REL 200 - The Eternal Family

Nurturing the Marriage Relationship
and Dealing with Differences in Marriage
Reading Assignments for the course
REL 200 - The Eternal Family
Prof.  Marcus H. Martins, Ph.D.


"Husband and Wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ...

"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."

The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

Matthew 19:3-8 Doctrine and Covenants 25:5, 13-15
Ephesians 5:25, 28-31 Doctrine and Covenants 42:22
Pres. Russell M. NelsonNurturing Marriage
Elder David A. Bednar - Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan
Elder L. Whitney ClaytonMarriage: Watch and Learn
Dr. Marcus H. MartinsWhy Aspire to an Eternal Marriage? (video - 2020)
Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley  #1, 2

Pres. Spencer W. Kimball  #1, 2

Elder Cree-L Kofford

Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley  #3

Pres. Howard W. Hunter
Occasional "Stormy Weather" in Marriage

The Real Essence of Happiness in Marriage

A Newly Wedded Couple Must Be Independent

Newlyweds Must Change Their Lives

There Will Be Differences, But That's Normal

No Unrighteous Dominion in Marriage

Key to Sucess in Marriage
Church NewsTranscript of Interview with President Oaks and President Eyring about Revelation in Councils  (Feb 2022)
Questions for Review

Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley #1
Occasional "Stormy Weather" in Marriage
Ensign, August 1992

We have many failures in the world, but the greatest of these, in my judgment, is that failure which is found in broken homes. Immeasurable is the heartache. The root of most of this lies in selfishness. The cure for most of it can be found in repentance on the part of the offender and forgiveness on the part of the offended.

Every marriage is subject to occasional stormy weather. But with patience, mutual respect, and a spirit of forbearance, we can weather these storms. Where mistakes have been made, there can be apology, repentance, and forgiveness. But there must be willingness to do so on the part of both parties.

Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley #2
The Real Essence of Happiness in Marriage
Ensign, August 1992

I have learned that the real essence of happiness in marriage lies not so much in romance as in an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion. Thinking of self alone and of the gratification of personal desires will build neither trust, love, nor happiness. Only when there is unselfishness will love, with its concomitant qualities, flourish and blossom.

Marriage, in its truest sense, is a partnership of equals, with neither exercising dominion over the other, but, rather, with each encouraging and assisting the other in whatever responsibilities and aspirations he or she might have.

President Spencer W. Kimball  #1
A Newly Wedded Couple Must Be Independent
Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 146;  Ensign, March 1977, p.5

Some who marry never cut themselves loose from the apron strings of the parents. The Lord says through his prophets: "For this cause shall a man [or a woman] leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife [or husband], and they two shall be one flesh." (Ephesians 5:31.)

Parents who hold, direct, and dictate to their married children and draw them away from their spouses are likely to regret the possible tragedy. Accordingly, when two people marry, the spouse should become the confidant, the friend, the sharer of responsibility, and they two become independent. No one should come between the husband and wife, not even parents. ...

Couples do well to immediately find their own home, separate and apart from that of the in-laws on either side. The home may be very modest and unpretentious, but still it is an independent domicile. Your married life should become independent of her folks and his folks. You love them more than ever; you cherish their counsel; you appreciate their association; but you live your own lives, being governed by your decisions, by your own prayerful considerations after you have received the counsel from those who should give it.

President Spencer W. Kimball  #2
Newlyweds Must Change Their Lives
Marriage and Divorce, p. 19

Before marriage, each individual is quite free to go and come as he pleases, to organize and plan his life as it seems best; to make all decisions with self as the central point. Sweethearts should realize before they take the vows that each must accept literally and fully that the good of the new little family must always be superior to the good of either spouse. Each party must eliminate the "I" and the "my" and substitute therefore "we" and "our."

Every decision must take into consideration that now two or more are affected by it. As she approaches major decisions now, the wife will be concerned as to the effect they will have upon the parents, the children, the home, and their spiritual lives. The husband’s choice of occupation, his social life, his friends, his every interest must now be considered in the light that he is only a part of a family, that the totalness of the group must be considered.

Elder Cree-L Kofford
There Will Be Differences, But That's Normal
Ensign, July 1998

Being sealed in the temple is a great start, but it only works as long as you’re both totally obedient to the covenants you make. There isn’t anything about being sealed at the altar of the temple that will stop you from having disagreements on various aspects of your relationship, particularly in the early years.

You’ll face dozens of questions, as all of us who have been married before you have faced. Do you sleep with the window open or closed? Which kind of toothpaste will you use? How much is too much to pay for an item of clothing? What’s acceptable entertainment? And the list goes on and on.

Just know that the hundreds of thousands of us who have preceded you in marriage have gone through lists like yours. We’ve succeeded in resolving most of them and, in some cases, have agreed to disagree on others. But through it all, three things have been very clear to all of us who stand ahead of you in the line of marriage: we made a commitment to God, we made a commitment to each other, and we will keep those commitments.

I don’t mean to imply that being sealed in the temple doesn’t give you an edge. It definitely does! ... As you live the covenants, commitments, and promises you make, you will find that other matters simply tend to disappear.

One thing I can tell you with absolute certainty: whenever there is a difficulty between a husband and wife in their marriage relationship that is serious enough to threaten that relationship, one or the other (or both) is not living the gospel of Jesus Christ. That means that one or both of the marriage partners are not keeping the covenants, commitments, and promises they made at the altar of the temple. If you love God enough and follow His teachings, everything else will work out just fine and you will be blessed to find solutions.

Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley #3
No Unrighteous Dominion in Marriage
Conference Report, April 2002
Any man in this Church who abuses his wife, who demeans her, who insults her, who exercises unrighteous dominion over her is unworthy to hold the priesthood. Though he may have been ordained, the heavens will withdraw, the Spirit of the Lord will be grieved, and it will be amen to the authority of the priesthood of that man. Any man who engages in this practice is unworthy to hold a temple recommend.

I regret to say that I see too much of this ugly phenomenon. There are men who cuff their wives about, both verbally and physically. What a tragedy when a man demeans the mother of his children. ...

My brethren, if there be any within the sound of my voice who are guilty of such behavior, I call upon you to repent. Get on your knees and ask the Lord to forgive you. Pray to Him for the power to control your tongue and your heavy hand. Ask for the forgiveness of your wife and your children.

President Howard W. Hunter
Key to Success in Marriage
Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, p.130

Being happily and successfully married is generally not so much a matter of marrying the right person as it is being the right person. ... The conscious effort to do one’s part fully is the greatest element contributing to success.

Questions for Review

1) What does marriage bring, more than any other human relationship? (Elder Russell M. Nelson - Nurturing Marriage)

2) How can married couples fall short of their full potential?
(Elder Russell M. Nelson - Nurturing Marriage)

What specific actions would strengthen a marriage? (Elder Russell M. Nelson - Nurturing Marriage)

What thought must be kept in mind when a couple faces major differences of opinions, tastes, and behaviors?  (Elder Cree-L Kofford)

Be prepared to present your understanding about this topic to your classmates, and see if you have additional questions to ask me.  I'll be glad to answer them.
This web page was published only as a support for classroom discussion.
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