Love and Marriage
In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught that “marriage between man and woman is essential to [God’s] eternal plan.” This teaching is found at the very core of Church doctrine and can be traced back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, where God issued the commandment that they should remain together.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that families can be together forever, not just on earth. This is accomplished as husband and wife are not only married but are sealed together for time and all eternity in sacred temples, putting an end to “’til death do us part.” Love and marriage are some of the greatest sources of joy and happiness in this life. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but overcoming trials together allows couples to grow in compassion, charity, and love. As President Russell M. Nelson said, “There is great power in a strong partnership. True partners can achieve more than the sum of each acting alone” (“Disciples of Jesus Christ—Defenders of Marriage,” August 14, 2014).
When dating, remember that a healthy, Christlike relationship is an equal partnership between two people who are willing to make sacrifices for each other and God. Real love is more than mutual attraction; love that forms a lasting relationship is built on a well-established foundation of respect, forgiveness, and hard work. In your personal search for love and happiness in marriage, remember President Boyd K. Packer’s advice when he counseled that those who are dating should “not be distracted by temptation or the fleeting need to be admired,” but that they should instead “seek the pure, eternal love that God has in store for you” (“Eternal Love,” November 3, 1963).
How Can I Love Someone Unconditionally?
Sometimes patience with a significant other can run thin. Whether you’ve gotten into an argument or you just don’t see why your partner can’t put their dishes in the sink, you may find yourself asking, “How am I supposed to love this person unconditionally?” To answer this, we need not look further than the perfect example of unconditional love: Heavenly Father. Despite all our weaknesses and shortcomings, God loves us no matter what. When we love others unconditionally, we do just that—we love them no matter what. While this doesn’t mean you should let your partner’s erroneous actions go unchecked, it does mean that you should recognize the eternal potential in your partner. Try to see them as God sees them—as a being capable of repentance and growth. In doing so, you will find that your love for them and patience with them will increase.
FEATURED TALKS ON UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
How Can I Tell if I Should Marry the Person I’m Dating?
Deciding to marry is one of the biggest commitments you will ever make, so how can you know if the person you are dating is the “right” one for you? As Bruce A. Chadwick explained, “To most of us Heavenly Father says, ‘There are thousands . . . who are worthy to enter my house and covenant to be your eternal mate. You pick one you like who is worthy, and I will give you my blessing’ ” (“Hanging Out, Hooking Up, and Celestial Marriage,” May 7, 2002).
If you both are committed to each other and to living according to the gospel of Jesus Christ, then go to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to help you understand His will. He will send the Holy Ghost to help you feel peace and assurance about whether the person you are dating will be a good marriage partner for you, and you for them.
Finding Greater Love | Gordon B. Hinckley
How Do I Love My Spouse When Our Marriage Is on the Rocks?
All couples face challenges in love and marriage. Contention can spout from innocent differences in opinion or from situations of greater weight, such as financial problems. Whatever the cause, husbands and wives can work together to overcome any challenge when they remember that their marriage is a sacred covenant and responsibility.
Ultimately you have the power to choose how you will react when things aren’t going well in your marriage. Will you respond to your spouse with anger, frustration, and bitterness? Or will you react with patience, love, and humility? As President Boyd K. Packer said, “An eternal marriage is worth every effort it requires” (“Eternal Marriage,” April 14, 1970 ). So don’t give up. As you pray for guidance, the Lord will bless you with an increase of love for your spouse and the strength to overcome your trials.
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What Are Some Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship?
While a quick scroll through Instagram might convince you otherwise, there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. There are, however, a few characteristics that are common in healthy relationships. Some of those characteristics are trust, good communication, compromise, and honesty. Above all else, a relationship is healthiest when partners keep their covenants with each other and God. There is no better way for two people to draw closer together in love and unity than for both to keep the commandments, serve others, and strengthen their individual testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you find that your relationship is unsteady or failing, remember this quote from Elder Holland: “You want capability, safety, and security in dating and romance, in married life and eternity? Be a true disciple of Jesus” (“How Do I Love Thee?” February 15, 2000).
Communicating Within Marriage | Hugh W. Pinnock