Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Reflections of the Religious Variety | Married Forever

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"If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on through eternity." President Gordon B. Hinckley 

On Friday Sam and I were privileged to attend the wedding of our good friend Jowanza to his lovely bride Bethany in the very same location where we were married 5 and a half years ago--the Salt Lake LDS temple. They are such a wonderful couple, and I absolutely loved celebrating with them as they entered into a marriage that will last forever {insert hearts, smiley faces, kissy faces, and general happy feelings all around}. With flowers blooming all over the temple grounds and a brilliant blue sky it was the perfect day for such an important event to occur. I enjoyed being there very much, especially with my own husband by my side... remembering the vows we made in that same place so long ago.  

I don't remember a lot of what was said by the sealer (the wedding officiator) or the advice given on our own wedding day (I was too focused on my handsome husband to be...can you blame me?) so I'm always grateful for the opportunity to attend other weddings and listen to the counsel given by these incredible servants of god. Even though I know he was obviously talking to Bethany and Jowanza since... you know... it was their wedding day and all, the advice he gave was something I needed to hear too. 

He talked about the importance of putting the needs of your spouse before your own, and how this simple formula was the recipe to a happy marriage. It sounds easy enough, right? Not always. Especially for me. I think I tend to be a more selfish person. Naturally I am inclined to look out for numero uno. And I have been especially guilty of selfishness as of late due to pregnancy and all of the various ailments that accompany it. As I discussed in my last post, I've been pretty negative lately--wallowing in self-pity rather than focusing on all the good in my life. I've been so caught up in my own woes that I haven't thought much about those around me--particularly my husband who has been so good to me through all of this. 

A few years back Elder David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave an address to the church where he discussed the Savior. Something he said really struck me and I was reminded of it as I started writing. I can't quote it verbatim, but essentially he talked about the characteristics of Christ--one of the most poignant being His ability to turn outward when the rest of us (if we were in His shoes) would naturally turn inward. Or, in other words, even when He was suffering the greatest of afflictions, He still managed to turn His attention and loving concern to others. One of the greatest examples of this unfolded when He hung there in agony upon the cross. Despite his own excruciating pain The Savior still managed to show loving concern for His mother's well being and even asked His Father to "forgive" His trespassers for they knew not what they were doing. Remarkable. He truly is the perfect example of one who was always reaching out, even when no one would have blamed him for turning inward and focusing on his own problems. 

I would do well to follow His lead. 

My trials are minuscule--microscopic!-- comparatively, and I have so much more good in my life to focus on than anything else. I have been blessed beyond measure with a good, kind, loving husband! Basically if you can come up with a positive adjective, it applies to Sam. He's an amazing father and husband (see above for photographic evidence). And, lucky me, we belong to each other forever! I'm so glad that we were able to attend this wedding the other day. I needed it. It was a good reminder of the perspective and priorities I should have. I feel inspired to try harder to be more self-less in all my interactions--particularly in my marriage--the relationship that matters the most. 

Because, as President Ezra Taft Benson so eloquently put it: 

“Marriage. . . is the most glorious and most exalting principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  No ordinance is of more importance and none more sacred and more necessary to the eternal joy of man. Faithfulness to the marriage covenant brings the fullest joy here and glorious rewards hereafter.”


And yes... Klair and I are wearing matching green dresses in honor of the holiday today. We are festive and cheesy like that. Klair loves it when we "are both the same" and I like it when people recognize that she's mine :) 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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