Money and Marriage

“Money and Marriage,” Building An Eternal Marriage Teacher Manual (2003), 52–54

Doctrinal Overview

“Ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked” (Mosiah 4:14).

“Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs. … Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” student manual, 83).

“Before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

“And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted” (Jacob 2:18–19; see also D&C 19:34).

“You must continue to bear in mind that the temporal and the spiritual are blended. They are not separate. One cannot be carried on without the other, so long as we are here in mortality” (Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1900, 46; or student manual, 9; see D&C 29:34).


Applying correct principles related to money increases the likelihood of a happy marriage.

Student Manual Readings

Selected Teachings from “Finances” (115)

“One for the Money: Guide to Family Finance,” Elder Marvin J. Ashton (115–19)

“Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence,” Elder Joe J. Christensen (120–23)

Suggestions for How to Teach

Discussion. Read Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s statement under Selected Teachings from “Finances” (student manual, 115).

  • According to Elder Oaks, in what ways can the deceitfulness of riches choke out the fruits of the gospel?

  • How can riches be turned to benefit the work of the Lord?

Suggestions for How to Teach

Discussion. Review “One for the Money: Guide to Family Finance,” by Elder Marvin J. Ashton, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (student manual, 115–19). Elder Ashton gave twelve suggestions that can help us manage our personal and family finances. Invite class members to discuss challenges a person or family might face in each of the categories below and to offer solutions.

  1. Pay an honest tithing.

  2. Learn to manage money before it manages you.

  3. Learn self-discipline and self-restraint in money matters.

  4. Use a budget.

  5. Teach family members early the importance of working and earning.

  6. Teach children to make money decisions in keeping with their capacities to comprehend.

  7. Teach each family member to contribute to the total family welfare.

  8. Make education a continuing process.

  9. Work toward home ownership.

  10. Appropriately involve yourself in an insurance program.

  11. Understand the influence of external forces on family finances and investments.

  12. Appropriately involve yourself in a food storage and emergency preparedness program.

Invite students to look for principles in the following statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“What a wonderful feeling it is to be free of debt, to have a little money against a day of emergency put away where it can be retrieved when necessary.

“President Faust would not tell you this himself. Perhaps I can tell it, and he can take it out on me afterward. He had a mortgage on his home drawing 4 percent interest. Many people would have told him he was foolish to pay off that mortgage when it carried so low a rate of interest. But the first opportunity he had to acquire some means, he and his wife determined they would pay off their mortgage. He has been free of debt since that day. That’s why he wears a smile on his face, and that’s why he whistles while he works.

“I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.

“This is a part of the temporal gospel in which we believe. May the Lord bless you, my beloved brethren, to set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1998, 71–72; or Ensign, Nov. 1998, 54; student manual, 62).

Invite students to share principles they noted in the statements just read.

Discussion. Ask questions similar to the following:

  • What verse in Matthew 6 could be used to teach the most basic of all financial principles? (Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.”)

  • What are some of the dangers of consumer debt?

  • How can Elder Ashton’s debt-elimination calendar help reduce or eliminate unnecessary debt? (see student manual, 117).

Discussion. Refer to Elder Joe J. Christensen’s talk, “Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence” (student manual, 120–23). Explain that prosperity and materialism can threaten individuals and marriages as much as poverty. Elder Christensen gave four suggestions to lessen the negative effects of materialism. Divide the four suggestions among groups of students and have them discuss how they apply in our married lives. After five minutes of discussion have them report their findings to the class.

Suggestions for How to Teach

Scripture activity. Explain that money can bless us in our family lives or can hinder our spiritual progress. Whether money becomes a blessing or a hindrance depends on our attitude and actions. The scriptures help us see the value of money from an eternal perspective.

Read and discuss Doctrine and Covenants 38:39 and Jacob 2:18–19. How can riches be used to bless our families?

Group work. Read some of the following scriptures as a class, and ask students what financial principles can be derived from them: Matthew 6:19–21; 25:14–18; 1 Corinthians 2:12; Ephesians 5:20; Galatians 6:7; 1 Timothy 6:7–10; 2 Nephi 9:51.


If used with an eternal perspective, money can be a blessing to eternal marriages. If used with a worldly perspective, money issues can destroy marriages. The scriptures and prophets teach us principles that can help us use money in ways that will bless us and our families.