By Marie Tiller, 10.11.09
“The sweetest union and happiness pervaded our house. No jar nor discord disturbed our peace, and tranquility reigned in our midst.”
~Lucy Mack Smith
~Lucy Mack Smith
The ideal, the goal we all desire, is eternal marriage in the temple, children born in the covenant and eternal life in God's presence. In today's world our families come in all shapes and sizes and we all fall somewhere along a continuum of progress towards the ideal.
Because we and our family members are not perfect, Marie encouraged us to remove our glasses of judging who's going to "make it" or not. We need to focus on the eternal nature of ourselves and our family, to see them as God sees them, to see their and our potential. We need to pray for strengthened ability to love unconditionally.
The doctrine of the “new and everlasting covenant of eternal marriage” was first taught by Joseph Smith to a few close friends on May 1843 and is now found in D&C 132. It holds the promise of marriage being in full force in the next life, if done by the proper authority and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. It promises glory, exaltation, and continuation of seed. “Then shall they be gods.” D&C 132:19-21
Though this may sound overwhelming, then as now, the knowledge was a great blessing to Saints and can be to us.
For Elder Parley P. Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve, a knowledge of this doctrine deepened his love for his family:
It was Joseph Smith who taught me how to prize the endearing relationships of father and mother, husband and wife; of brother and sister, son and daughter. It was from him that I learned that the wife of my bosom might be secured to me for time and all eternity; and that the refined sympathies and affections which endeared us to each other emanated from the fountain of divine eternal love. It was from him that I learned that we might cultivate these affections, and grow and increase in the same to all eternity; while the result of our endless union would be an offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, or the sands of the sea shore. … I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved—with a pureness—an intensity of elevated, exalted feeling, which would lift my soul from the transitory things of this grovelling sphere and expand it as the ocean. … In short, I could now love with the spirit and with the understanding also.The practice
Honoring our parents, loving our brothers and sisters, teaching and caring for our children are all important in God's plan, though sometimes not easy. If we struggle with some relationships, we can choose to change our perspective, to see others as God does, and to learn to love or show our love better.
Remember with gratitude parents who gave us life and cared for us:
When we reflect with what care, and with what unremitting diligence our parents have striven to watch over us, and how many hours of sorrow and anxiety they have spent, over our cradles and bed-sides, in times of sickness, how careful we ought to be of their feelings in their old age! It cannot be a source of sweet reflection to us, to say or do anything that will bring their gray hairs down with sorrow to the grave.Love among brothers and sisters can be sweet and enduring:
I could pray in my heart that all my brethren were like unto my beloved brother Hyrum, who possesses the mildness of a lamb, and the integrity of a Job, and in short, the meekness and humility of Christ; and I love him with that love that is stronger than death.
Parents who love, support, and pray for their children bring immeasurable blessings into their children’s lives:
I have seen an open vision in which I saw Mother on her knees under an apple tree praying for us, and she is even now asking in tears for God to spare our lives that she may behold us again in the flesh. And the Spirit testifies to me that her prayers and ours shall be heard. And from that moment we were healed and went on our way rejoicing.
Sisters, as we heard in Conference last weekend, let us try a little harder to be consistent in our expressions of love to our family, our parents, our siblings, our children and even our ward family.