Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fml300-03 The Prize Ain't Free

         In the book, "Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage", by H. Wallace Goddard, PhD, it says, "Most of us want the prize without paying the price"(p.40). Later in the same chapter, chapter 2, it says, "In striking the marriage bargain, we are (unknowingly)giving up the egocentrisms of childhood in favor of the charity of Godhood. We make a covenantal step toward unselfishnes"(p.43).  This is something that I think about a lot. In marriage, we are given the greatest opportunity to become like our Heavenly Father and like Jesus Christ; selfless and being able to truly understand charity.
       Marriage is hard, but it also can be so fun! Before getting married, Rybot and I had a lot of fun. We were going to school at BYU-Idaho and somehow seemed to have plenty of free time. We spent a lot of time in one of the large buildings on campus reading, talking, analyzing the artwork, dreaming, and building our love maps. Love Map is a term from Dr. Gottman's book, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work". He says, "...emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other's world. I call this having a richly detailed love map--my term for that part of your brain where you store all the relevant information about your partner's life" (p. 54). 

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         Before marriage we easily and freely build our love maps of our future spouse. This is something that I hope is common practice. The thing about love maps is that they must be constantly updated to be able to strengthen our marriages. Within Dr. Gottman's book there are several questionnaire's or games to play between spouses and as Rybot and I did the first one, questioning some of the significant times in our lives or our favorite things, it was interesting to see the things that we still believed about each other that we had shared over 3 years ago. As I better know and understand my husband, his hopes and dreams, I can better serve him. In the gospel of Jesus Christ we are taught that marriage is eternal, but for it to be eternal we don't just get married and move on; we have got to work at loving our spouse everyday and helping them on their journey. The main idea that I think brings this all together and it works in all relationships is that you must give more than you take; that is charity and that is putting someone else's needs above your own. That is the best investment we can make. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Faml300-03 When Love Leads

                When you are thinking about the bigger picture or remembering that your spouse is your best friend and that you love them, how much harder is it to continue on your selfish rampage, your complaining about the smallest things? In my marriage I am probably (most definitely) the biggest instigator of arguments. John Gottman, author of “The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work” says that this is a genetic difference between male and female. As females, we are accustomed to reregulating our feelings more easily, thus conflict may not bother us as much. A male, my husband, is more likely to shrug off something that is irritating him to avoid a conflict and bringing to the surface ill feelings.
                John Gottman wrote in his book, “Friendship fuels the flames of romance because it offers the best protection against feeling adversarial toward your spouse.” I am so grateful that I count my husband as my best friend. Just because we are best friends definitely does not mean that conflict and petty arguments don’t arise. When love and friendship lead in our marriages, we learn how to manage our conflicts in a way that does not degrade either spouse. Repair attempts are tricks that are used in most relationships and conflicts. Some are successful while others are not. Learning a repair technique that works in your marriage can be so beneficial.
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                Between Rybot and I, repair attempts vary. One repair attempt I use quite often is any quote that comes to mind from the awesome movie, “Finding Nemo”. This could be something like, “just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”, when we are talking about finances or something else that we just have to swim through in life. During an argument, I urge anyone, especially myself, to take a moment to pause and analyze the way that you personally are escalating the fight and decide to not ramp up the tension, but to listen, maybe use a repair attempt, maybe even back down if you realize you are in the wrong.
                This is so hard for me. I get really emotionally fueled and can go on and on. A couple of weeks ago Rybot asked me what he could do better. I didn’t realize he was talking about one specific thing that we had been talking about earlier. When he asked that, I was already mulling over in my mind the things that were bothering me. I went into a full blown attack, criticizing a million things that he doesn’t do, slacks on, doesn’t reach my expectations on, etc. I saw all life, happiness drain from him. Of course he stonewalled me, meaning he had nothing to reply with. He wanted this horrible attack to cease. So, he left the room and went to start doing dishes. That was what I wanted from him, wasn’t it? I knew I had hurt him, but instead of immediately going to apologize, I continued to walk into the kitchen to throw a few more knives, attack a little more. I probably did this a couple times before I took a minute to bring down the evil that seemed to take over my spirit. I remember thinking, “oh my gosh, I just let Satan totally take over here. How horrible!”  I went into the kitchen and stared at him until he looked up at me, He said he loved me and I said I was so sorry. A little later I told him that Satan took over. That was my little repair attempt.
                That whole conflict would never have happened had I let love lead my words and my actions. He wasn’t even fighting back, this was a one sided attack. I think that is when I most easily go over the top, because I didn’t even have to compete with counterattacks; hey, it’s pretty easy to rub someone’s face in the ground when they are already down there, right?
                John Gottman teaches of the “Four Horseman”, the things that lead to divorce and unhappiness in marriage. These are criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. I encourage anyone to look these up and to focus on how they are dealing with disagreements in their relationships, particularly marriage. After learning about these things, I don’t think any of us are in the clear of using some of these detrimental tactics in our relations.  

Let love lead. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Faml300-03 Covenant Marriage

         In the weeks leading up to marrying my husband, I read some different books that were given to me such as, "Sacred Union" and "Endowed From On High". I went through Temple Preparation in my student ward. I felt as though I was doing a final cram session before the big test. I had a testimony of the importance of temple marriage and that families can be together forever. Temple marriage and sealing is the key to getting to be with our Heavenly Father.

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       Our wedding day was the very beginning of the true test; journey to return to Him. I am learning every day about how to have a covenant marriage and not just a contractual marriage. I am so grateful for the Holy Temples. The temple reminds me of what I and my husband are striving for.

       Less than a year into marriage my husband and I decided that we wanted to start having children. I was able to get pregnant and of course the anticipation began to build. We were so excited. I began to realize that being a wife and mother was really all I wanted. I had always been, and still am to some degree, afraid to voice that, because the world tells us that those things are on the side of what we are to become and do. I was so excited to be able to dedicate my life to being a mother and wife. Just before reaching 15 weeks pregnant I had a miscarriage.
      This was so hard and I could hardly look at my husband, because surely he was upset with me, didn't want a wife who couldn't have a baby, etc. There are so many things that went through my mind at that time. The main thing on my mind was that I was SO grateful to be married in the temple, to be sealed to Rybot for time and all eternity. I knew that all that is not fair or right in the world will be made right, because of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
     Those few months after this, was the first big trial during our marriage. I remember a few months before I had gotten pregnant; Rybot and I had been talking about how wonderful everything was going in our lives. We talked about how when things are going too good you wonder when the trial in your life is going to show up. Well, it did show up.  Rybot stood by me, held me when I couldn't hold it together, patiently waited for me to be able to talk.
    Thinking back on that time, I think of how Rybot exemplified a man in a covenant marriage. He lifted me up, shared his testimony with me, loved me and he does that every day. There are distinct things that make a marriage covenant and not just contractual.
    What I will do to be sure I have a covenant marriage:

  •      Pray for my husband 
  •      Be kinder
  •      Be patient
  •      Serve my husband
  •      Study my scriptures
  •      Repent of my wrong doings
  •     Serve my children and teach them right from wrong
  •     Be joyous in my husband's accomplishments
  •     Be a listener

Friday, May 6, 2016

Fml300-03 Traditional Marriage

       There are inherent differences between males and females. These differences help to form society. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that the family is the basic unit of society. As I think about the unique relationship that occurs in a male-female relationship I think about symbiotic relationships. I looked up symbiotic relationships and found that obligate symbiosis is when two organisms are in a symbiotic relationship because they cannot survive without one another. Without the traditional romantic relationships/marriages of man and woman there would be no survival. To me this makes complete sense and thus of course traditional marriage is all there should be. 

       Now, there are many other reasons why I stand for traditional marriage. Some points being that marriage is ordained of God, not a man-created contract that we even have the authority to reconstruct as well as the point that our in-born emotional capabilities call for the need of emotional and physical intermingling of the two sexes. 

        One thing that I have noticed is that many girls turn to homosexual behavior when they are not getting wanted attention from males or this necessary emotional connection. I watched many girls from middle school into high school strive to be noticed by the boys and soon after they started to “date” girls. Girls are easier to connect with, they could relate better, etc. That is normal, because as girls, we do relate better, we can be comrades. Girls are meant to be friends, able to discuss things, but not to be romantically intimate.  

         In a male-female romantic relationship there is a unique finding in learning to communicate with the opposite sex and becoming more developed. This bonds the two genders together. The bond is being lost with all of the homosexual relations occurring. The world is telling us that everything is more open now and that differences are being dissolved. Why would we want to dissolve the inherent differences? Those differences between male and female are vitally important. Women are better than men at many things and men are better than women at other things. There is a reason there is man and woman and not one neutral gender. Masculinity and femininity cover all of the emotional needs and understandings of the world.   

       President Russell M. Nelson said, “Male and female are created for what they can do and become, together. It takes a man and a woman to bring a child into the world. Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable. Men and women are distinct and complementary. Children deserve a chance to grow up with both a mom and a dad.”

      The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, “ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

      It is easy to see and understand the opinion that it doesn’t matter what someone else does, it’s their choice, or better yet, 2 Nephi 28:7 “Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.” It makes sense if you do not believe in God. With that thinking there is really no point to most anything in life and ethics of any sort are out the window. Knowing there is a Father in Heaven, a Creator, I continue.

      Marriage is instituted and ordained of God. We, as citizens or members of a court have no place in changing the institution of marriage. Supreme Court Justice Alito, when dissenting the legalization of same-sex marriage stated, “The Members of this Court have the authority and the responsibility to interpret and apply the Constitution. Thus, if the Constitution contained a provision guaranteeing the right to marry a person of the same sex, it would be our duty to enforce that right. But the Constitution simply does not speak to the issue of same-sex marriage.” (Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).   

      President Nelson stated similarly, “God is the Father of all men and women. They are His children. It was He who ordained marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Marriage was not created by human judges or legislators. It was not created by think tanks or by popular vote or by oft-quoted bloggers or by pundits. It was not created by lobbyists. Marriage was created by God!” 
     Why did God ordain marriage and why is it so important? It is through marriage that we can truly become and where the gaps are filled and there is true integrity.

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     President Nelson completed this thought perfectly by saying, “There is great power in a strong partnership. True partners can achieve more than the sum of each acting alone. With true partners, one plus one is much more than two. For example, Dr. Will Mayo and his brother, Dr. Charles Mayo, formed the Mayo Clinic. Lawyers and others form important partnerships. And in marriage, a husband and wife can form the most significant partnership of all—an eternal family.”

       Extra food for thought:

“And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  3 Nephi 12:10

Who’s on the Lord’s Side Lyrics:

1. Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
Now is the time to show.
We ask it fearlessly:
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
We wage no common war,
Cope with no common foe.
The enemy's awake;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

2. We serve the living God,
And want his foes to know
That, if but few, we're great;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
We're going on to win;
No fear must blanch the brow.
The Lord of Hosts is ours;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

4. The pow'rs of earth and hell
In rage direct the blow
That's aimed to crush the work;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
Truth, life, and liberty,
Freedom from death and woe,
Are stakes we're fighting for;
Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
Now is the time to show.
We ask it fearlessly:

Who's on the Lord's side? Who?


The Family: A Proclamation to the World, The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of   
    Latter-day Saints

Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

Nelson, Russell M. (2014, Aug. 14). Disciples of Jesus Christ-Defenders of Marriage. Brigham 
     Young University Commencement.