Saturday, May 27, 2017

PLAN POTENTIAL: IDEAL POSSIBLE



An ideal is “a standard to strive toward or something considered worthy of imitation … a concept or standard of perfection, existing merely as an image in the mind, or based upon a person or upon conduct …” (Dictionary.com).

Despite media rhetoric implying otherwise,
marriage, "the union of a man and a woman"
(The Family, A Proclamation to the World),
is still a desired ideal as youth become mature adults. 

Annual surveys [i] continue to report that high schoolers plan to marry one day and that having a good marriage is “extremely important” to them. (The State of Our Unions Marriage in America 2012; President’s Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent).

YES, ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE

Is it really possible to have a happy marriage?” asked Courtney from Louisiana, USA in a  worldwide “Face to Face” event with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [ii]

Elder Jeffery R. Holland, a Latter-day Saint apostle, answered affirmatively, and rather emphatically:

"Let me declare unequivocally, absolutely, and adamantly that not only is there such a thing as a happy marriage, but happy marriages are the rule, not the exception. …  
"[N]ot just be happy but … ecstatically happy. … I want everybody to dismiss the idea that somehow this is a mountain that can’t be climbed, it’s a river that can’t be crossed, that there are too many difficulties to address marriage in this day or any day.
That is simply not true.

"You have to work at a marriage. Every good thing that I know of in this world you have to work at.
"God will help you. Of all the things in this world that He will help you with, He will help you with your marriages and your families, because it matters to Him at least as much as it matters to you”
(Holland, Jeffery R., 2016).
A happy marriage may require sacrifice, something good for something better, and may seem too hard if we fail to understand what is possible. Elder Richard G. Scott, also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, adds a second testimonial to the enduring happiness of marriage:


"It is so rewarding to be married. Marriage is wonderful. In time you begin to think alike and have the same ideas and impressions. You have times when you are extremely happy, times of testing, and times of trial, but the Lord guides you through all of those growth experiences together. …I feel sorry for any man who hasn’t yet made the choice to seek an eternal companion, and my heart weeps for the sisters who haven’t had the opportunity to marry.
"Some of you may feel lonely and unappreciated and cannot see how it will be possible for you to have the blessings of marriage and children or your own family. All things are possible to the Lord, and He keeps the promises He inspires His prophets to declare. Eternity is a long time. Have faith in those promises and live to be worthy of them so that in His time the Lord can make them come true in your life. With certainty, you will receive every promised blessing for which you are worthy"(Scott, R.G., April 2011, The Eternal Blessings of Marriage).
The greatest happiness is achieved by obedience to the true principles of God’s Plan of Happiness. “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Mathew 19:26)

ALL THINGS POSSIBLE

Why sink or swim if we, like Peter, can walk on the water by having faith - really believing Jesus Christ. 


And why risk divorce, if you can be good friends? Resolve doubt with faith in this fact: “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).

“Two of the vital pillars," Elder Scott clarifies, "that sustain Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness are marriage and the family. Their lofty significance is underscored by Satan’s relentless efforts to splinter the family and to undermine the significance of temple ordinances, which bind the family together for eternity”
(Scott, R.G., April 2011, The Eternal Blessings of Marriage).

Elder David A. Bednar, a third witness for the enduring nature of marriage and its part in God’s divine plan, reminds us that “The Father’s plan is designed to provide direction for His children, to help them become happy” (2006). 

REMINDER

Elder Bednar reminds of the reality of opposition to happiness by “the father of lies” as the devil attempts to make people “‘miserable like unto himself’
(2 Ne. 2:27), by distortions, and general confusion."  

"'Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose' (The Family, A Proclamation to the World)  and in large measure defines who we are, why we are here upon the earth, and what we are to do and become. For divine purposes, male and female spirits are different, distinctive, and complementary. …

"After the earth was created … God said it was “not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18; Moses 3:18), and Eve became Adam’s companion and helpmeet. 

Adam and Eve, by Jay Bryant Ward
"The unique combination of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional capacities of both males and females were needed to implement the plan of happiness. Alone, neither the man nor the woman could fulfill the purposes of his or her creation. … The natures of male and female spirits complete and perfect each other, and therefore men and women are intended to progress together toward exaltation. …

"As we look beyond mortality and into eternity, it is easy to discern that the counterfeit alternatives the adversary advocates can never lead to the completeness that is made possible through the sealing together of a man and a woman, to the happiness of righteous marriage, to the joy of posterity, or to the blessing of eternal progression” (Bednar, June 2006). 

References:

The Eternal Blessings of Marriage - Richard G. Scott. (2011). Retrieved May 24, 2017, from 
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/the-eternal-blessings-of-marriage?lang=eng

Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan – David A. Bednar. (2006). Retrieved May 24, 2017, from https://www.lds.org/ensign/2006/06/marriage-is-essential-to-his-eternal-plan?lang=eng

Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved May 24, 2017, from Dictionary.com website:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/citation

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,”Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.




[i] Since 1976, an annual, nationally representative survey of high school seniors titled “Monitoring the Future,” conducted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, has asked numerous questions about family-related topics. See http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/ and the Social Indica­tors section of this report.


[ii] August 2016, New Era: You Asked—They Answered: Marriage And Family; Adapted from Face to Face events on January 20, 2016, and March 8, 2016, and from a meeting with youth in Argentina held on February 23, 2016.






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