( “Chapter 18: Honorable, Happy, Successful Marriage,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball)
Let us make two assumptions and one rule.
Assumption 1: Marriage is important for Mormons.
Assumption 2: Marriage is hard work.
Rule 1: In promoting the perfect ideal of the happy celestial marriage, we must not neglect to confront certain realities, viz., that some people will never marry, that some people have endured a failed marriage, and that some people live in unhappy marriages. Tact and humility are vital in any discussion of marriage among Latter-day Saints.
Given these rather obvious assumptions, and not wishing to gild the lily nor alienate some among us, let’s get straight to the point of this lesson and suggest some practical and realistic ways to improve marriages. Anyone who offers vapourish admonitions to “be honest,” or “enjoy wholesome recreational activities,” will be taken outside and shot.
- Enjoy (mormonish) “intimacy” (/mormonish)…
- …more than once a week
- In order to facilitate the above, quit blogging and go to bed
- (But don’t tell us all your sex secrets, we don’t want to know)
- Read (non-LDS) books together
- For date nights, go to rock concerts and mosh
- Be sure to do “dress-up” date nights too, like the opera or the theatre, or a Star Trek convention (Kirk and Uhuru?)
- Dump the kids at every opportunity
- Go climbing, biking, hiking and sleep under the stars
- Once the kids are in bed, make hot chocolates and sit and talk (sans tv)
- Do each other’s chores, something made much less boring courtesy of podcasting
- And, of course, go to the temple
From President Kimball (Ensign, Mar. 1977, 3, 4):
There is a never-failing formula which will guarantee to every couple a happy and eternal marriage…First, there must be the proper approach toward marriage, which contemplates the selection of a spouse who reaches as nearly as possible the pinnacle of perfection in all the matters which are of importance to the individuals. And then those two parties must come to the altar in the temple realizing that they must work hard toward this successful joint living.
Second, there must be a great unselfishness, forgetting self and directing all of the family life and all pertaining thereunto to the good of the family, subjugating self.
Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing.
Fourth, there must be a complete living of the commandments of the Lord as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
With these ingredients properly mixed and continually kept functioning, it is quite impossible for unhappiness to come, misunderstandings to continue, or breaks to occur. Divorce attorneys would need to transfer to other fields and divorce courts would be padlocked.