By Rebecca

mormon family happinessThe key to happiness in a marriage is to “adopt each other’s interests and passions.” [1] In a recent family therapy class, I learned that this is one way couples can have happier marriages. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly miscalled the Mormon Church by the media), I understand why Mormon marriages are successful. Modern prophets have taught—

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. [2]

I know when we follow God’s prophets that we are blessed with greater security and happiness. Who doesn’t want God’s guidance in today’s world of increasing divorces, unstable families, and economic troubles? Families can receive added blessings through obeying God’s prophets, and taking the opportunity to prayerfully call upon heaven for help.

Mormon Marriage Doctrine

Most people think of a marriage made in heaven as a rare occurrence in which both parties are deeply in love and highly compatible. We like to think that all our marriages are made in heaven. When a man and woman enter one of our holy temples to be married, they covenant (or promise) they will stay together forever—on earth and in heaven after they die, if they are faithful to each other and their promises to the Lord. [3]

endowment-family-mormonMormon marriages can be “sealed” under the authority of God within an LDS Temple (or House of God). Mormon temples are special places where families can be united and bound together for eternity. LDS families know that “temples are the most sacred place on earth-a place where earth and heaven meet and where we feel close to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.” [4] Mormon families work hard at their marriages because they have an important and “solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.” [2] This is different than finding a soul-mate and hoping that mutual sympathy continues. Under this structure, husband, wife, and children are all servants of the eternal marriage covenant, with the design that not only will they be worthy to be together forever in the presence of God, but that they will all want this very thing. This takes effort and charity. Love grows when it is so nourished. The divorce rate for temple marriages is too high at 6.5 %, but this is very low compared to marriages in America at 50% and marriages among all Americans active in religions at 25%.

Mormon Marriage Tips

A recent Deseret News article reported the key to marriage is simply to “adopt each other’s interests and passions, whatever they are”. [1] Marriage specialist, Dr. John Gottman teaches the same thing in The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (2000). He says it’s important to be familiar with your partner’s world to avoid losing friendship, and connection which can ultimately lead to divorce.

  • Learn what your partner loves to do. [1] What hobbies, talents, and activities most interest him/her? This becomes easy and natural when partners have shared interests and passions. It may be a challenge to learn about your spouse’s passions when you spend the majority of your time raising children. It can also take extra work if you are not interested in a specific type of music, art, activity or sport. But, taking extra effort or time to learn about it, gives a couple more to talk about. Although I have no interest in guns, I know that my boyfriend could talk all day about shooting rifles, pistols and shotguns. In fact, I enjoy watching how excited he gets when he talks about hunting.
  • Have the attitude, “If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.” [1] I feel loved when someone takes the time to listen to me. It could take only five minutes to learn something new about him/her.
  • Focus on your children. Make them your shared “main interest or passion while they are at home.” On dates, you can spend time together focusing upon how to better instill Christian values and standards in your children. If you don’t have children yet, enjoy the limited time you may have before they come along.
  • Enjoy differences of opinions and interests. Allow each other to spend time, money, and energy on personal pursuits. Life would be boring, if a husband and wife were exactly alike. “What could be more boring than that? Let’s celebrate our differences! Let’s learn from each other’s interests! Let’s learn the marvelous marriage synergy of accepting each other’s passions, then adopting them, then loving them.” [1]
  • Include God. “Never let a day go by without holding family prayer and family scripture study… See if it does not bless your home with greater peace, hope, love, and faith” (L. Tom Perry, “Back to Gospel Basics,” Ensign, May 1993, 92). • Keep an optimistic perspective and focus what is going well in your relationship. Mormon marriages work because couples know that relationships are not temporary but lasting.

 

 

Additional Resources:

 

Mormon Beliefs: Why We Build Mormon Temples

 

Visit a local LDS church nearby you

 

How Do I Teach My Children to Work?

 

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