As I was reading in Matthew 19:7-9; As Jesus explains the consequences of divorce, I found myself sincerely grateful that in this day of age I am married to a man that believes in keeping his marriage commitment. I understand the blessing that this is for myself and my children. I know that my circumstance is a gift to me from my God, and I respect and hold this blessing close to my heart.
Because my husband and I met and married when I was in severe turmoil in my life, and because we married within six-months of meeting each other - it is easy to imagine that I did not always have such gratitude in my heart as a young lost soul.
In the chance that my experiences could be of benefit to another -I will share a small portion of the mercies that have brought me to this place of peace, Joy and trust that I have found through Him.
My husband is not a member of The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the time that I decided to be active in not only the church activities, but in my faith in the restored church of Jesus Christ on the earth, there was a period of time that I deeply struggled about what my future held as a woman whom is not sealed to her husband in the temple. I greatly desired to serve at the highest capacity as possible in the next life- this outwardly and inwardly posed problems for me which even those that were not of my faith often pointed out to me as they heard of the individual faiths involved in my marriage. Because of my spiritual development, yet lack of faith - I was in a nervous, and sad place. ( on Sundays most especially ). For awhile I responded poorly; hoping to hold my spirituality yet avoid the stirring of emotions that I did not have an eternal family or even the slightest hope that one could possibly result in my marriage partnership. Eventually I began to feel this sadness even when I was not at church and this was because I was thinking about the eternities and living with My Father in Heaven even when I was not at church and during each day.
Time passed and I had an experience which resembled that which was spoken of in John 11 as the account of Lazarus being sick was explained teaching that the sickness " was not for death, but for the Glorifying of the Son of God " (vs.4). The experience that I had was also from Him to help ME to Glorify the Son of God as this experience would lead me to find healing through Him.
My experiences put me on the path that He was paving for me to follow.
First, I was given as a gift many scriptures to teach me humility, trust in God, and doing things in His way and after His will.
Each time that I was given a scripture either in my personal studies or from another person, I felt the spirit, and I knew that it had come from Him.
1 Peter 3:1-6
Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of the plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God a great price.
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
I held this scripture and pasted it on my mirror knowing that it was not my circumstance that needed to change in order for me to feel at peace and hopeful about my future in my Heavenly Father's presence - it was me that needed to change....
I continued the path that the spirit paved and along would come another jewel in the temple where I could never deny that My God was speaking directly to me through the scriptures as He stated to me from :
3 Nephi 22:5
For thy maker, thy husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel- the God of the whole earth shall He be called.
For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit; and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.
My second lesson to learn was that He is the only one that I need, and if I put Him first; He would gather me with great mercies.
Third, I was taught that my children are greatly blessed and protected as I keep my temple covenants and as I serve as the spiritual leader in my home.
1 Corinthians 7: 14
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
As I continued on the path that He paved for me I saw the blessings that my children gain as they watched a couple committed to each other, and a marriage work together despite different beliefs. I saw the ways that my husband was also being sanctified as he accepted and loved me despite my difference in choices like keeping the Word of Wisdom, Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, Not watching R Rated Movies and most PG 13s, Spending hours at the temple, Spending time serving in callings, Reading scriptures instead of the internet, etc - My husband also was and is being sanctified - for charity covereth a multitude of sins ( 1 Peter 4:8 ), and has and is learning charity towards me and my beliefs.
This list of scriptures that strengthened me and still guide me goes on...The experiences that I had and still have each day can not even be recounted on paper....
The path that I was on, and that I am currently on - is paved by Him- because He first walked my path as He went through trials, the Atonement and gave up all that He has for us all.
I will never know a fraction, smidge, crumb, or slightest measure of all that He has gone through in order to pave this path that He has left as an example - But, I do know that His path shows me and all of us how we should treat everyone, and especially those that we have made covenants with and before God. ( Matt.19:6 )
As I work on, pray for, and care deeply about keeping my marriage covenants and doing so with joy - I can see the way that marriage helps me to become more like my Savior. I know and understand why we are made to be married ( Matt.19:4-5 ), and I know that marriage is ordained and looked upon pleasantly by our Father.
The tender mercies keep flooding over to me as I go to the temple, read my scriptures, serve my children, my husband and all of my brothers and sisters upon this earth.
I know without question that anyone whom desires to follow and do the Lord's will in their life will be given strength, guidance, tender mercies, and most of all joy as they make their journey towards Him.
" Families are the Lord's workshop on Earth to help us learn and live the Gospel. "
- Cheryl A. Esplin
I am so thankful that the Lord has allowed my husband to be patient with me and that He has blessed me with a marriage that is watched over and guided by Him.
I am learning to not worry about eternity because eternity is part of now, and the Lord has taken me this far, and He has truly blessed me with joy in my journey. I know that my Father knows how to give good gifts to those that love Him, and I most certainly love Him with all my heart. ( Matt. 7:1, 1 Corinthians 2:1 )
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.