As the closing strains of “As I Have Loved You, Love One Another…” faded in the air, I wrote down my final thoughts from the messages shared at stake conference this past weekend. The message was clear: Brethren, love your wives. Sisters, love your husbands. Show your love more, use the priesthood in your homes, and men, make sure your wives and children are happy. Where the emphasis was more toward the men than the women, sometimes men get a bad wrap and all the blame ends up on their shoulders.
I’m not being so gallant to say husbands are completely innocent, but Elder Henry D. Taylor said it all in his talk, “Thou Shalt Love Thy Wife with All Thy Heart,” when he said, “It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.” It takes two to tango, and all that jazz, right?
From what I’ve seen and heard, in Utah, there is still this pervasive feeling of Depressed Mormon Women. Women are now quite vocal about their dissatisfaction with life, with marriage, their husbands and children, and so on. There are countless Bandaids of advice that might be offered to both partners, but this quote rang true to me:
Elder Taylor quoted Pres. Stephen L. Richards, who said,
“In the case of marital disagreement, which may lead to separation, the proper remedy is not divorce, but repentance–repentance usually on the part of both husband and wife, repentance for both acts committed and harsh words which have made a ‘hell’ instead of a ‘heaven’ out of the home.”
My husband and I attended our niece’s sealing recently. It’s a very good thing to hear the sealing ceremony, every so often, in a temple of our God. Not only are we reminded of the incredible promises and blessings, which are ours according to our obedience to these covenants made, but young love is refreshing in all its expectation–before real life spoils the picture. It’s a reminder that there is something all of us must maintain over the years of trial, disappointment, and tediousness. Repentance, forgiveness, and more practice.
This story, told by Elder Taylor, illustrates my point. Joseph Smith was unable to translate, because he had gotten upset with something Emma had done earlier in the day. After pacing and praying for a good amount of time, Joseph finally approached Emma and asked her for forgiveness. Emma was the one who did something wrong, but it was Joseph who asked for forgiveness! How can a woman not love that story!?!
My husband doesn’t get mad at me very often for doing some bonehead thing, so this story confirms that when he does, he should apologize first. At least, that was my immediate reaction to this story. Then I realized that it goes both ways. In contrast, I get really mad at my husband for countless little ticky-tac things that he does. Yet, I expect him to be the one to apologize first.
Ugh! Repentance and forgiveness can be so hard sometimes! Must practice more!!
More General Conference Odyssey posts:
Eternity Itself is Laid Bare Nathaniel Givens
“Marriage Brings Adjustments” Walker Wright
Walk in newness Marilyn Nielson
Nothing More Precious Daniel Ortner