Problem Solving in Marriage

“Problem Solving in Marriage,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual (2003), 283–89


Selected Teaching

President Ezra Taft Benson

“My message is to return to the God-ordained fundamentals that will ensure love, stability, and happiness in our homes. …

“… A husband and wife must attain righteous unity and oneness in their goals, desires, and actions.

“Marriage itself must be regarded as a sacred covenant before God. A married couple have an obligation not only to each other, but to God. He has promised blessings to those who honor that covenant.

“Fidelity to one’s marriage vows is absolutely essential for love, trust, and peace. Adultery is unequivocally condemned by the Lord.

“Husbands and wives who love each other will find that love and loyalty are reciprocated. This love will provide a nurturing atmosphere for the emotional growth of children. Family life should be a time of happiness and joy that children can look back on with fond memories and associations.

“Restraint and self-control must be ruling principles in the marriage relationship. Couples must learn to bridle their tongues as well as their passions.

“Prayer in the home and prayer with each other will strengthen your union. Gradually thoughts, aspirations, and ideas will merge into a oneness until you are seeking the same purposes and goals. Rely on the Lord, the teachings of the prophets, and the scriptures for guidance and help, particularly when there may be disagreements and problems.

“Spiritual growth comes by solving problems together—not by running from them. Today’s inordinate emphasis on individualism brings egotism and separation. Two individuals becoming ‘one flesh’ is still the Lord’s standard. (see Gen. 2:24.)

“The secret of a happy marriage is to serve God and each other. The goal of marriage is unity and oneness, as well as self-development. Paradoxically, the more we serve one another, the greater is our spiritual and emotional growth” (“Salvation—A Family Affair,” Ensign, July 1992, 2–4; see also Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 85–86; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 59–60).

Elder Boyd K. Packer

“We live in a day when the adversary stresses on every hand the philosophy of instant gratification. We seem to demand instant everything, including instant solutions to our problems.

“We are indoctrinated that somehow we should always be instantly emotionally comfortable. When that is not so, some become anxious—and all too frequently seek relief from counseling, from analysis, and even from medication.

“It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal.

“Teach our members that if they have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out.

“There is great purpose in our struggle in life. …

“Bishop, those who come to you are children of God. Counsel them in the Lord’s own way. Teach them to ponder it in their minds, then to pray over their problems.

“Remember that soothing, calming effect of reading the scriptures. Next time you are where they are read, notice how things settle down. Sense the feeling of peace and security that comes. …

“In the name of Jesus Christ, amen” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, 135–40; or Ensign, May 1978, 91–93).