Wayne E. Brikey, in Making Sense of Suffering, compared our discipleship to Christ to a marriage. Marriage can be difficult, and in those hard times, we need to reaffirm our commitment. Similarly, when being a member of the Mormon Church isn’t as perfect as we may have once expected, we must recommit to the savior.
Mormon temple marriage
In Mormon temples, we marry for eternity. We also make covenants to God that we will obey him for eternity. Marriage relationships compare easily to our relationships with God. In a marriage, love cannot thrive where there is no work. Married couples need to serve each other, do things together, work hard for the good of their family, and spend time in working to understand each other. Marriage relationships need to be nourished from the inside by unselfishness and willingness to listen to the other partner. Marriages do not survive without our watchful care.
Temple covenants with God need care, like a temple marriage
Just like some newlywed couples, we sometimes expect our relationship with God to be perfect, and for everything to keep itself up. We love him, after all. But we can’t expect “love” to carry the relationship through for us. God is perfect, and his love will always hold up his end of the bargain-he has already atoned for our sins and still does continually bless us. Our love, however, does not survive without hard work. We need to work with the Lord to serve his Church. We need to serve others with the aid of the Lord. We need to nourish our relationship with God by listening to him, being unselfish in our personal wants, and talking to him.
Even when one half of the relationship is being held up by Deity, we need to constantly watch and care for the bond. If we don’t, it may fail. This relationship is too important to let fall, and it is never the other party’s fault. We can tell ourselves we are too busy, too tired, or too mad to do our part to keep the relationship. People every day do it in their marriages, and we see the results in a high divorce rate. We cannot afford to not reach out, work, and listen unselfishly in our relationships, either with God or with our spouses.
Keeping temple covenants is the key to marriage relationships and relationships with God
As couples work hard to keep their marriages alive, they grow to love one another. Working together and serving each other have that amazing effect. In the same way, we can learn to love God more and know him more when we work with him and serve him. Keeping temple covenants is the key to upholding our end of the relationship, both with God and with our spouses. The spiritual strength that comes from obeying God has great power to heal marriages. Whether the relationship is with an imperfect, sometimes irresponsible, occasionally annoying mortal or with a perfect, loving Father in Heaven, we must do our all to hold up the relationship. Your relationships will always be your responsibility, and you have the power to keep them.