Archive for the ‘marriage’ Tag

Priesthood Responsibilities

Reading: “Priesthood Responsibilities,” Elder Claudio R. M. Costa of the Presidency of the Seventy, April 2009 General Conference, Priesthood Session

In worldwide leadership training meeting in 2003 President Hinckley outlined four responsibilities each member of the priesthood carries.  In this talk Elder Costa reviews those four responsibilities, which are:

  1. Responsibility to your family
  2. Responsibility to your employer
  3. Responsibility to the Lord’s work
  4. Responsibility to yourself

As I read this talk I realized that the person who has the greatest influence over how well my husband upholds these responsibilities is me.  For example, my husband works at home so whether he is working when he is supposed to be working is dependent on if I respect his job and not ask him to do other things around the house at that time.  Another example is my husband’s last calling before we moved was a scout leader for the 11 year old scouts.  My encouragement and support as he left us for one night out of the week was a big factor in his fulfilling that calling.

Today I am going to tell my husband how grateful I am that he upholds his responsibilities, and ask him to let me know how I can continue to give him the support he needs.

If you are a priesthood holder, what helps you to fulfill your responsibilities?  If you are married to a priesthood holder, then what do you do to support your husband?

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Celestial Marriage

Reading: “Celestial Marriage,” Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 2008 General Conference, Sunday Afternoon Session

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints families are important.  Families are, quite literally, what it’s all about.  As Elder Nelson says in the talk I read today,

All Church activities, advancements, quorums, and classes are means to the end of an exalted family.

The foundation of any family is a marriage.  God would like for us to be married in the temple.  As Elder Nelson says,

Only those who are married in the temple and whose marriage is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise will continue as spouses after death and receive the highest degree of celestial glory, or exaltation.

When we go through the temple we make covenants with God.  When we keep those covenants we become worthy of the greatest blessings God has to give.

A true celestial marriage takes two worthy people.  Sometimes worthy people are unable to find a good relationship with another worthy person.  Or, sometimes only one member of the marriage remains true to the covenants they made.  It is clear that God will bless us according to the desires of our own hearts, and not punish those who are truly trying to live his commandments.  Elder Ballard says,

Be we all reminded that, in the Lord’s own way and time, no blessings will be withheld from His faithful Saints.The Lord will judge and reward each individual according to heartfelt desire as well as deed.

However, we should not mistake this mercy of God for laxness in his commandments.  It is clear that those who have the opportunity to marry in the temple but who choose not to will not gain the blessings either in this life or the next.  Elder Ballard says,

On occasion, I read in a newspaper obituary of an expectation that a recent death has reunited that person with a deceased spouse, when, in fact, they did not choose the eternal option. Instead, they opted for a marriage that was valid only as long as they both should live. Heavenly Father had offered them a supernal gift, but they refused it.

When I was younger I did not understand the importance of the temple of covenant of marriage.  Perhaps because they did not want to offend members who were not married in the temple, or perhaps because they did not understand themselves the importance, the teachers I had never explained that being married in the temple is a commandment and that if I was not married in the temple that I would never be able to obtain the highest degree of glory.  I really wish they had, because if I had made the wrong choices as a teenager it would have affected me for the rest of eternity.  Luckily, I did resolve to marry in the temple and my resolve carried me through even with an incomplete understanding of why those choices were important.

The part of this talk that pertains most to me right now is Elder Nelson’s comments on how we should honor our marriage.  He says,

Harmony in marriage comes only when one esteems the welfare of his or her spouse among the highest of priorities. When that really happens, a celestial marriage becomes a reality, bringing great joy in this life and in the life to come.

I believe very strongly that the true measure of love comes not in the strength of feeling, but in the level of sacrifice you are willing to make for that person.  When I put the relationship of my husband and I as my highest priority, we are so much happier.  When I put other things ahead, such as my comfort or pride or happiness, then we are less happy.  It’s pretty much that simple.

An important thing I only fully understood recently was that when you put the relationship first, it is different than putting your spouse first.  If you put your spouse first you may feel like you should never tell them when you disagree or when your feelings are hurt.  If you put yourself first you will use hurtful, angry language when you are hurt or angry.  The highest action, and the hardest, is to find ways to talk peacefully and respectfully even when you are both angry and hurt.

Today I am going to tell my husband how grateful I am that we are married and both work so hard to keep our relationship as our first priority. We are certainly not perfect and sometimes we both do things that we shouldn’t, but we are certainly both working on it, and I am very very grateful for that.

This was a really long post as there were so many things I felt were important to write about, thing I wish I had known before, things I am grateful I did know, and things that have made my life what it is today.

How do you keep your marriage on the right course? If you are not married, how are you preparing for a temple marriage?

Honoring the Priesthood

Reading: “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well,” Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 2008 General Conference, Priesthood Session

The next several talks I write about are from the Priesthood Session of the General Conference.  In this meeting the leadership of the church talks to men who hold the priesthood.  This generally includes every worthy male over the age of 12 in the membership of the church.  There is also a similar meeting that is just for the Relief Society and Young Women, which includes all the women over the age of 18 and between the ages of 12 and 18 respectively. Rather than taking more space to give a greater background on the priesthood and how it operates in our church, I encourage those who want to know more about this topic to go here and here.

The priesthood is defined as the authority to act in the name of God on Earth.  In this talk Elder Scott encourages the members of the priesthood to be worthy of this sacred trust.  The one area he emphasizes the most is that they treat the women of the church with the utmost respect, and their wives with love and tenderness.

Elder Scott states clearly that the fact that men have the priesthood and women do not does not imply that women are second class.  He says,

In some cultures, tradition places a man in a role to dominate, control, and regulate all family affairs. That is not the way of the Lord. In some places the wife is almost owned by her husband, as if she were another of his personal possessions. That is a cruel, unproductive, mistaken vision of marriage encouraged by Lucifer that every priesthood holder must reject. It is founded on the false premise that a man is somehow superior to a woman. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The scriptures confirm that Father in Heaven saved His greatest, most splendid, supreme creation, woman, to the end. Only after all else was completed was woman created. Only then was the work pronounced complete and good.

It is clear that when a man acts in “unrighteous dominion” by treating his wife as second class or as property, he is no longer worthy to hold the priesthood and the power leaves him.

Elder Scott made another comment that rings true sometimes for me as well as for other women I see around me:

By divine design a woman is fundamentally different from a man in many ways. She is compassionate and seeks the interests of others around her. However, that compassionate nature can become overwhelming for women who identify far more to accomplish than they can possibly do, even with the help of the Lord. Some become discouraged because they do not feel they are doing all they should do. I believe this is a feeling that many worthy, effective, devoted women of the Church experience.

I am very blessed to have a husband who loves and respects me.  He is always quick to tell me how greatful he is for the work that I do, even when I feel like I am not doing near as much as I should.  His kind encouragement often helps me to feel better when I may feel inadequate.

I do not have the Priesthood, obviously, but this talk made me feel much more greatful for my husband.  I am greatful for all that he does for me, and love him all the more for it.  Today I am going to tell him how much I love and how greatful I am for him.

To the women: What priesthood holders have blessed your life by honoring their priesthood in the way Elder Scott recommends? To the men: How do you honor your priesthood in your every day life?