I remember watching a video clip produced by the Church many years ago. A married woman stated, “I didn’t get married just so that I could get divorced.”
That comment has always stuck with me. I thought about it as I dated. I thought about it as my sweetheart and I talked about engagement, and I sought out the confirmation of the Holy Ghost to help me know I had made the correct decision about my future spouse. I think about it still, even when troubling times pass through our family. I didn’t choose a temple sealing just so that we could give up when it gets difficult.
Marriage can be tough at times, really tough. But marriage is also wonderful! It brings a unique happiness that no other union can equal. Two people who have fully and legally committed to one another then bring children into the world are fulfilling the mandate to multiply and replenish the earth. Marriage is sacred ground. Of course, our enemy would want to break that up however he can by convincing us that if we grow tired of being married, we can put an end to it and that we should seek our own happiness at any cost.
Elder Spencer W. Kimball said, “What is love? Many people think of it as mere physical attraction and they casually speak of ‘falling in love’ and ‘love at first sight.’ This may be Hollywood’s version and the interpretation of those who write love songs and love fiction. True love is not wrapped in such flimsy material. One might become immediately attracted to another individual, but love is far more than physical attraction. It is deep, inclusive and comprehensive. Physical attraction is only one of the many elements, but there must be faith and confidence and understanding and partnership. There must be common ideals and standards. There must be a great devotion and companionship. Love is cleanliness and progress and sacrifice and selflessness. This kind of love never tires nor wanes, but lives through sickness and sorrow, poverty and privation, accomplishment and disappointment, time and eternity”. 1
Love is a wonderful feeling. We long to give it and we yearn to receive it. Love is a mandate in and of itself when the Savior commanded, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:29). Because I love my child, I have to set limits and boundaries. Sometimes that love compels me to set my children free under certain conditions. But my love for my family always has eternity in mind.
We teach the gospel in our home every day. Every day. I teach my kids to call upon the Lord. I urge them to keep the laws and commandments the Lord has set forth because they need to know that the journey back home has boundaries. Because I love them and want to hold them close in the eternities, I choose to teach them the gospel now.
Because I want to go back home to Heavenly Father and receive all the blessings that He enjoys, I get to learn how to deal with disagreement and hurt feelings until I can become more Christlike in my responses. I can learn to look at my spouse not in frustration but as a child of God who is also learning to navigate his spirit in a fallen world. I can learn to have compassion for those around me and lift them up instead of allowing anger or resentment to overcome me. Knowing eternity awaits, I am willing to work harder for the blessings I may not see right now.
Because of the love that I feel for my family, I will give all that I have to prepare them for the rich blessings of eternity in our Heavenly Father’s presence.
- “Love,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual(2003), 154–66