Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Whoso Shall Offend One of these little ones..., it were better for him that a Millstone were Hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the Sea" ~Matthew 18:6

This is a huge topic to discuss, so I am going to touch on just a few key points. The best definition of abuse I think is this, "Abuse consists of actions or attitudes that are intended to hurt or control."

Physical abuse: "Grabbing or pushing in a sibling relationship is different from such behaviors in a couple relationship." I think this is important to know and believe. I have known a lot of Young adults who thought that "playing rough" with their girlfriend or boyfriend was okay. It is just how they are, but it is wrong. Girls, you don't have to act tough to roll with the boys. You need to be respected and also respect.

In talking about ALL forms of abuse, it is important to know that we still need to forgive the abuser. It's true. Heavenly Father wants us to forgive all, He will decide whether He will forgive or not. So, Forgive, BUT tolerate no more. I emphasized the but, because it is different from me saying, Forgive and tolerate no more. I feel like when I say these two statement they give off a different idea about how your attitude will be after. I have seen in situations, even other than abuse, that you forgive someone and won't accept that behavior anymore...If you are sweet and gentle around the topic and just trust that it won't come back, I feel that it most likely will. It is okay to not trust someone the same. It is okay to be bold in your resolve to accept nothing but respect and better treatment.

If you have experienced abuse in some form, THE LORD LOVES YOU! I love you, truly. Life is hard enough without those kind of trials. Know that you can grow from those experiences, as badly as you and everyone else wish you didn't have to have those experiences, you can be more of YOU, because of them and show real love and compassion towards others. 
Brigham Young said, "Bring up your children in the love and fear of the Lord; study their dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly, never allowing yourself to correct them in the heat of passion; teach them to love you rather than to fear you."

Richard G. Scott: 
"You must understand that you are free to determine to overcome the harmful results of abuse."
Please Please Please, read this talk, by clicking on this link, here. Elder Richard G. Scott says all that I wish I could. His words are helpful. 

"If you give way to your angry feelings, it sets on fire the whole course of nature...and you are then apt to set those on fire who are contending with you." ~ Brigham Young 

"Heavenly Father sees us in terms of Forever."

(In regards to Chapter 24 of the text, "Successful Marriage and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives")

Friday, February 13, 2015

It Is What God Gave You Time For!

       Bearing and rearing children is a divine call and is a gift that brings us that much closer to our Heavenly Father. It gives us a glimpse of how great His love is for all of us. The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, "God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force."

"It is what God gave you time for!" ~Elder Neil L. Andersen  (Click Here for the link to the talk that inspired this video)
     I love this quote. I love thinking about this as we learn that though the world population is at it's highest ever, the rate of childbirth is at it's lowest ever and is projected to continue in decline. We are being constantly told by the media and confused sources that we are overpopulating the earth and we have to back off, but what they aren't looking at is that people are living longer and the group of people that are living longer right now is the biggest group of people we have ever had (baby boomers) and we are getting a false sense of overpopulation. Along with things I have previously shared, we are living in a me society. Everything is selfish and if we continue on this trend, why would we have a desire to have children? The media tells us that children will only hold us back, but I say that this just isn't true. This is what God gave us time for.  

“And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin” (2 Ne. 2:23)."

President James E. Faust said, "...while few human challenges are greater than that of being good parents, few opportunities offer greater potential for joy". Right along with that is what Elder Russell M. Nelson offered, "God has revealed the eternal nature of celestial marriage and the family as the source of our greatest joy."  I have a testimony of the things that these great men have said. All my life I have wanted to be able to be a part of this. To know the joy of parenthood and hopefully someday I will be able to. It is something that I think all of us long for in someway, even if we don't recognize it or don't let ourselves recognize it.  Now, don't forget to remember all of the principles I have and will talk about in other posts pertaining to marriage and children. The Family: A Proclamation to the World also states, 
"Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity."

President Gordon B. Hinckley: "Of all the joys of life, none other equals that of happy parenthood. Of all the responsibilities with which we struggle, none other is so serious. To rear children in an atmosphere of love, security, and faith is the most rewarding of all challenges. The good result form such efforts becomes life's most satisfying compensation." 

Elder Dallin H. Oaks: "Mothers suffer pain and loss of personal priorities and comforts to bear and rear each child. Fathers adjust their lives and priorities to support a family. The gap between those who are and those who are not willing to do this is widening in today's world...We rejoice that so many Latter-day Saint couples are among that unselfish group who are willing to surrender their personal priorities and serve the Lord by bearing and rearing the children our Heavenly Father sends to their care." 

(In regards to Chapter 14 of the text, " Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives")

Between Husband and Wife!

        The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, "...We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."
        David A. Bednar has said, "The natures of male and female spirits complete and perfect each other, and therefore men and women are intended to progress together toward exaltation."    I want to start off by saying, youth, don't be afraid to ask your parents any questions that you have. Yeah, they may freak out or act weird, but that is because they know the previous two statements to be true and something that close to their heart and serious is something hard to discuss with a son or daughter who they know is getting different messages everywhere they turn. To parents, don't freak out. Answer your children's questions matter of factly, share your testimony, let them know that they can ask you what they want. Don't turn it around on them and push for your own answers. It takes a little leap of faith for them to talk to you at all about these things.
       Let me tell you something. Intimacy is so important. And it is so important that it be reserved for your spouse. Intimacy includes the Lord and if you don't save those feelings for the person that you are to spend the rest of your life and the rest of eternity with, it may be tainted. It will be tainted. You can't take it back. You can move forward, with the help of the Lord and through his atoning sacrifice, but why don't we try to skip the heartache?  
(More people wait than you think!)
 The Psychological Case For Chastity
     In the world today we are constantly hearing things about sexual fulfillment and it is an obsession, a very ridiculous obsession. No one needs to be sexually fulfilled. So, reading the above linked article will help you to understand this.
   Intimacy in marriage is something that helps to fill in gaps and strengthen all aspects of the marriage. Three main things that come through intimacy in marriage are connection with God, strengthening bonds, and procreation. President Spencer W. Kimball has said, "There is nothing unholy or degrading about sexuality in itself, for by that means men and women an expression of love".  Youth feel as though they are constantly taught that sexuality and intimacy are bad, wrong, immoral, and just something that is horrid. It is not true, but it is something that cannot and should not ever be tampered with or experimented in anyway, before you have the right to it. You do not have the right to it until you are married. I know that relationships happen and you feel like this is the person you want to be with forever. You have discussed it and there is no way anything will come between you. So, why not? Because, you are not his and he is not your until you are married. I tell you that the pain and sorrow that can come from that kind of thinking, with no reserve is indescribable and is not something you have to go through. The above article discusses this. Sexuality is for between a husband and wife, because if there is intimacy in any other relationship, the relationship is not standing and leaning on the right things. When troubles come, things can't and won't be discussed properly, because the relationship is full of lust and self-gratification. Don't go there.
    Here is a video that I found and she answers a lot of questions very candidly. It is great. Stand strong in your faith and don't follow others. They won't be there later on.

(In regard to Chapter 5 of the text, "Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives")

Communicating Well Through the Dating Phases

      Leave no rock un-turned when you are dating someone. Any type of red flag should be discussed. Does that seem weird? I think that many people are afraid to over step boundaries when they are dating with questions, but if you are getting to know this person and wanting to know if you should progress the relationship, you have the right to know what ever you think is important. You should be comfortable with this person enough that you can have real, meaningful conversations.   Let's back it up just a bit. There are steps to dating and many times some steps are skipped. There is a trend going on of skipping straight to exclusive courtship and being intimate in ways, such as holding hands and kissing.
      Take time to get to know the person, dating others as well and not rushing anything. It is a nice stage of dating that is more carefree and has less emotional drainage. Learn the important things first so that you don't get too far into a relationship that seems hard to get out of. Do they have a testimony? Do they have a desire to build a strong, happy family?  Once you think that all of the initial questions are answered and you feel you want to move on in a relationship, don't assume. Too often we don't discuss these transitions and it seems like in our culture now, we just assume that we must be boyfriend and girlfriend. I tell you from my experiences, I think that it is something that has to be discussed. Talk about the progression of the relationship so that both parties can be on the same page.
    Be straight forward with your feelings. Tell them how  you feel about the progression of the relationship and that you would like to be exclusive. This basis of discussion is important so that you feel open with being able to discuss all topics.
     Now, relationships can move on from there in two different directions. You can continue on the path that will and can eventually lead to marriage or any time along the path there may be a separation of the relationship.
    This is something that I want to talk about. You have to be straight forward in these situations as well. Do not beat around the bush. Do not let there be a "falling out". You should have no intention of hurting the other person, because inevitably there will be some hurt anyway.
     I am going to share a couple of personal stories in which break ups occurred. I have had all different kinds of break up. I have had the kind that just kind of happen, the relationship fades away. I have had the one where they beat around the bush and don't ever say what they want to say and I have had one where I was very honest and kind and there was still a lot of pain. In one situation I had been getting to know a young man, we were never officially dating, at least I didn't think so since it had never been stated. We were just friends who had gone on a few dates. Well, he asked me out on a date and told me that he was not ready for a relationship, it seemed a little out of the blue to me, as he proceeded to talk about stuff we could do in a few days and asked me to hangout with him and another couple for games in a few days and said he would call me. He said he just didn't want a serious relationship right then. I agreed, because I was not looking for anything serious then. After he took me home that night, he never called me again and wouldn't answer my calls or texts and it was gone. I feel like he beat around the bush, thinking that this was the way to not hurt my feelings. Everyone, honesty is the best policy. It will be painful either way, but leave a relationship, whatever stage it is at, the most honest and caring way you can.
     Another experience was when I had been seeing a young man for awhile, but I felt that the relationship should not progress for various reasons. I asked to meet with him and as we walked I explained the best I could the way that I felt and it was painful for both of us. It is not always only painful on one side of a break up. It was a rough day as we discussed different things, but I parted the best that I could. I tried to leave no question unanswered and said that I was open to discussing more if necessary. After some heartache, we were able to be cordial and friendly.
    Breaking Up without Going to Pieces: When Dating Doesn't End In Marriage
Read that talk no matter if you think you need it or not. It has so much good in it for relationships as they progress and for both directions of progression.

(In Regards to Chapter 2 of the text, "Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives")

The Road of Dating and Finding "The One"

    I just want to say one thing to begin that someone told me when I was entering my dating years that has really helped me and if remembered ALL THE TIME, can save so much heartache and also just help us to get to know people and date the right way.
    To remember: Be respectful of the person you are "dating" or on a date with; chances are the future husband or wife of someone else and you have a responsibility to take care of them.
     Now, something that has been happening ever increasingly in our culture is a decrease in dating, an increase in hanging out, an increase in promiscuity, and an increase of marital age. Now if we think about General Conference talks, these topics are discussed quite often and the leaders of the church are against these trends.
   I want to point something out. There are ideas about these trends that lend us to follow them. The world is telling us that we have got to be at the top. We need to be well on our way to where we are going, know where we are going, and let nothing stand in our way. It seems that a message that goes along with that is that marriage is going to hold us back too much from what we really want. I want to tell you, no. Marriage will help you become all that you are meant to be and you can still achieve those things that you think are important, but you will have a clearer perspective.
   Also, no body wants to get married or go on dates, because that starts the potential for marriage, because they don't feel they are done with their single years. "Single years" is a totally new thing. We have created a whole new stage in life between childhood(teenage years) and adulthood. This is emerging adulthood, but I see it as those without courage, an unwillingness to grow up. It is all me centered. I know that some people are not purposefully staying unwed well into adulthood, but there is a large majority that is putting forth little to no effort.

DATE:  It takes practice! So date a lot. View that article about the importance of a lot of dates. You are habit forming in high school so date right. Boys, ask girls out a lot and don't stick with one girl. Ask them all out. Do fun and simple things. One of the funnest dates I went on was one where there were two couples and we split up at Walmart, each with a $5 limit to pick items to make a "gross" dinner and then make it for the other couple. It was so fun and there was time to joke and have a good time. A date can be as simple as walking around at a park, walking around the mall and making up different games.

Cohabitation: This is something that is ever increasingly important to address. We keep feeding this lie that cohabiting is good and okay, because it helps us know all the evidence if a future marriage would work out. Well, no, cohabiting couples that eventually marry are WAY more likely to end in divorce than those who don't live together previously. You enter a cohabitation situation with an escape route and as you just happen to decide that marriage will be okay, you or your partner or both, never really get rid of that back door attitude. We should never allow divorce to be an option before ever getting married.
     So, one thing that I think we are so consumed with is finding the right person to marry. We want that one perfect person. Well, they aren't out there. I am sorry. Have you ever met somebody that you absolutely loved everything about? All their mannerisms and everything? Chances are there is something that wouldn't work so well if you were married to them. You don't have to find someone who is absolutely perfect and while you are out critiquing so heavily, you are losing opportunities to go out with some awesome people.
    STOP being caught up in who you will marry and decide today if you are marriage material. Yep, because everyone is looking for that right person, so maybe you should see if you are someone that you think would attract the type of person you want.
Lines of worthiness are important for all of us. We have to be aware of the boundaries and not cross them and if we have or do, follow the way back that the Savior has given us. Make things right in all ways with the Lord and with your heart.
      Jeffrey R. Holland said:   "Do you want capability, safety, and security in dating and romance, in married life and eternity? Be a true disciple of Jesus. Be a genuine, committed, word-and-deed Latter-day Saint. Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril."        If you separate the two, you won't be available to love. You have to learn to truly love yourself and love the Lord, wanting to serve Him and fulfill His will. Otherwise, your heart will not be something that can give what you need to give to your future spouse.

Necessary for you to be happy in marriage and to get you to a Temple Marriage (<--- the way to go):

  • Keep the Commandments
  • Strengthen your testimony
  • Be selfless
  • Communicate
  • Have Courage
(In regards to Chapter 1 of the text, "Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives")

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Why Be Married?

         Let me tell you! One unique way I have come to see marriage is that it is so freeing. How great we feel when we are able to share our deepest feelings with someone, but that is hard! Being married is even better than sharing things with your mother or a favorite sibling. You don't and shouldn't hold anything back. Yes, marriage is about the other person, as I have said before, but in being selfless and looking to help the other person, we become more of who we are supposed to be.
An analogy I came up with is this:
       I like to think of my husband and Myself as a team. Members of a team do not all have the same responsibilities, but all contribute to one goal and each of their roles are vital to the end. Remember when I played Badminton? Well, in two on two games it was very important for partners to communicate and to be in sync with each other. We needed to know that person so well that we knew what their move would be in any given situation and be prepare to back them up and be where they couldn't be. One of us was the front player, while the other was the back player so that we had all of the court covered. One thing that was vital was to know that just because I was the front player didn't mean that I could never step back and take some of the role there or my teammate to come up front and fill in for me. In marriage our husbands and ourselves have very specific roles and they work together so well. This does not mean that there aren't times that we need to fill in and help in the other's role.  In decision making it is important to know who has the background or more experience, who is better equipped for particular decisions. Also, there is no person that you will ever completely agree with on everything. I think it is important to know when to back down and let your husband take control or vice versa. It's a blessing to be able to trust the other and let them lead in their duties and responsibilities. 
      Something I want to focus on is that we are to always see and look for the best in our spouse! Seriously, think of the emotions when you like someone, when you want to marry someone. You want the very best for that person. That is all you want. That is an important feeling. That is something that the Lord wants for us, the best. We are worth that. 
      As I think of marriage and it's importance I think of the reasons why people decide that a certain marriage isn't for them (usually one that they are in) and what comes to my mind is that if you are in pursuit of individual fulfillment, that is why marriage isn't working for you. I really don't think that you can become all that you can or should become on your own though. You won't have the strength you need if you vacate from something that is so important and lasting. 
      click here to see a video about marriage and how important it is and how sometimes it takes a serious event for us to see it. What I say is, don't wait for something to happen and take care of your marriage now and always. 

     We have probably all seen this a time or two, but isn't it profound? So how do we fix it, or better yet how do we keep it from getting broken? We treat it as a prized possession, something we polish everyday. Here is a recording of W. Cleon Skousen and Henry B. Eyring discussing what they have seen as the divine way to converse and come to conclusions. It isn't always argument or differing opinion free, but unanimity can be found and hearts can be at peace. 

     I love this, because we are reminded that we are a team. We see that it is not us against our spouse, but it the two working together towards a common outcome, the best possible. 
   The Lord wants us to become something and it is hard for us to understand the path we go on and how it will lead us to that, earth life is not pain free. I just found a beautiful video that I think has a great message.  
        Dennis Prager is a radio talk show host, author, public speaker, and well known for his political views and stance on moral values. I want to share here something he spoke called The Case for Marriage:       Unfortunately, it is probably harder at this time in history to make the case for marriage on purely rational grounds than almost anything else. And unfortunately, equally unfortunately, it is unbelievably necessary, because so many men and women wonder, why get married? I’m going to deal with some of the objections. 

First, let me just say that this is primarily addressed to men because more men need to be convinced, because women, by nature—yes I believe there is a feminine and a masculine nature—want commitment. Nevertheless, this is addressed to both sexes, but especially to men. So, let’s deal with it: The case for marriage.

Well, first of all, do you want to build a life with someone? It’s so simple, isn’t it--do you or don’t you? I don’t know why people would want to live a life, without having shared it with somebody, or shared it with a series of somebodies over a course of a lifetime.

There’s no comparison: Do you want to get deeper? Do you want to grow up? And I know this sounds a little—almost insulting. It’s not meant to be insulting, but come on—everybody who has married, whether they’re divorced or they are still married, knows, marriage makes you more mature. It can’t have any other effect, because when you’re single, your primary concern, totally understandably, is you: When will I get up? What will I do today? Where will I be this weekend? What will I do? What will I think? How will I feel? What will I eat? But when you get married, it’s "we." That makes you grow up. That makes you a deeper person as well, because the deepest relationship that exists in the world is that of a husband and wife. That is the deepest relationship. I’m not saying that there are no other spectacular relationships and there are no other great friendships. I have wonderful, deep, loving relationships with men I have had my whole life. I love that; I can’t live without that. But there is nothing that quite compares to the depth of the relationship between a husband and a wife.

Now, people will say, "aw, come on, why get married? Hey--I can live with somebody, why get married—it’s just a piece of paper? I love that line: It’s just a piece of paper. To which I always say—let’s say you’re with a man for now for 4, 6, 8 years and you’d like to marry, but he says, "nah, it’s just a piece of paper." I have a great answer for you: "Well, honey, if it’s just a piece of paper, why don’t you sign it?" Because everybody knows it’s not just a piece of paper. There is a world of difference, even though it may not be in one’s heart—there is a world of difference between being married and living together with somebody. Let me tell you something: There is a very big difference between the word boyfriend and the word husband, between the word girlfriend and the word wife, even between the word partner and the word husband or wife. It’s not just a piece of paper.

Now I know all the arguments aside from just a piece a paper: fear of commitment--especially men have this. I understand that; I understand it as a man. Of course, you tell a guy: "this is the only woman you’ll be able to touch for the rest of your life," let’s be honest, it causes men to start to hyperventilate. I understand that. So, you have a choice: Would you like to have a deep, committed relationship with a woman or a succession of women and on your tombstone will be written, "Here lies so and so. He had eight great relationships." I don’t think that’s the better way to live a life, and I don’t think it makes you happier as a man, let alone as a woman.

Oh, and another one: "There’s so much divorce." So what? It’s like saying there are so many car crashes I won’t get a license. Yes, there are car crashes—there are marriages that end up crashing—and everyone is a tragedy, so what? Why is it an argument against marriage? All it is is an argument to marry the right person, but it’s hardly an argument against marriage.

And society needs marriage. Society wants people to take care of each other. It’s better for the world when people marry. Yes, the case for marriage is powerful. The fact that our age needs that case is a very troubling fact. It is simply a better life for society, for me, for the person I’m marrying, for our children, for the world: marriage. I’m Dennis Prager.

  One more thing...Did you know that marriage is healthy? It isn't just the health of society, but actual individual health and well-being is strengthened by marriage! It is true. People have a better sense of self, they are more active, make better food choices, and overall they are happier. Humans are social creatures and that doesn't mean that we need a lot of friends or to be around a lot of people or that we can't have commitment, but it means that we like to have security. 
    I have a strong testimony of marriage and it's importance here and also it's importance in the grand scheme of things. It is a blessing to have someone by your side, helping me to focus, picking you up when you are done, someone you can help, and someone who shares in your joys and holds you in your sorrows. No "significant other" will always be there for you like a spouse. And yes, the paper matters. 

(In regards to Chapter  2 and 7 of the text, "Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives")