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Friday, June 20, 2014

'Til Death Do You Part


"IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

I have always cringed when I have heard the phrase "Until death do you part."

I know that I am a bit of a romantic and always have been. I think it's my parent's fault because they have always been so happy together. Yes they have had their rough patches but by and large they always loved and respected one another and continue to do so today. They don't talk about an end to their marriage and never have.

Why would anyone want to marry a person they are madly in love with, the person that they want to spend their entire life with, planning to leave them when one of them dies. If we were meant to be that way then wouldn't the pain of losing a spouse be easier? Once their dead you should be freed from those feelings of love, admiration, respect, longing, and desire for their companionship. Yet, I am told, they persist. Generally for the rest of your life.

One of my parent's friends when I was a teenager, we'll call him Larry, spoke to a youth group at our church one time and talked about his first marriage. He and his first wife had fallen deeply in love and desired to marry. During one of the sessions of their pre-marriage counseling with their pastor they reviewed the language in the ceremony, including the "until death do you part" verbiage.

At this point the groom-to-be, Larry, stopped him and asked that he leave that part of the ceremony out or replace it with "forever". The pastor resisted doing so because, as he explained to them, he did not have the authority to bind a marriage past the grave. This really frustrated the young couple because they wanted to be together forever.


Many years later, after their children were grown, Larry's wife was diagnosed with cancer. They fought it as best they could but eventually she passed away. He was racked with grief and relied on his faith to help him through the trial. The deep love he had for her did not diminish after she passed away.

He eventually met another woman, they fell in love, and were married. However, Larry told me that he still profoundly loved his first wife. I have heard similar declarations from others, both men and women, who have lost their spouse. So I ask, why would God imbue us with the ability to develop the soul penetrating emotional connections that form between husband and wife and allow them to continue after we die if we death created a barrier between us or, at the very least, dissolved our union?

While I've never seen beyond the grave I believe with all of my heart that I am supposed to be with my beloved wife forever, not just until one of us dies. That is the a key component to the foundation of our marriage. We are building a marriage that will last forever, not just for the next forty or fifty years. This gives us perspective on the problems we face and the frustrations with each other that we feel. It plays a big role in the happiness we enjoy.

God, as our loving Heavenly Father, designed this life to test us and give us opportunities to learn and progress and He wants us to be happy. He instituted marriage and families so that we could achieve the greatest happiness possible. My marriage isn't "until death do us part." My marriage is forever.


(The excerpt at the beginning of this post was taken from "The Family: A Proclamation to the World")

Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Your Divine Nature & Destiny

"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." 

This post is the third in a series on the family and what Cami and I believe regarding the family. If you haven't already you may want to read the first post and the second post along with this one. It will help you better understand where I'm coming from.

The family is the fundamental unit of society and the marriage is the family's foundation.

I firmly believe that the stronger our marriages are the better our world is. As we invest more time and energy into our marriages our neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries will improve. Core to understanding why marriage is so important is understanding why God instituted families and how He intends for them to function.

The paragraph at the top of this post is the third paragraph in an amazing document titled "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" published in 1995.

All men and women are created in the express image of God. He made us to be like Him because we are His children. He loves us beyond our ability to comprehend and desires for us to live up to our divine heritage and fulfill our divine potential.

To help us do this we are blessed with strengths and weaknesses as well as our gender. Our gender plays a significant role in who we are and who He intends for us to be. To assert otherwise is foolish and mocks He who created us.

I am a man. My dear wife, Cami, is a woman. Our genders help us to understand who we are and what our responsibilities are as well as some of our strengths and weaknesses. I have observed in my own life and in the lives of those that are happily married around me that spouses complement each other. I tend to be impatient and arrogant. Cami is infinitely patient and humble. She helps me have empathy for emotional struggles that others go through. I encourage her to be a little bit more assertive and share her thoughts and opinions. Where she has weaknesses I often am strong and where I am weak she strengthens me.


In happy marriages husband and wife complement each other. A part of my divine nature and destiny is to be Cami's husband (and the best one she could ever want!) and the father to our four sons. A key part of her divine nature and destiny is to show the world, through our boys, that she is an amazing mother and by putting up with me an endlessly loving and kind wife.

We are in no way limited to being only a husband and father and a wife and mother but these are core aspects of who we are and who we are supposed to be. He has ordained this so to be. Cami is also a writer, a chocolate connoisseur, and a subtle yet powerful teacher. In addition to being a husband and father I am also a blogger, entrepreneur, and amateur academic.

We are children of God, created in His image because He loves us. Gender is an essential characteristic of who we are and plays a significant role in our divine nature and destiny.

Now, I need to go because it is WAY past my son, Caleb's, bedtime and he just invited me to catch fireflies. How can I pass on an invitation like that? Wish me luck!

(Read The Family: A Proclamation to the World in it's entirety)


Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Marriage is a Totally Earthly Institution

"...marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and...the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."

In my last post, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," I shared a great document that means a lot to my wife and me and our families. We have a copy of it hanging on the wall of our dining room surrounded by pictures of our family. It's words serve as a reminder to us of what we are striving for (to be disgustingly happy here and be together forever).

The quote at the start of this post is taken from the first paragraph of the actual document, The Family: A Proclamation to the World (yes, I borrowed the name of it for my last post).

I don't plan to begin spouting a bunch of cliches here about homosexuality. The truth is I don't have a problem with it. I do not choose to practice it and I would not encourage others to do so either but we all have agency, the ability to choose, and I know that I make choices that others do not agree with. Like believing in the divine role of families.

I am attracted to one woman, my wife, and know that she is the MOST beautiful woman on the planet. My closest male friends believe that their wives are the most beautiful women on the planet. We are still friends despite the fact that we are attracted to different people. I am attracted to a woman. Being attracted to different people is not wrong in and of itself. This applies to same gender attraction as well.

However, I do firmly believe that marriage is and can only be between a man and a woman for it is divinely appointed that way. Regardless of what mortals decide, God has ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman.

The family is central to God's plan for His children. It is through marriage that children should be brought into this world. It is in a family, where a loving mother and father are present, that all children deserve to be born. A family is the fundamental unit of society. Where the family is weak so is the society and nation and as the family crumbles soon follows that civilization.

What do we learn in families? We learn to communicate, share, and sacrifice. We learn to be patient, forgiving, and kind. We learn to get along with others and compromise. In the family we learn to work as a team, to lead and to follow, and to support and sustain others. Respect, reverence, deference, love, and gratitude are attributes acquired through family life. All of the "soft" skills that are needed to make a society work are taught and learned in the family.

Today we see these lessons being taught in school. We witness examples of disrespecting elders and disdain for authority all around us. In my son's kindergarten class this last year there was a child who walked up and hit the teacher. Thankfully he was five and didn't do any real harm to the teacher but when she asked him why he did it he said he didn't know, he just felt like it. Where do we learn self-control? In our families!

Spirituality is communicated, established, and reinforced in the family. The United States of America was founded on a simple tenet. It is stamped on our money and on our monuments and all Americans know this phrase by heart. Only four little words but their meaning is profound. "In God We Trust." Where do we learn to trust in God? From our families!

No matter your religious creed it is most often in the family that our testimonies are born and grow. Destroy the family and religion goes too.

I declare that the family truly is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. And central to the family is the marriage. If our marriages are strong so too will be our families. If our families are strong we will have strong communities. And strong communities make strong nations and a strong world.

If you want to make a difference in the world start with your marriage...today.



Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

In the fall of 1995 I was eleven years old. I recall it was a Saturday, probably in September because it wasn't raining yet (I grew up in western Washington state and it rains pretty much all the time from October through June). My mom had gone somewhere all dressed up. After a few hours she came back home energized and excited. Weird.

I recall my dad meeting her in the kitchen, kissing her hello and telling her he was glad she was home, and then asking her how it was. "What was?" I thought.

Then she talked to him, animatedly, for some time. I didn't really pay any attention and I don't remember what she told him.

Years later I learned that that day was a Saturday. In fact, it was Saturday, September 23, 1995 and my mom had gone to a special meeting held for all of the women in our church. At that meeting, what I consider to be an inspired document, was shared with the women and then published for all of the members of the church and the entire world to see. It is called "The Family: A Proclamation to the World."

With all of the friends and relatives that I have seen over the last year struggle in their families and in their marriages over the last few days this proclamation has come to my mind again and again. I believe that it contains the principles for happy family life on earth for all of the earth. I would like to share it with you today.

Here it is:

THE FAMILY

A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD

WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
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.
IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. 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.
WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. 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. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.


The proclamation can also be found here, which is where I copied the text from. So, now that you've read it, do you agree? Why or why not? Share your opinion in the comments. I'll be reading them and responding to them.



Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Friday, June 6, 2014

Divorce: Whose fault is it?

Last August I published a post on divorce called "80% of Divorces are Filed by Women." I have been asked a couple of times for the source of that statistic and, even though I know that I recorded it somewhere, I cannot find it. Therefore, I declare that it is one of the 92% of statistics that are just made up.

Despite my lack of organization and utter oversight in misplacing the citation the ten strategies I shared in the post, of ways husbands can do a better job at keeping our wives happy, I still believe are valid. They are:

  1. Tell your wife that you love her
  2. Show your wife that you love her
  3. Listen to your wife
  4. Talk to your wife
  5. Physically acknowledge her
  6. Anticipate her needs
  7. Remember that your wife is the most beautiful woman in the world
  8. Let her recharge her battery
  9. Help her soar
  10. Mind the small and simple
This has proven to be, by far, the most controversial post I have written. I have had numerous comments on the post and received emails from concerned husbands and ex-husbands explaining to me that I am wrong. In October I wrote a response to one of them.

Well the feedback just keeps coming, which I think is wonderful. It has helped me realize two things. First, that men are reading what I write and thinking about it. Awesome! Thank you guys! Second, I realize I was not clear originally. Today I take the opportunity to clarify.

Marriage is a three way partnership. Think of it like a triangle, which is the strongest shape according to engineer friends of mine. One point is God, one is the husband, and the other is the wife. If any of the sides become weak the entire shape weakens. Both husband and wife need to be continually investing time, energy, and effort into their relationship and their respective relationships with God.


For one to lay blame for the collapse of a marriage one any one of the three parties while the other two walk away blameless is naive, however, I recognize that one party can "check out" of the marriage and thereby begin weakening it. I also want to note that God is never the party that checks out.

One of the more recent comments I received was from a man whose wife decided to back away from the marriage. He tried his hardest to help her, to continue to love her; he applied all ten of the tactics above (just because he was trying to be a good husband, not because he had read my list) so well that his now ex-wife told him to stop. However, despite his best efforts she chose to walk away.

Because marriage is a partnership and requires constant work from all three parties and because we are individuals and have the ability to make choices when one party chooses to stop participating in the marriage there is often nothing that the remaining parties can do but keep trying. Hopefully they will come around and change but sometimes, far too often, that does not happen and the marriage ends in divorce. 

Just because the majority of divorces are initiated by women does mean that men are better or worse at marriage than women. And I did not mean to imply that. What I want to emphasize today is that all of us, both men and women, can always do better. There is always a little bit more we can do to show our spouse that we love them and appreciate them. 

Let's all commit to trying a little bit harder today. If we do, I guarantee there will be happier marriages tomorrow.




Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The 7 Year Itch: How Our Year Turned Out (You'll laugh at #5!)

Just over a year ago Cami and I were approaching our seventh anniversary. We had been told that the year after your seventh anniversary is the hardest and that during that year married couples feel an almost uncontrollable urge to stray from their marriage looking for excitement and adventure.

We thought that was a load of baloney. And I wrote a post about it last May. Check it out.

Well, I am here today to report on our year after our seventh anniversary. In just over a month we will celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary and we have never been happier. There have been a few changes though.

First, we now have four kids so there is even less alone time, like for us individually, and especially less alone time for us as a couple. That's okay though, we're making plans to begin leasing them out to others to earn some extra income for the family. Hopefully that will help.

Second, there has been a noticeable increase in physical contact between the two of us. It now happens in the bedroom, kitchen, dining room, the children's rooms, bathroom, and even in the yard. To be honest, I like it but it is exhausting. (I just reread this paragraph and realized that you probably think I'm talking about sex; I'm not. Cami has become significantly more abusive towards me. That's what I mean when I say physical contact)

Third, we are starting to feel old. We make lots of old jokes about ourselves (I turn thirty next month) and talk about all of our aches and pains and if it's this bad now just how bad it will be in another thirty years! Cami is always talking about her gray hair (she doesn't have that much, just a few strands) and I look in the mirror and see my old skin. You know how young people's skin seems so much more vibrant and youthful. Yeah, my skin's vibrance is fading...quickly.

Fourth, our kids are getting old. Our six year old finishes kindergarten next week. Our four year old is reading and will begin some kind of schooling next year. Our two year old is a almost potty trained and is finally speaking in full sentences (now we wish he would go back to gesturing, it was so much funnier), and our nine month old is ten months old! How did we end up with four kids? (yeah, I think it all started with number 2)

Fifth, we have fewer friends. Okay, we probably have the same amount but with more kids and a busier life we see the friends we have less often than we would like and have no time for making new friends. That's okay though, we like most of the friends we already have.

Finally, we are truly, deeply, maddeningly, wonderfully in love with each other. Cami has never been more beautiful, perfect, kind, sweet, supportive, or loving than she is now. I am a little bit more polished than I was a year ago (just a little tiny bit).

Now that we have eight years behind us I'm anxious to hear what others think the next obstacle is for our marriage. No matter what they think, we will not only survive it, our marriage will be stronger in spite of it. Why? Because we are both 100% committed to each other and to being together forever. We don't plan to even let death do us part.

Year nine, here we come!



Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

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