Biannually, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints come together to watch living apostles and prophets deliver messages from the Lord to admonish, strengthen, and teach those listening. Whether you are Mormon or believe in no religion, issues in relationships or marriages seem to be pretty similar across the board. Lately, I’ve seen this view of marriage from the world:
Elder Clayton’s talk delivered today acknowledges these problems and gives some helpful and wise admonitions about it. I was a little taken aback but impressed by Clayton’s talk because it was very blunt, and impressed because it made me feel like maybe I’m really not crazy about my expectations or too picky about guys after all. I’ve chosen to highlight some things that were really striking.
If you are reading this and are:
Married: might I suggest measuring your marriage against the principles below.
In a relationship: ask yourself if you and your significant other are on the right track or need to make adjustments.
Single: Are you preparing yourself to make such commitments, or do you have a lot to prepare yourself for?
Clayton starts of by giving some stats: “Successful couples:
1. Attend Sacrament meetings/Church together with their families
2. Plan family home evenings, or a family night out
3. Prayer and scripture study together as a couple
4. Pay tithing – or make some contribution to a charity of some sort”
Here’s a checklist of things to measure up against:
1. A relationship must live by faith. “Faith is the foundation of every virtue that strengthens marriage. Thus keeping the commandments is fundamental is establishing happy eternal marriages”, said Elder Clayton. Whether you believe in commandments or not, there are such things as laws in this country, and things you know you should and should not do in a relationship in order for it to be successful and happy.
2. Humility. “Humility recognizes that no one can change someone else. Humility means that both husbands and wives seek to bless, help, and lift each other and put each other first in every decision.” So I guess this means next time I really WANT a Coach purse I’m gonna have to put my husband’s NEED for a new suit for an interview first huh? I love how he separates them: Bless – what have you done to bless your loved one lately? Help – Do you actively look for ways to help? Lift – have you complimented them or said something to lift their spirits today?
He prefaces the rest with this: “As their duties and responsibilities permit”. If your husband is a doctor or firefighter or enlisted, etc, he might not be able to make it home every night for dinner. Clayton obviously understands that by prefacing it so.
3. Priorities. “Eternal couples make decisions unanimously, entitled to an equal vote and voice. They focus first on home and help each other with shared responsibilities.” Equal vote and voice? There’s no wearing of the pants, and I love it! Determining what responsibilities to share is different for everyone, but I think it’s great when I see couples cooking, cleaning, washing the car, and doing yard work together. Definitely a want for me.
4. “They are focused on cooperation not negotiation.” Hopefully no person in a relationship will feel they have to negotiate to get something from the other, but come to happy compromises. Does this mean he’ll have to go to the ballet with you and you with him to NASCAR?
5. “They turn off electronic devices and help with household duties.” So yeah guys, when your wife asks you to push the pause button on the Xbox to come help with the dishes or hold off your next roll on Dice with Buddies, I hope you do. And gals, you’ll have to put down Pinterest to help the hubs out in the garage.
6. “They read to their children every night and both participate in putting the little ones to bed. They retire to bed together.” I’ve only ever seen this in movies, but it sounds so cute! And romantic. RAWR.
7. Mutual respect and transparency. I never ever thought of transparency as a good thing until i heard the rest of this. The word “transparency” has always reminded me of two things: those horrible clear things teachers used to put up on those ancient light projectors and smear marker all over while your hand almost fell off from writing so many notes, and second, transparent people who are really bad at trying to be real or masking their intentions. He suggests transparency positively in the following ways.
8. “Make decisions about finances together and both have access to all information.” Another want: No hidden bank accounts or money stashed on the side or whatever – unless he’s going to surprise me with a new car or something? And even then what if there wasn’t the money for that? Definitely like this type of transparency, and if you have respect for someone, you’re not going to blow the hard work you’ve both put in on something selfishly.
9. “Prophets teach that marriage partners are FIERCELY loyal to each other. They keep their social media use fully worth in every way. They permit themselves no secret internet experiences.They freely share with each other their social network passwords. They do not look at the virtual profiles of anyone in any way that might betray the sacred trust of their spouses. They never do or say anything that approaches the appearance of impropriety either virtually or physically.”
WOW, just, WOW. I can’t tell you how many guys I know that would never let me onto their computer, let alone any internet site like Facebook. For me, my phone, computer, etc, are all free game. I don’t have anything to hide, especially from the future hubby. But I’ve dated plenty of guys who guard their phone and laptops with their life. Glaring red flags in my opinion.
10. He sums it up with what I think will alleviate a lot of problems: “Establish marriage as first priority. They do not let any person or interest to have greater priority or come before the sacred covenants they have made before God and each other.”
To me, it seems like marriage requires a lot of sacrifice, hard work, and devotion – and I’m ok with all of it. The trick is finding someone else who is, too. Wish me luck!
Topic 9 and the above ecard comics always seems to creates a wave because I’ve heard things like, how do you know he just isn’t deleting history and texts anyway? If you really trusted him, you wouldn’t need to see his phone. If you loved him you’d understand his need for privacy.
I’ve heard all those before, then had an ex-boyfriend admit and show me the texts to another girl he’d been cheating on me with. So, what are your thoughts? Have you had experiences like this you’re willing to share? Any advice on how to handle phones/technology successfully as a couple? What things work well for you in your relationships in addition to what Clayton offers?