In today’s society, normally when a person speaks of getting married, the implied meaning is that he or she will be lawfully wedded to the person whom he or she loves for as long as their earthly lives should last. Sadly, however, there are many marriages that end up in divorce court long before that life event even occurs. It almost seems that it doesn’t take a mighty wind of adversity to break the ties that should bind, but rather any small breeze that blows contrary to the direction that one marriage partner, or both, feel that it should be blowing, is enough for some people to end their marriage.

 

Mormon Love QuoteElder Dallin H. Oaks, a modern day Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, has said, “A good marriage does not require a perfect man or a perfect woman. It only requires a man and a woman committed to strive together toward perfection.” [1] When members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the Mormon Church) speak of getting married, they realize that they are making a commitment to the person who will not only be their soul mate here on earth, but will be their mate for all time and eternity. Prior to getting married they strive to live worthy of being able to be married in a sacred Temples – the House of the Lord – where they can make those sacred binding covenants. Together they strive for and work towards that perfection of which Elder Oaks speaks.

 

In any relationship, and in particular marriage relationships, there will be times of disagreements disappointments, hardships, and tragedys, however, a couple must learn to endure the storms of life together, and not allow the strong winds of adversity to break and destroy their union. It is in those times of trials that faith is tested, and when a person’s faith is tested, if they will but endure, the test of their faith will help to strengthen their testimony. When the storm clouds are the darkest (i.e. in the times of financial distress, loss of income, or illness of some sort) is not the time to give up and give in, but rather that is the time to grow closer, rely on one another’s strengths, and more importantly to rely on and to trust in the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself has said:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30.)

It almost seems that in today’s society there are too many people who have the idea that marriage is a “try it to see if you will like it” type of deal. If the marriage doesn’t work, they believe that they can just make a quick exit through the escape hatch called divorce. Elder Dallin H. Oaks speaking on this very subject has said:

Some see themselves or their loved ones as the victims of divorce. Others see themselves as its beneficiaries. Some see divorce as evidence of failure. Others consider it an essential escape hatch from marriage. In one way or another, divorce touches most families in the Church. [1]

When wrongs have been committed in a marriage forgiveness needs to sought, and the couple needs to work together to heal their marriage. Just as a person treats life as being precious and seeks physical healing from an illness, a couple should view their marriage as also being precious, living thing, and seek to mend any wounds that may have been inflicted in order to heal and strengthen their marriage to prevent it from ending in divorce. Modern day revelation as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 64:9-10 teaches:

Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

Elder Oaks has further stated: [1]

Look Forward to the Mormon TempleI strongly urge you and those who advise you to face up to the reality that for most marriage problems, the remedy is not divorce but repentance. Often the cause is not incompatibility but selfishness. The first step is not separation but reformation. Divorce is not an all-purpose solution, and it often creates long-term heartache. . . .

Think first of the children. Because divorce separates the interests of children from the interests of their parents, children are its first victims. . . .We know that children raised in a single-parent home after divorce have a much higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, poor school performance, and various kinds of victimization. . . .

Under the law of the Lord, a marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages, and if we seek Him, the Lord will help us and heal us.

 

Additional Resources:

 

Strengthening Families

 

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

 

Freedom to Choose 

 

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