Creating harmony in your home and with your spouse in a crazy world.

12 11 2008

A unified country… Is it possible? …is it even possible to have a unified home?!  

        My wife and I are consciously striving for the latter, a unified home and it is difficult.  Am I insinuating that we are at odds ends and don’t love each other anymore, no, not at all!  I love Tara more now than I ever knew I could love anyone.  But what we are trying to work on is becoming more unified in purpose and having a greater peace in our home.  Specifically we are to eliminate precisely what the Lord said of a Christian people who initially failed in creating a spirit of unity amongst them; He said, “Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances (blessings)” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:6).

        When Paul learned of the contentions of the members of the church in Corinth, he declared “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).

        Jesus Christ and His Father exemplify the type of unity we should strive for in our marital relationships as well as all other associations we may have.  In the sacred prayer uttered by the lips of Jesus towards the end of His ministry, He prayed not only for us to become unified with each other, but that we might become unified with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

        21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

        22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

        23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:21-23)

          We learn from these verses that by exemplifying the unity that exists between Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ in our marriages and becoming unified in purpose with the Father and Jesus others will come to believe in Christ through our examples.

          The perfect example of the unity I am discussing here occurred in the form of another prayer uttered by our Savior before he took upon himself the unimaginable pain associated with taking the sins of all the world upon him in the darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus prayed, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).   As we become more unified with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ, our prayers will become similar to this one; we will set our own will aside and accept God’s will as our own.

unity-triangle          Excuse the amateur artwork; I don’t include it for its quality, but to teach a principle.  When we enter into a marriage relationship, we each have our own likes and dislikes, opinions, desires, wants, and beliefs of how things should work around the house.  These differences are O.K. (that is usually why you married each other), but are often allowed to be a source of contention when pride and stubbornness is involved.  These differences are symbolized in the picture by the distance between the Husband and wife while at the base of the triangle.  When we get married, we not only commit ourselves to our spouses to serve, love, and strengthen them throughout all of life’s trials, but there is also an implicit commitment to strive to become the best that we can be.  We accomplish this by individually striving to become more like our Savior and drawing nearer to Him.  Notice that when each spouse depicted climbs towards the Savior at the apex of the triangle, the distance between the couple decreases symbolizing a greater spirit of unity between them as their differences melt away and they become more one in purpose.

          I know that through striving to become more like our Savior we can become more unified with our spouses.  I have witnessed this in my own marriage; we are far from the top, but we are closer together than when we started.  I often feel my wonderful wife is much higher than myself and that just pushes me harder.  I love my wife Tara, and am grateful for the wonderful woman that she is.

          I want to discuss further how to rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His infinite grace to progress towards a more unified home. I invite you to check back in the coming week to follow up with this discussion of unity.  For now, I will end with a sentiment that Paul concluded his second letter to the Corinthians with:

         11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect (strive to be like your Savior), be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. (2 Cor. 13:11)






United We Stand – or – Divided We Fall!!!

5 11 2008

Due to the events that transpired in this, “the greatest nation on Earth,” I cannot keep quiet.  I did not vote of Senator Obama, I voted for John McCain.  This is the first time in my life that I have ever sounded my voice by voting. My vote was not based on color; it was based on the issues.  I obviously felt a deep sense of disappointment as the chance of McCain becoming elected seemed infeasible.

What I want to comment on here is the feelings and thoughts that pulsed through my body as I witnessed each candidate take stage once the outcome was certain.

John McCain fought a great fight against great odds and kept positive throughout the whole battle.  I endorse full heartily what John McCain said when he conceded his defeat.  He said: “I urge all Americans who supported me, to join me in not just congratulating him (Senator Obama), but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together and find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity and defend our security in a dangerous world and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.  Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans and believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.”  To remain in a mentality of a divided nation between red and blue states will only hurt this country and prolong the dire condition we are presently in.

I held my breath waiting to hear from Senator Barack Obama.  And it is difficult to express the patriotic feelings that pulsed through my body as I watched such a historic moment and, in my opinion listened to the best political speech of our day.  All I have to say is Yes we can! We can become united, through each of our efforts! We can fix our present economic catastrophe! And we can repair our foreign relations!

I do not agree with all of the policies of Senator Barack Obama.  I am especially fearful of the effects of his tax plan on the wealthy and the impact that will have on our economy.  I also worry about his intensions to generate trillions of extra dollars for an increased size in the central government.  All I know is that in order for this country to progress, we must live up to our name… The UNITED States of America! Compromises will need to be made, but we must come together and stand united, fight for what we believe and work together!