other people are thinking all the time.”
She began to read:
“It is important that you do not become so enamoured of the idea of belonging to a group that you lose focus on what you hope to be as an individual. You are truly a child of God and as such you have been given the blessing of standing erect and saying to yourself, ‘I am only one, but I am one.’ And even though you need and desire very much to be part of something bigger than yourself, you can carry into every group a divine right to say yes or no, to participate or to walk away. After all, the Lord’s kingdom is founded upon that very right, the free agency that allows each of us to make choices.
“Plagued as we are by being all too human and all too desperate for the support of those we love, still, integrity, honesty, and the beautiful peace of a clean conscience are not things to be dealt with lightly. No group is worth the sacrifice of these things. And no group is so amazingly wonderful that it cannot be replaced by another.
“Your life is a one-time thing, to be guarded, respected, and given the tender, loving care of an owner who can offer it only the choices of settings for growth and eternal progression.”
As she read, I had a vague feeling that I had heard that somewhere before. Shelley was still beaming. “Our Mutual teacher gave everyone in the class a copy.”
Rinda said a prayer and we had our treats. Needled by remembering and yet not remembering, I slipped into my cubbyhole where bookcases overhang my typewriter and began to browse through a current Mia Maid manual whose pages leaped with memories. For two years some of us had agonized in happy labor over the slow emersion of that manual. Every paragraph I read swelled with the testimony, desire, earnestness, and just plain drudgery that had gone into the making of those lessons. I remembered the crises of getting approval from what seemed a thousand places. The manual is about groups and a girl’s place in those groups and the need for a girl to make personal commitments about things that really count in her eternal well-being.
Then I came to page 37, right-hand column, lesson 4, called “One of Us.” It began, “Tell your girls that it is important that they do not become so enamoured of the idea of belonging to a group. …”
When I wrote those words, I had been talking to some generic girl—a mythical Mia Maid whom I knew I loved in the abstract, a girl whose life I wanted to touch through some teacher way off out there, a girl who might or might not listen, but a girl who mattered very much.
Tonight I heard my Shelley, my fifteen-year-old, reading my words with a reverence reserved only for awesome authority. My Shelley—my words, fused in a moment of learning that no casual or formal motherly promptings could have elicited.
When I showed her the book and the words, we both laughed. Shelley blurted out, “Mom, come on! You didn’t really write that. I thought it was Shakespeare or somebody.” And I bluffed away a giant urge to hug her hard with, “Yeah, Shell.”
And that night I said a special thanks for letting me cast my bread.
Jot It Down
Sometimes the simplest suggestion is a real time and energy saver. Purchase a desk calendar of the type that has a page for every day. This sounds far too simple to be as valuable as the twenty-five-cent purchase will prove to be.
On the proper pages of this calendar jot down the dates you want to remember: birthdays when you want to remember a friend or relative with a card or perhaps a call. Anniversaries of the family should be recorded, as well as dates that insurance and taxes are due (make a memo about these a few days ahead of time).
List all the important things for all the family—dental and doctor appointments, perhaps payments on the car, the afternoon promised to help with Red Cross, the schedule for Cub Scout swimming lessons. Special meetings and activities of the ward and stake need reminders sometimes. Music lessons, dancing lessons, and ball practice can be noted. Make it a family affair. Don’t forget that early morning hour promised at the welfare farm or orchard. A concert, a PTA meeting—jot it down.
Such a pad will give you a wonderful feeling of efficiency once you start using it.