- As soon as something starts to break down or wear out—or even when we simply grow tired of it—we throw it out and replace it with an upgrade, something newer or shinier. We do this with cell phones, clothes, cars—and, tragically, even with relationships.
He shares his thankfulness for a church that values things in our lives and especially the marriage covenant.
- I am grateful that I belong to a church that values marriage and family. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are known throughout the world for having some of the finest marriages and families you can find. I believe this is, in part, due to the precious truth restored by Joseph Smith that marriages and families are meant to be eternal. Families are not just meant to make things run more smoothly here on earth and to be cast off when we get to heaven. Rather, they are the order of heaven. They are an echo of a celestial pattern and an emulation of God’s eternal family.
- Somehow, as the days multiply and the color of romantic love changes, there are some who slowly stop thinking of each other’s happiness and start noticing the little faults. In such an environment, some are enticed by the tragic conclusion that their spouse isn’t smart enough, fun enough, or young enough. And somehow they get the idea that this gives them justification to start looking elsewhere. Brethren, if this comes close to describing you at all, I warn you that you are on a road that leads to broken marriages, broken homes, and broken hearts. I plead with you to stop now, turn around, and come back to the safe path of integrity and loyalty to covenants. And, of course, the same principles apply for our dear sisters.
Of marriage he says that it takes work but if we are willing to put in the time, we will find true happiness in our marriages.
- Those who save their marriages understand that this pursuit takes time, patience, and, above all, the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It requires you to be kind, envy not, seek not your own, not be easily provoked, think no evil, and rejoice in the truth. In other words, it requires charity, the pure love of Christ.
He likens marriage to a pile of rocks. Every rock added will eventually become something greater.
- No matter how flat your relationship may be at the present, if you keep adding pebbles of kindness, compassion, listening, sacrifice, understanding, and selflessness, eventually a mighty pyramid will begin to grow.
Concerning divorce he makes this wise observation.
- Divorce rarely happens when the husband and wife are happy. So be happy! And brethren, astonish your wife by doing things that make her happy.
He encourages us to look for positive things about our spouse and to not focus on the imperfections that each of us have.
- If we look for imperfections in our spouse or irritations in our marriage, we will certainly find them, because everyone has some. On the other hand, if we look for the good, we will surely find it, because everyone has many good qualities too.
Our differences make us unique and although we have many things in common, we are all different members of a family. Everyone should be able to be themselves.
- We may share the same gene pool, but we are not the same. We have unique spirits. We are influenced in different ways by our experiences. And each of us ends up different as a result. Rather than attempting to force everyone into a mold of our own making, we can choose to celebrate these differences and appreciate them for adding richness and constant surprises to our lives.
He shares the secret to saving our families.
- Those who save their families are successful because they counsel with their spouse and family, seek the will of the Lord, and listen for the promptings of the Holy Ghost. They know that what is right for one family may not be right for another.
Finally he gives us some advice for those that many not have good relationships with their families.
- Sincerely apologizing to your children, your wife, your family, or your friends is not a sign of weakness but of strength. Is being right more important than fostering an environment of nurturing, healing, and love? Build bridges; don’t destroy them. Even when you are not at fault—perhaps especially when you are not at fault—let love conquer pride. If you do this, whatever adversity you are facing will pass, and because of the love of God in your hearts, contention will fade. These principles of saving relationships apply to all of us, regardless of whether we are married, divorced, widowed, or single. We all can be saviors of strong families.
There is some great advice in this talk about how to build a stronger family. I start a week long vacation with my family today and I am looking forward to putting a few rocks in our family pyramid. Every little rock will help build something stronger and I am excited to have the chance to grow my relationships with my wife and children. I know that if I do, the blessings of God will be upon me and my family.