Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when we save marriages and families. We live in a disposable society where people think nothing of throwing away anything that breaks down, wears out, or no longer satisfies. This happens with technology (computers, cell phones, etc.), clothing, and vehicles. It also applies to marriages. If the marriage no longer works or satisfies, too many people simply throw it away.
In the April 2015 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, spoke about the need to save marriages. He begins his talk with a memory of an elderly couple, tenderly and affectionately, holding hands at the Frankfort Germany Temple. “It was clear that this couple had been together for a long time and their affection for one another was still alive and strong.”
After speaking about our throw-away society, President Uchtdorf says, “I am grateful that I belong to a church that values marriage and family. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are known throughout the world for having some of the finest marriages and families you can find. I believe this is, in part, due to the precious truth restored by Joseph Smith that marriages and families are meant to be eternal. Families are not just meant to make things run more smoothly here on earth and to be cast off when we get to heaven. Rather, they are the order of heaven. They are an echo of a celestial pattern and an emulation of God’s eternal family.
“But strong marriage and family relationships do not happen just because we are members of the Church. They require constant, intentional work. The doctrine of eternal families must inspire us to dedicate our best efforts to saving and enriching our marriages and families.”
President Uchtdorf explained that there “is not one solution that covers every situation” and “what is right for one family may not be right for another.” “However, there is one thing that is right in every case. In the Book of Mormon we learn of a people who had discovered the secret to happiness. For generations, `there was no contention…. And surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.’ How did they do it? `Because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.’ [See 4 Nephi 1:15-16.]
“Whatever problems your family is facing, whatever you must do to solve them, the beginning and the end of the solution is charity, the pure love of Christ. Without this love, even seemingly perfect families struggle. With it, even families with great challenges succeed. `Charity never faileth.’ [See 1 Corinthians 13:8; see also Moroni 7:46.] It is true for saving marriages! It is true for saving families!”
We live in a very materialistic society. Most of us have too much “stuff” in our rooms, homes, and/or cars. Even though most of us have the need to declutter, we should never consider our spouse, children, or other family members as part of the clutter. The family is the core unit of society and must be strengthened. The best way to have a stronger family is to first strengthen the marriage. I know that we can save most marriages if we are willing to work on them. I know that solid marriages and happy families lead to better communities and stronger nations!