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.

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mormon

Mormon 7

Mormon 7 is a fantastic chapter for doctrine and principle.  Wow!

Every single verse has something… read and learn.  Mormon is not asking questions in this chapter, he is making statements, and I hear them loud and clear.  Here is a bullet point list of what he is telling us that are eternal truths and laws:

  • God will give us Mormon’s words
  • We are of the house of Israel
  • We must come unto repentance to be saved
  • We must not war one with another
  • We must learn of our fathers
  • We must repent of our sin and iniquity
  • We must believe in Jesus Christ and that he is the Son of God
  • We must believe that Jesus Christ was slain by the Jews
  • We must believe that Jesus Christ arose from the grave and that through his death, the sting of death is swallowed up
  • We must know that Jesus Christ brings to pass the resurrection of the dead so that all can stand before the judgement-seat
  • We must know that Jesus Christ brings to pass the redemption of the world and that at judgment day those that are righteous will dwell int he presence of God
  • We need to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
  • We need to receive the Holy Ghost
  • If we believe the words of the Bible, we should believe also the words in the Book of Mormon and vice versa
  • If we follow these instructions, at the last day, the day of judgment, all will be well with us in that day.

What a straight forward chapter written by Mormon.  A fantastic and to the point, “live like this” message.  I do love the words written for us in this day in the Book of Mormon, by the hands of many prophets.

I leave these truths with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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mormon

Mormon 4

Good morning readers!  If it’s your Spring Break, I do hope that you’re enjoying it.  There is flooding about 15 miles to the east of where I live and I know that there are those out there that have been evacuated and are definitely going through some turbulent times.  Please, add them to your prayers.

As we dig in to Mormon 4, please be looking for those eternal truths and doctrinal law so that you can better understand what it is that Heavenly Father has laid out for us.

Verse 5 seems to hold the first eternal truth that I see, and I really like the verse in its entirety: “But, behold, the judgements of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.”   Isn’t that just simple eternal truth?

Thousands upon thousands of men are slain in this battle over land.  Over and over again the Lamanites and the Nephites fight with one another for power and control.  And they are without God.  They kill one another, this is so sad.  If you were Mormon and a man of God, watching this atrocity, would you not be filled with sorrow?

Jumping down to verse 21, could you imagine watching your family be given as a sacrifice to an idol?  I can’t imagine these horrific acts, yet alone have to stand by and watch as one of my loved ones is slain, and to an idol nevertheless.

As this chapter closes, Mormon tells us that he flees to go and retrieve the records from the hill Shim where Ammaron had hid them according the Heavenly Fathers direction, as the Nephites are about to be “swept off by them even as a dew before the sun.”

As for the “purpose” for the picture today… I just found it fitting.  If we understand the doctrine and principle that we are being taught by reading and studying of the wicked ways of men in the past, we should learn more fully how to behave appropriately in this day.

I leave this sorrowful chapter with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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mormon

Mormon 3

Doctrine and Principle is what we’re looking for.

Over the course of the next 10 years the Lamanites and the Nephites managed to not fight among themselves.  During this period, Mormon had the Nephites preparing themselves and their land for protection.  Heavenly Father then gave Mormon direction to “cry unto this people-Repent ye, and come unto me, and be ye baptized, and build up again my church, and ye shall be spared. (verse 2)”  Mormon did as he was instructed and the people hardened their hearts.

Shortly following this, the Lamanite king sent a letter over to Mormon letting him know that the Lamanites were going to war.  The Nephites prepared themselves and set their armies up in hopes to stop the Lamanites from gaining any of the Nephite land.  The Nephites were successful in their endeavors and went back home and cast the dead Lamanites into the sea.  The Nephites were really upset at their losses and swore that they would go up against the Lamanites again and kill them all.  With this, Mormon resigned his position as their leader in battle and “did utterly refuse from this time forth to be a commander and a leader of this people, because of their wickedness and abominations. (verse 11).”

I love what Mormon writes in verse 16 “and I did even as the Lord had commanded me; and I did stand as an idle witness to manifest unto the world the things which I saw and heard, according to the manifestations of the Spirit which had testified of things to come.”  Mormon continues to write unto the people and to us, of this day and those of the future that we “believe the gospel of Jesus Christ (verse 21)”  and “persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgement-seat of Christ (verse 22).”

I testify to you that Mormon was a prophet of God and that his writings and teachings are meant for us in our day. I leave this post with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

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Alma

Alma 38

As I write, I will be trying to use doctrine and principle to study this chapter, as well as the rest of the posts for this week.  If you don’t remember what this is, you can read here and get a quick refresher.

In Alma 38, Alma is talking to his second son, Shiblon.  There is one verse in here, that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints use every now and then as a reminder on a way to live our life.  So, I find this to be a gospel principle.  Let’s get there:

The first principle that we find is in verse one, and is one that we found in Alma 36 as well; that is that if one keeps the commandments of God, one will prosper and if one chooses not to keep the commandments given, one will be cut off from the presence of God.

At the end of verse two is another gospel principle: “for blessed is he that endureth to the end.”  I find great comfort in these words.  To endure to the end, it does not mean to just survive, but to thrive and do your best work right up to the moment that you stand in front of Jesus Christ for judgement.  It means more than this mortal life, it means while we are in the spirit world after this life.  We can know that we were thriving before we made our grand appearance on this earth as we were with Heavenly Father, so we need to continue that happiness and push forward in joy right up to that final moment.

Verse five… I am really struggling with a couple things in my life right now and my goodness these chapters are really pulling my heart strings.  Verse five reads: “I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”  What a great gospel principle!  Now, to focus on application.

Verse 9 “that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ.  Behold, he is the life and the light of the world.  Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness.”  If that isn’t gospel principle, I surely don’t know what is.

Verse 10: “be diligent and temperate in all things”

Verse 11: “See that ye are not lifted up unto pride, yea, see that ye do not boast in your own wisdom, no of your much strength.”

Verse 12: “Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.”  This is the Alma 38 12verse that I mentioned at the beginning of this post.  To bridle all your passions… this doesn’t mean to not do things that you love, but it means to do things in moderation.  I love to crochet, for example, and with this, I could sit and crochet all day long and be perfectly content.  However, then I wouldn’t be taking care of my household duties and motherly responsibilities.  We must keep our passions in check so that we can better serve the Lord.

Verse 14: “Do not say: O God, I thank thee that we are better than our brethren; but rather say: O Lord, forgive my unworthiness, and remember my brethren in mercy-0yea, acknowledge your unworthiness before God at all times.”

Verse 15: “Teach the word unto this people”

Alma’s counsel to Shiblon is just amazing to my heart and fills my soul with great reminders on how to behave and just to be.  As I study the Book of Mormon in detail through this course, I know that I am learning and growing, even if it hurts at times.  Salvation through Jesus Christ will be sweet.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, Amen.

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Jacob

Jacob 1

This week I will begin (and finish) the Book of Jacob, which is the third book chronologically in the Book of Mormon.  I am also using the principle study skill.  As I was sitting waiting oh so patiently at the orthodontist office with my second eldest daughter and my three year old running laps around the waiting room (yes, I’m that mom that lets her child run after a 90 minute car ride) I was able to get some reading in, which is always a good thing that I remember to take my scriptures with me on days like this.

Jacob is one of the younger brothers of Nephi who left with him when the Nephites went their own way to prevent Nephi’s murder.  As this chapter opens, we learn that 55 years had passed since the time that their father Lehi had left Jerusalem at the Lord’s command.  Jacob then explains his purpose in writing on the small plates- a commandment given to him from his older brother Nephi.  I didn’t first see this when I was reading through 1 Nephi or 2 Nephi, but as I am learning, I can now see how this is actually a principle of the gospel.  Jacob says in verse 2 “I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi.” He continues in verse four: “And if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that I should engraven the heads of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people.”  As I was sitting in that orthodontist office lobby, it hit me: this is the same thing that Nephi said.  This is a principle of the gospel.  We should only be sharing those things that are sacred, great revelation and most precious!

Jacob, is a great missionary, along with his brother Joseph, as he says “we”; referring to himself and his younger brother.  Jacob and Joseph preach to the people and “labored diligently” to try and bring Nephites to Christ.  These men understood that it was their duty to share the gospel and to get others to understand that Christ will come and that His blood will be shed for their sins.

In verse nine, Nephi appoints another man to be king in his place and we learn that every man that is to follow Nephi in this seat will also be called Nephi.  A legacy to his name.  Nephi’s mortal life ends in verse twelve.

Jacob shares with us another important gospel principle starting in verse fifteen and continuing through the end of the chapter.  Greed and pride have no place in our hearts. Jacob and Joseph do their best to teach the word of God to those that they can reach through their office as priesthood holders so that they would not be help responsible of the sins of others at the last day.

This wraps up the chapter in two principles.  Chapter 2 has more to bring though, so stay tuned.

I write this in the name if my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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1 Nephi

1 Nephi 12

Sticking to looking for principles and doctrine, this will actually be a short and sweet post.

Verse 16: “the river of which he spake; and the depths thereof are the depths of hell.”  I think this is pretty self explanatory.

Verse 17: “the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost.”  Not far off the straight and narrow path are the mists of darkness and sometimes this mist covers the path, which is why we must hold onto the rod of iron.  If we let go of that rod, we can become so easily lost.  Again, those mists are “temptations of the devil.”  These temptations can blind us and harden our hearts.  I know that is not something that I want in my life.  I want to know that I am living life just as righteously as I can.  If I let go of the rod of iron (the word of God) then I can easily become blinded and lost wandering around a broad road that I’m certain will lead to the great and spacious building or to the filthy river.

Verse 18: “the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men.”  So, what are vain imaginations?  In an address titled “Drowning in the Self: Vain Imaginations and the Great and Spacious Building” Brother Gerald Edwin Hansen III states: “The addition of vain imaginations is often overlooked. But vain imaginations, the narcissistic imaginings by which a person inflates his or her self-worth, are what lead men to the pride more often identified with the great and spacious building.”  I find his description something to ponder on.  Please go and read his talk, he has great  insight and a lot of great examples https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/selections-2007-religious-education-student-symposium/literary-criticism/drowning-self-vain

Verse 21: the seed of Nephi went fourth upon the land in multitudes and he saw “wars and rumors of wars among them.” If you have read or are reading *spoiler alert* the Book of Mormon, there are wars and rumors of wars in further chapters.  Nephi is being shown what is to be, and unfortunately, this means his seed going to battle.

Verse 23: “they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.”   If we look around our surroundings today or if we flip through channels or the television or if we accidentally click the wrong thing while working on the computer, we can see that the people of our generation are a dark and loathsome and filthy people.  We can see idleness and all manner of abominations.  Our society, our world needs the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  We, as His disciples, need to be sharing this gospel and pray for our family, friends, neighbors and nations.  Our world is falling apart and we know from things that Lehi and Nephi have seen that those people that are not grasping on to the rod of iron will dwindle away and wander into the great and spacious building or fall into the filthy river.  Reach out to those that you can, and pray for those that you can’t quite reach.

I know that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I know that this is the restored gospel here on this earth today.  I am so very grateful to be a part of it and to share my insights with anyone who chooses to read.  I pray that you will come to know for yourself that this Church is the one and only true Church on the earth today and that through Jesus Christ is the only way that we can return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father after our time here on earth is through.

I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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