FAML300

W04: Doctrine of Eternal Marriage: Try, try, try

This week I found that I appreciate a couple of prompt questions that were provided for us in our Marriage course.  I appreciate the simplicity of them, and that they motivate me in regards to my marriage.  I pray that they can enlighten you a bit as well.

What things in particular are you going to implement into your life to ensure that your marriage is a covenant marriage and not a contractual marriage?

Well, first things first…. My marriage is indeed a contractual marriage at this time.  My husband is not a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, but we’re working toward that elder-bednarand I know in my heart that someday this will happen.  With that being said, I live my life and my “half” of our marriage as if my husband is my companion from eternity to eternity.  I read a talk for this week’s reading material from Elder David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles titled “Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan.”  In this talk, I was reminded of several things, but most importantly his reminder that we need to treat our marriages for what they are – sacred.  Am I doing this?  What do I need to change?

I try to treat my marriage as if it is sacred.  My marriage is the most valuable thing that I have outside of my relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ.  BUT, I am not caring for my marriage as I should.  I do not make time each day, each week, or sometimes even each month to spend one on one time with my husband growing together, laughing together, or enjoying one another’s company.  I intend to fix this immediately.

I will say that I had a little heads up from a classmate that took Marriage last semester that we would be able to start having weekly dates with our spouses as part of our course work.  This excited me.  I haven’t had time to have a date, or really I haven’t made it a priority.  My husband and I are both guilty.  When I shared with him the idea, he participated with me in making a list of places we’d like to go together and restaurants we’d like to eat at – by ourselves, no kids!  I don’t want to rekindle what I have, we have a little fire going, but I’d love to see our affection for one another grow as we spend time with one another.  I want to have a great big bon fire.  Isn’t that the idea?  I don’t simply want to grow old on this earth with my husband, I want to grow old and be feisty and love one another like no other husband and wife ever have…. Isn’t that what we should all be striving for?  We are reaching for the temple so that we can have all of the earthly enjoyment of being eternal companions.  I like him that much – in all of his stubbornness, in all of his kindness, in all of his sweet caring ways – I like him just enough to want to be by his side each and every single day for all of the eternities. So, I’m going to start dating him.  This week!  I am so excited!  Thoughts on where we should go first?  Please feel free to share.

 

Next, I want to talk about some big bad wolves.  You know the story of the three pigs and the big bad wolf.  Well, according to Elder Bruce C Hafen, there are really three big big-bad-wolf-at-the-doorbad wolves.  And they are:

  • The wolf of natural adversity
  • The wolf of our own imperfections
  • The wolf of excessive individualism

These wolves are horrible.  We can’t really avoid the first wolf, as it tests our marriage, we have to get on our knees and pray and have our Savior yoke with us so that we can overcome the trials that are put before us in this life.  We all have trials to overcome, and we must.  Remember that no trial that we are given is too much for us to endure.

The world of our own imperfections, however, we can avoid this one.  Elder Hafen tells of a woman who was so belittled by her spouse that she felt invaluable and worthless.  This is unacceptable on two levels.  First, no human deserves to be treated in this manner, and I am confident that her spouse will be dealt with justly on judgement day.  Secondly, and even more importantly, each and every one of us are a child of God.  He made us in His image.  We are made just how we are supposed to be.  Sure we can learn to do more things, we can expand our skills and our knowledge.  We can learn to control our patience level and learn to love deeper, and we should do all of these things that are praiseworthy and of good report.  We have got to remember that are made in His image and we His children.  Each one of us has great value in his eyes.  If you aren’t a parent yet, you maybe don’t quite understand this… but sometime in the natural progression of attempting to be the best parent you can, one learns that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for the benefit of your child.  I mean, just this morning, my daughter was begging me to pay $45 to send her on a field trip.  $45 are you kidding me?  I mean, I don’t normally mind $5 or $10, but $45?  That’s not a field trip, that’s an expense line for the budget.  Nope, she’s not going.  I’m certain it would be beneficial for her, I’m sure she’d learn some great things, and yes, she will be the only one from her class period not in attendance, but I am not paying $45 for a field trip.  I want her to be able to go, I want her to have the benefit of the cultural experience she has been promised from this outing, but I simply can’t afford it right now.  There are a lot of things in life that I want for my children that I can’t provide, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want what’s best for them.  Heavenly Father wants what is best for us, and that is a covenant marriage and a strong family.  We have got to remember the value that we hold in His eyes and never let anyone strip us of this.

Lastly, the wolf of excessive individualism.  I used to know this wolf.  We were even intimate.  He and I may as well have been conjoined twins.  After my divorce, I went searching for me.  I thought I found me, and boy was I wrong.  I went several years with putting my career in front of my children.  I worked hard to provide for them, and I was successful in doing so.  But I had too much time to myself making me who I was – the provider, and not enough time being mom and loving on my kiddos.  I have since remarried and am now blessed with being a stay-at-home mom.  I wish I could turn back the clock and stay a struggling single mom instead of a financially set single mom. I am saddened by the field trips, snotty noses, owies, and meal times that I missed working overtime because I thought that I needed money in order to give my children what they needed.  I was wrong, and here I am now, blessed beyond belief to stay home and finish watching some of them grow into beautiful young adults.  I get to drive them to school, pack their lunches, and attend every single event that they are involved in – because that’s what moms are for – at least this mom.

So, what am I going to do?  I’m going to beat these wolves away.  I’m going to teach my nice-big-bad-wolfchildren of their worth in the eyes of God and I’m going to always strive to be the mom that I was meant to be – divinely appointed to be.  I am going to kiss scraped knees and hug girls with broken hearts and I am going to go to the marching band practices for the next four and a half years.  I am going to love with all of my heart and focus on the gifts and blessings that I have been given from above.  And I pray whole heartedly that you find a way to fight those wolves that are at your door – pray them away.  Yoke with Him.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Standard
FAML300, The Eternal Family

Week 3: Threats to Marriage: Defender of Marriage

I wrote a discussion board post earlier a couple of days ago for my class, and I want to share it with you in its entirety.  I want each of you readers to know, that without any doubt in my mind that you are a child of God.  The topic for this week is same-sex marriage and with that, I will stand in defense of traditional marriage, because that is what I believe God planned for each of His children.  He has also given us agency, and each of us get to choose for ourselves everything from what pair of socks to wear today to whom to marry and even if we will accept that Jesus is the Christ.  Agency is part of the Plan of Salvation and as such, I respect the fact that we can each exercise it according to our own decisions. Here is my discussion board post:

“It took a lot for me to get through the reading material this week.  With 14 credits, three children in the house, dogs, chickens, and a husband … 100+ pages of reading material for one course in a week makes for a challenging week for me.  But I did it!  I finally escaped and went to get a pedicure and during that fabulous 90 minutes with no children, I got through the rest of the Supreme Court ruling and all of Chief Justice Roberts‘ dissent.

This morning (it’s Tuesday) my mom called.  As I read somewhere as a reminder this photobooth_0533week that we have to keep the human element in mind… my mother lives with her same-sex partner and lives in a state that same-sex marriage was allowed prior to the Supreme Court ruling.

I am always very mindful of topics such as same-sex marriage and I have once walked out (maybe stormed out) of a Sunday School class in which the teacher was insisting that we treat those that live homosexual lives as second class citizens.  I have not, nor will I ever. “A person is a person no matter how small” is my favorite Dr. Seuss quote.  I learned this when I was small, and I have practiced it my entire life.  Unless our Prophet stands up and tells me that is what God wants, then I’m not ever going to treat another human as if they are of lesser value in the eye of God than I am.  I am a sinner, my mother is a sinner, and so is each person reading this.  We should not judge one another because we sin differently than our neighbor.

With that rant, I had a great conversation with my mom today.  We talked at length about Moroni 60the Constitution.  We talked about my belief (which she already knew) that leading a homosexual lifestyle isn’t acceptable in the eyes of God.  We talked about what liberties we are given by the Constitution of the United States.  We talked about the snow that has fallen in the Portland Metro Area.  We talked as mother and daughter talk, we each learned some.  I taught my mom about what liberty means, as intended by our Founding Fathers, and she taught me that even though she lives a homosexual life, she isn’t sure that the Supreme Court had the authority to make same-sex marriage a constitutional right.  She believes as I do, that this right belongs to the people as intended by the founders of this nation.

Samantha”

I truly believe that marriage is intended by God to be between a man and a woman.  This is how we create families biologically – which was his intent from Adam and Eve down to Samantha and Aaron.  We read in The Family: A Proclamation to the World issued by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 23, 1995 that “The family is ordained of God.  Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. ”  This is fundamental.

As I was reading other classmates discussion board posts, I read in one that marriage is second to family as a foundational unit of society.  I would like to address that here, as I did when I replied to her post.  Please, feel free to write me back and post here what your thoughts are….  If we were building a house and we put family down first (as suggested by data collected by society) and then we stood marriage on top of that, what was this family founded upon?  The sand, I say.

On the other hand, if you have a marriage that is solid and then you create a family, you have built your house upon a rock.  A church magazine article written by Adam C. Olson titled Built on the Rock can remind us really what it means to build upon the rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ.  Take a minute to read the story and have a little reminder of how truly important it is that we live by the precepts taught by our Savior and through his word by way of the leaders of His church today.

“Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” –D & C 1:38

Remember that we all sin differently, and never forget the golden rule.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Standard
FAML300, Winter 2017

Week 2: Marriage Trends; Divorce: Make marriage work 

For this semester, I have an assignment to write each week about marriage. I wish that I could say that I could write more than once a week, but as you can see from the lack of recent posts, school is taking up most of my free time.  “Hey, I’m a busy lady,” is my current motto and frequently comes out of my mouth when I have dropped the ball on something menial at home.  I think my husband has heard that at least once each day this week.  I feel horrible for dropping balls, forgetting a soda in a lunch kit or not going above and beyond by doing one of the kids’ chore for them because they have a busy schedule too.  But what I don’t feel bad about is that I’m so busy because I am trying to make sure that our little family has a great future. My husband and all of the kids but the youngest fully support and try their best to understand when I simply can’t do everything that I can when I’m not going to school.

My family is pretty awesome.

I would like to take a moment or two and do some quick introductions and some background on myself so you can perhaps understand some of my posts and perspectives a bit.

My name is Samantha (in the plaid) and I will be 40 years old in just about three weeks.  I was married when I was 18 years old and had four wonderful children in this marriage.  Our marriage photobooth_0277ended in divorce after 13 years.  The kids’ father moved out of state which made visitations very difficult and then he stopped contacting the children completely.  It was a long while that we didn’t hear from him.  I was remarried (to a great guy) almost four years after the divorce was finalized.  At the time I remarried, the kids were 16, 11, 10, and 8.  My husband and I then had a little girl about a year after we were married.

I was born into a family and was raised to believe that having religion in one’s life is a crutch.  Believing or having faith in something other than yourself and your family would make you a co-dependent person, and we were to be independent young ladies and we didn’t NEED to have anyone in our lives, we could do it on our own.  And so we can, but none of us are truly independent, are we?

God made Eve so that Adam would have a help meet, an eternal companion.  He would not be alone.  We are not meant to be alone, but we are meant to have eternal companions, as Adam did.  We are to cleave unto our spouses, we are to be married and create a relationship between one another as we work together to grow closer to God, and become one. Here’s a little clip that talks about the importance of eternal marriage given by a leader of the Latter-day Saint Church in April 2003.  The institute of marriage hasn’t changed in God’s eyes since Adam, so they certainly haven’t changed since he spoke almost 14 years ago.

This week in my class, simply titled “Marriage,” we read a lot of statistics and information regarding the family as the basic unit of society and the ways that it is falling apart.  We are paying a disservice to our heritage by continuing to live in cohabitation arrangements and not committing to marriage prior to having children.  While I know that this is not the popular viewpoint (note: I don’t really care), we need to make this a priority in our culture, in our towns, cities, counties, states, nation, continent, and planet.

Simply put, children thrive when they grow up with a father and a mother that are married to one another in the same house for the entirety of their youth.  This means from birth to at least 18, and preferably for time and all eternity.

Families are the foundational unit for society.  Families that are built upon the solid marriage of a man and a woman who are committed to one another.  They should love each other and teach their children to love.  The dynamics of an individual family are simply too much for one blog post, so I will part with this thought on marriage: a marriage is celebrated by the communities where they are held.  Weddings are grand and celebrated worldwide.  If marriages were not the beginning of a new foundation with promise of solidarity and future family, then what foundation do we stand upon, other than the foundation of our Savior? He made families, He is of a heavenly family, and he had an earthly family while he was here.  If families were not important, He could have just existed here upon the earth without one.  But as He told John as from upon the cross in Calvary “Behold thy mother!”  Family was so important that as His lungs were aching from the position that he held, that he called upon someone to care for his earthly family.

 

Family is forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

and forever.families-are-forever

Standard
Uncategorized, Winter 2017

New Year, new goals, new me…

Oh my, once again I have gone without writing in my blog.  But here I am, that counts, right?   I am going to say that it counts.

I worked hard on my blog last school year and then let it go over the summer break.  When I left the Pathway program and matriculated over to BYU-Idaho to take 15 credits in Fall semester, I really just simply let this blog fall off of my plate and onto the floor.  Winter term starts tomorrow, and my online courses opened on 12/31 for access, and I am here to say that I am taking 14 credits this semester and one of them needs me to blog…. say what? Blog?  I can blog, if I remember to blog.  I actually love blogging!  So we’re going to take a little turn, but it isn’t a big one.

I think I posted before, somewhere, that I am majoring in Marriage and Family Studies.  I am currently a junior and am beginning to take my advanced courses for my major.  This semester promises to be full and challenging, with this little quiet blog of mine to be one of those challenges.  With the turn, I will move from being focused on different aspects of scripture study to marriage.  Why do I say that this isn’t a big turn?  Well, because family is central to God’s plan, and without marriage – between a man and a woman – the family will cease to exist.  So this semester, beginning right now, we shall focus on posts that relate to marriage.

I pray that each of you are well, and that this post reaches all 8 of you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Samantha

Standard