Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Transitioning into Marriage

I was able to interview a couple that I found inspiring; a couple I look up to, about transitioning into marriage. I loved putting this together and was able to learn a lot from them. I would love to interview many more couples with similar questions. Here is the first interview with amazing advise and a glimpse of equal partnership between men and women in families. 

James and Karen
         James (34 years old) and Karen (33 years old) are part of the Draper, Utah ward. They have been married 11 years and have six children. One of their children is disabled and confined to a wheel chair. James was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. They own a home that functions as a multiple family home. They have two apartments upstairs. One apartment they have James’ parents stay in and the other they are renting to a newly married couple. James and Karen have been living in this home for 5 years. I was able to interview them and get their insight and knowledge on their transition to marriage and advise.
        Some of the early issues in James and Karen’s marriage is Karen had unrealistic expectations that their marriage had to be perfect like her parents of 45 years married has. They also had troubles combining their schedules at first. Since they were able to date and spend so much time together before they were married it was easy for James to live with Karen after marriage.
        James and Karen said it was easy for them to divide the responsibilities because they already knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses. James loves to cook, so if Karen started cooking, James would usually step in and finish it. Karen can function off of little sleep better than James, so when they started having children Karen volunteered to get up with the children during the night and James picked up the slack the next day when Karen was tired. James says, “I am a fire breathing dragon and not too pleasant to be around if I haven’t gotten’ a full eight hours of sleep.”
        Karen along with James were both able to express how one should prepare for marriage and what they should do to have a good marriage. Karen says, “Having expectations that are realistic for each other can be huge!” Also, Karen goes on to say that if both people are willing to compromise and look to understand one another, they are able to solve problems faster. The main things that make their marriage successful is they focus on the eternal aspect of their covenant marriage, incredible sex, communication patterns, and date nights weekly.
        Some pitfalls that Karen mentioned that people should avoid in transitioning to marriage, fall back on your own personal expectations and communicating those early on. James agreed and mentions that some red flags to watch out for before you marry a person is to make sure that person is communicating properly and about everything. James says, “they should always put you first!”
        The only boundary issues James and Karen had to work through were with the in-laws. James suggested that you should never use your parents as a therapist to complain about your spouse. Advise from Karen about this subject is that you should always just respect your in-laws by following their rules at their home. Karen says that you should invite in-laws to important events to include them in your life. Karen also spoke of a time she was trying to understand James and went to his mother to talk to her about him. Karen said that it helped a lot because James’ mother was able to help her understand why James does things a certain way.
        The main shocker for James after marrying Karen was maintaining that “me time”. He knew he still needed it and was able to communicate this to Karen. James also noticed that before marriage he had a lot more freedom. He chose to be married and knows that he has responsibilities now and loves them.
        While looking at James, Karen expressed how she loves that she was able to marry her best friend and see him every day. James feels the same way. After knowing what they know now, James and Karen would do it all over again and get married.
        When interviewing James and Karen I was able to get first hand feedback on their views and ideas about transition to marriage. One thing that I have learned with this interview is that communication is huge especially before marriage. Another thing I have learned is that one must maintain their individualism to avoid fusion. We must celebrate our differences and learn to compromise.  Marriage is something that couples should always be working on. Communicating the expectations early on can help the transition into marriage.
Cited Work
James and Karen. Personal interview about transition to marriage and marriage. 2/18/2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How to Find an Eternal Companion

There are a lot of single adults trying to find "the one", but who sets those bars on who that right one for you should be? I remember listening to my parents on what kind of characteristics and traits the "right one" should have. "The person you date should be LDS, hold a temple recommend, know what they are pursuing in a career, and be a returned missionary. That's great and all but as a single young woman was I really ready to look for "the one"? Are people searching for someone that will fit all of the requirements they list and want? Are people concentrating on the divine qualities of a spouse they have been taught to love and look for? I'm not going to try to argue about knowing what kind of spouse you want and have dreamed of, but I do want to ask you a question....... Are individuals stuck being single because of the high demands on their list? I would answer that with a "no", unless there is some unrealistic expectation like, "their name needs to start with an "R". I believe that the first part in trying to find that right one needs to not start with a list of what you want them to be like or have, yet, the first part of finding that right one should start with you! What do I mean by this? I'll explain.....
There is a talk given by Elder Lynn G. Robbins, of the Seventy, called Finding Your Sweetheart. This was published in the New Era magazine back in September 2003, that has the focus on "Being the right one". I love how Elder Robbins says, "Your success in marriage will depend largely on your ability to focus on improving yourself, rather than trying to reshape your spouse. It will depend more on being the right one than finding the right one. There is greater power in giving than in getting." I love this talk because it teaches what we must do within ourselves to become the right person for someone. If we dedicated in this concept we can have the Holy Ghost guide us in knowing who we should eternally be with. If one practices Christ-like love, and that is the purest love we can come by, we can better prepare ourselves to know who also loves the same way.
Elder Robbins goes on to listing the behaviors to apply to eternal relationships.
Here is that list pulled straight from his talk:

True love—charity—suffereth long.
  • Is patient instead of impatient and tolerant of imperfections instead of intolerant.
  • Is helpful instead of being critical of weaknesses. Charity does not criticize, is not cranky, and does not complain.
True love is kind.
  • Is happy, thoughtful, helpful, interested in others, a good Samaritan, merciful, and true love gives comfort.
True love envieth not.
• Is content, frugal, and grateful for blessings; is not covetous, resentful, jealous, or greedy; avoids unnecessary debt; and is a full tithe payer. Charity is not selfish or vain, and it lives within its income.
True love is not puffed up.
  • Is humble and teachable, does not seek attention, praises others, does not murmur or belittle.
True love doth not behave itself unseemly.
  • Is courteous, well-mannered, reverent, respectful, and mindful, as well as clean, neat, and considerate of other’s property and feelings; is not crude, indecent, or improper.
True love seeketh not her own.
• Is tenderhearted, caring, sharing, sensitive, compassionate, generous, and united; thinks we, not I; listens; seeks to please God; is not demanding, controlling, or manipulative; does not blame; and says, “I’m sorry.”
True love is not easily provoked.
  • Is forgiving, patient, calm, gentle, and respectful; is a peacemaker who does not get angry, irritable, or vengeful; is not abusive in word or deed; does not swear or quarrel.
True love thinketh no evil.
  • Is not judgmental but respectful and trusting, pure and obedient; does not think evil of others by gossiping or finding fault; is modest in thought, dress, and speech; is not deceitful, cruel, or dishonest; avoids inappropriate music, pornography, and dirty jokes.
True love rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.
  • Has a temple recommend and wants an eternal marriage; stays close to the Spirit through regular scripture study and prayer; is responsible; is not light-minded.
True love beareth all things.
• Is bold and patient with affliction and trials (this does not mean that abuse victims should silently bear cruelty or follow a spouse who is disobedient to God); is grateful; does not insult others; is not defensive, irritable, touchy, or grouchy; is not weary in well-doing.
True love believeth all things.
  • Is cheerful; sees the eternal potential of a spouse; makes the least of the worst and the most of the best; shows by actions that there is a firm belief in eternal families; holds fast to the iron rod; has goals, dreams, a vision, and plans for a happy, successful life together.
True love hopeth all things.
  • Is an optimist who looks for the best; praises, builds up, and expresses affection.
True love endureth all things.
  • Doesn’t complain or murmur, is steadfast, accepts responsibility, and is industrious while showing initiative.
True love never faileth.
The Lord is describing a love that deals with our behavior. And behavior isn’t something you fall into or out of. Behavior is something you control and decide. Agency is involved here. —Elder Lynn G. Robbins Of the Seventy

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Proclamation to The World

The Family

A Proclamation to the World

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
  The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
  Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation can be found on:

September 23, 1995 The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles signed and testified to the whole world that this proclamation is what God wants for all his children on this earth. I wanted to bring attention to this Proclamation because I know the family is central to God's plan for us. We need to remember that we are sons and daughters of the Almighty. We need to know our identity and what our responsibilities are as family members. 
A talk was given by Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency in 1995 that I would suggest everyone to read for relative information about the proclamation. I love the first paragraph of his talk. Here is the direct link:  

"Since the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith until September 23, 1995, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a proclamation only four times. It has been more than fifteen years since the last one, which described the progress the Church had made in 150 years of its history. Thus you can imagine the importance our Heavenly Father places upon the subject of this most recent proclamation."

I know that this proclamation was given at a very important time in history. We are now faced with a world that is promoting things contrary to the teachings of God through His servants, who have been sustained as prophets, seers, and the mouth piece of God. I know this is true doctrine, and was, and has always been true doctrine since before we came to this earth. I pray that everyone will seek this out and ponder with in their hearts, that you will all know the truth for yourselves. 

Moroni 10:3-7
" Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.

 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever."

Strengthening Families!!

I love this talk by Robert D. Hales from the April 1999 General Conference. Please take time to read this article or listen/watch it.  Stre...