Monday, March 11, 2013



Tomorrow is my anniversary. We have been here inWashington DC for seven years and are leaving at the end of the month to return to New Mexico.
When we first came people would ask me, “And what brought you to Washington. The answer was “My husband, kicking and screaming and dragging my feet” I was born in the mountain west and planned to die there. I was told once, the first time I came to this side of the country, “The people in the East are different. Don’t expect them to smile and be friendly. You can go a week without anyone speaking to you at all. “ And this was from someone who grew up in Maryland and had youth activities in this area
When my husband decided to take early retirement  and take a job for the DOE, my mother took my hand and said “promise me that you won’t let us keep you from encouraging Allan to take this job. It was just before her 90th birthday and she was almost blind nearly bedridden from congestive heart failure. After my 91 year old dad, I was her primary care giver. The day before her birthday she tripped on her Oxygen tubing and fell, breaking her hip. In the hospital she reached up and took my hand. “Promise me, that if I die, you’ll take care of dad.
This was a conundrum! How was I going to keep both of my promises to her? She died a month later. Allan was very supportive and told me that I could come back every month for a week if I needed to.
In September after finishing mowing the back lawn I lay down in the freshly mown grass and these thoughts came to me.
In grass, damp,
Newly mown;
Across the sky
I thought
Next year
And heat,
Supposed to be Adventure.

But, I came. And it’s been wonderful! And by the way, people in Virginia are friendlier than those in California or Wisconsin.
In D&C 42:22 we read, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else. This scripture is also found in Genesis.  I would like to expand this to wives also. When I was at BYU I was told that companies like to recruit from BYU because of the quality of, the work ethic of, the honesty of the graduates. But they worried about the wives not wanting to leave their homes, their families. Wives too need to love their husbands with all their hearts, and cleave unto them and none else.

What opportunities are there that could keep us from cleaving unto our spouse and none else?
 President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) said

“And None Else”
Sometimes in marriage there are other cleavings, in spite of the fact that the Lord said, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (D&C 42:22).
This means just as completely that “thou shalt love thy husband with all thy heart and shall cleave unto him and none else.” Frequently, people continue to cleave unto their mothers and their fathers and their chums. Sometimes mothers will not relinquish the hold they have had upon their children, and husbands as well as wives return to their mothers and fathers to obtain advice and counsel and to confide, whereas cleaving should be to the wife in most things.

Some put their children first, or parents, or friends.
Some put their careers before their family, working late hours and weekends.
Some even put their hobbies and church work ahead, filling limited time slots away from their spouses.

Elder Russell M. Nelson said

"Marriages would be happier if nurtured more carefully.

As we Brethren travel about the world, sometimes we see worrisome scenes. On a recent flight, I sat behind a husband and wife. She obviously loved her husband. As she stroked the back of his neck I could see her wedding ring. She would nestle close to him and rest her head upon his shoulder, seeking his companionship.
In contrast, he seemed totally oblivious to her presence. He was focused solely upon an electronic game player. During the entire flight, his attention was riveted upon that device. Not once did he look at her, speak to her, or acknowledge her yearning for affection.
His inattention made me feel like shouting: “Open your eyes, man! Can’t you see? Pay attention! Your wife loves you! She needs you!”

"Marriage is the foundry for social order, the fountain of virtue, and the foundation for eternal exaltation. Marriage has been divinely designated as an eternal and everlasting covenant. Marriage is sanctified when it is cherished and honored in holiness. That union is not merely between husband and wife; it embraces a partnership with God. 
'“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other.”  Children born of that marital union are “an heritage of the Lord.”  Marriage is but the beginning bud of family life; parenthood is its flower. And that bouquet becomes even more beautiful when graced with grandchildren. Families may become as eternal as the kingdom of God itself."

So brethren, your foremost priesthood duty is to nurture your marriage—to care for, respect, honor, and love your wife. Be a blessing to her and your children.

 President James E. Faust said

You might wonder, “How can a marriage be constantly enriched?” We build our marriages with endless friendship, confidence, and integrity and also by ministering to and sustaining each other in our difficulties. Adam, speaking of Eve, said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23).

There are a few simple, relevant questions that each person, whether married or contemplating marriage, should honestly ask in an effort to become “one flesh.” They are:
1., am I able to think of the interest of my marriage and spouse first before I think of my own desires?
2., how deep is my commitment to my companion, aside from any other interests?
3., is he or she my best friend?
4. do I have respect for the dignity of my spouse as a person of worth and value?
5., do we quarrel over money? Money itself seems neither to make a couple happy, nor the lack of it, necessarily, to make them unhappy. A quarrel over money is often a symbol of selfishness.
6., is there a spiritually sanctifying bond between us?

Our loyalty to our eternal companion should not be merely physical, but mental and spiritual as well.”

President Faust continues,.
"Virtue is the strong glue that holds it all together. Said the Lord, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” D&C 42:22.

Divine presence.
Of all that can bless marriages, there is one special enriching ingredient that above all else will help join a man and a woman together in a very real, sacred, spiritual sense. It is the presence of the divine in marriage.
God is also the best keeper of marriages.
There are many things that go into enriching a marriage, but some of them seem to be of the husk of the relationship. Having the companionship and enjoying the fruits of a holy and divine presence become the kernel of great happiness in marriage. Spiritual oneness is the anchor. Slow leaks in the sanctifying dimension of marriage often cause marriages to become flat tires.

Marriages can die from a lack of spiritual nourishment.
There is no great or majestic music that constantly produces the harmony of a great love. The most perfect music is a welding of two voices into one spiritual song. In the enriching of marriage, the big things are the little things. There must be constant appreciation for each other and thoughtful demonstration of graditude. A couple must encourage and help each other grow. Marriage is a joint quest for the good, the beautiful, and the divine."

Even though my husband and I are of different religions, we share the same faith. We encourage each other to be fully committed and involved in our respective religions and participate in each other’s activities. We share and rejoice in the similarities and respect the differences.
We went to sign up for social security this week and the clerk asked us how long we’d been married. He looked at us in shock and admiration when we said 31 years this month. He hadn’t seen that many couples married that long apparently. Where we come from we see couples married 50 plus years all the time. We take seriously "love with all your heart and soul'" Become one. Make him/ her as important as you/I.
Spend time together quality and quantity.

And you should see all the funny looks this old couple gets every week at the Silver Diner, holding hands across the table when talking about the day’s events, listening to the music of our childhood.

Happy anniversary to us.

1 comment:

~T~ said...

Happy anniversary to you!