Franz and Gretel are converts of a few years. They have a few of children, and are doing their best to institute all the changes the Gospel brought to their lives, but sometimes they fall short. They also have tremendous extended family pressures against the Church. It has caused rifts in personal relationships, including with their mothers.
Gretel has been a member for two years longer than Franz, and is having some faith issues. Once she felt very strong, and able to hear the Spirit and on track, but she is currently having a hard time balancing the pressures put on her with what the Church requires of her. She knows enough to recall the good, strong feelings she had when the Spirit was strong, and she clings to those, hoping this is just a down phase for her.
Franz is having a hard time. His work is very difficult, and he has had to lay-off some of his crew right before Christmas, on orders from higher-ups. He is struggling with deep family issues and unresolved things from the past. He is a good father and husband, but the stress is starting to effect his little family. He has struggled with the Word of Wisdom, but obediently gave up all coffee and alcohol, and smoking was never an issue. Recently, when the stress was really high, he imbibed in a mild barley beverage. He was honest about this with Gretel, and she chose not to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Gretel and Franz both hold callings in their ward, and both have been in good standing. Things are hard though, and Gretel sometimes thinks they are too hard. Sometimes, she thinks they are falling so short, they may as well give up. She knows this is not rational.
They have not been to the Temple yet, despite being, up until now, worthy to do so. Gretel wonders if some of the problems they’re having has to do with them dragging their feet on getting to the Temple. Franz does not want to go; he says it frightens him. Their entire ward is constantly asking, in jest and in seriousness, when they will be going. They find themselves not knowing what to say. Gretel wants to go, but Franz is barely hanging on, and she suspects this wouldn’t be wise at this time.
There is love in the Franz/Gretel house aplenty, but all is not well spiritually. If you knew them what would you tell them? What would your advice be to this wonderful, but struggling, family?