Latter-day Counsel

This power to endure is critical in those two most important relationships we enter into in life. One is marriage; the other is membership in the Lord's Church. These are also unique in that they are both covenant--not contractual--relationships. Elder Russell M. Nelson, Apr Conf 1997

Marriage--especially temple marriage--and family ties involve covenant relationships. They cannot be regarded casually. With divorce rates escalating throughout the world today, it is apparent that many spouses are failing to endure to the end of their commitments to each other. And some temple marriages fail because a husband forgets that his highest and most important priesthood duty is to honor and sustain his wife.20 The best thing that a father can do for his children is to "love their mother." Elder Russell M. Nelson, Apr Conf 1997

President Gordon B. Hinckley made a statement recently that each Latter-day Saint husband should heed: "Magnify your [wife]," he said, "and in so doing you will magnify your priesthood."22 To his profound advice we might couple the timeless counsel of Paul, who said, "Let every one of you . . . love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."23Enduring love provides enduring lift through life's trials. An enduring marriage results when both husband and wife regard their union as one of the two most important commitments they will ever make. Elder Russell M. Nelson, Apr Con f1997

When priorities are proper, the power to endure is increased. And when internalized, those priorities will help keep you from "going overboard." They will protect you from cheating--in marriage, in the Church, and in life. Elder Russell M. Nelson Apr Conf 1997

Three summers ago, I watched a new bride and groom, Tracy and Tom, emerge from a sacred temple. They laughed and held hands as family and friends gathered to take pictures. I saw happiness and promise in their faces as they greeted their reception guests, who celebrated publicly the creation of a new family. I wondered that night how long it would be until these two faced the opposition that tests every marriage. Only then would they discover whether their marriage was based on a contract or a covenant. Covenant Marriage: Elder Bruce C. Hafen (October 1996) Another bride sighed blissfully on her wedding day, "Mom, I'm at the end of all my troubles!" "Yes," replied her mother, "but at which end?" When troubles come, the parties to a contractual marriage seek happiness by walking away. They marry to obtain benefits and will stay only as long as they're receiving what they bargained for. But when troubles come to a covenant marriage, the husband and wife work them through. They marry to give and to grow, bound by covenants to each other, to the community, and to God. Contract companions each give 50 percent; covenant companions each give 100 percent. Elder Bruce C. Hafen, Oct Conf 1996

And yet—marrying and raising children can yield the most valuable religious experiences of their lives. Covenant marriage requires a total leap of faith: they must keep their covenants without knowing what risks that may require of them. They must surrender unconditionally, obeying God and sacrificing for each other. Then they will discover what Alma called "incomprehensible joy." Elder Bruce C. Hafen Oct Conf 1996

Every marriage is tested repeatedly by three kinds of wolves. The first wolf is natural adversity. Second, the wolf of their own imperfections will test them. The third wolf is the excessive individualism that has spawned today's contractual attitudes. Surely marriage partners must respect one another's individual identity, and family members are neither slaves nor inanimate objects. But this teacher's fear, shared today by many, is that the bonds of kinship and marriage are not valuable ties that bind, but are, instead, sheer bondage. Ours is the age of the waning of belonging. Elder Bruce C. Hafen, Oct Conf 1996

The adversary has long cultivated this overemphasis on personal autonomy, and now he feverishly exploits it. Our deepest God-given instinct is to run to the arms of those who need us and sustain us. But he drives us away from each other today with wedges of distrust and suspicion. He exaggerates the need for having space, getting out, and being left alone. Some people believe him-and then they wonder why they feel left alone. And despite admirable exceptions, children in America's growing number of single-parent families are clearly more at risk than children in two-parent families.9 Further, the rates of divorce and births outside marriage are now so high that we may be witnessing "the collapse of marriage." Elder Bruce C. Hafen, Oct Conf 1996