Sunday, January 4, 2009

What makes a good marriage?

I enjoyed a great talk on TV this morning and was impressed to share it. A BYU Devotional by Elder Robert D. Hales, entitled “Temple Blessings”. One of the sections that really touched me was when he shared 5 keys to marriage success. Here's an excerpt:

I have also observed over the years couples who have been able to maintain strong and vital marriages as they remain true to the covenants they take upon themselves in the temple. […] There is great value in thinking about what makes a good marriage and the kind of person who will be able to make and keep temple covenants. Thinking ahead this way is why successful couples have been able to date and learn to know each other and come to know where the heart of that future companion will be for time and all eternity.

First, these successful couples know individually who they are—a son or daughter of God. They set eternal goals to once again live with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. They strive to leave the ways of the natural man behind.

Second, they know the doctrine and the importance of the saving temple ordinances and temple covenants and their necessity in achieving eternal goals.

Third, they choose to obtain the eternal blessings of the kingdom of God rather than the temporal or temporary possessions of the world.

Fourth, couples realize that when they are sealed for time and all eternity, they have chosen an eternal companion—their courting days are over! There is no need to look any further!

Fifth, couples think of one another before self. Selfishness suffocates spiritual senses. Remember that. Communicating with the Lord in prayer, they grow together and not apart. They converse with each another, thereby never letting little things become big things. They talk early about the “little hurts” with little fear of offending. In this way, when the pressure in the tea kettle builds and the whistle goes off, there is no explosion of bitter feelings. It is so much better to let off a little steam before the top blows off the pressure cooker. They are willing to apologize and ask forgiveness if they have hurt the one they love. They express their love for each other and become closer. Remember, “There is no fear in love.” They lift and strengthen one another.

I especially liked that quote in the last section. “Selfishness suffocates spiritual senses.” As he says, remember that.

The full transcript and mp3 are available at


Nancy Sabina said...

I really like that too. Thanks for sharing it.

Jolie said...

I saw that too today and thoroughly enjoyed it!

angela michelle said...

Richard, you are the man for sitting at home, watching byuTV, and thinking about how to make your marriage better!

My mom has always said a good marriage is about respect not love, and when I was little I thought that was very unromantic. Now, I still think love and romance are important--but they're really more byproducts of selflessness and respect and keeping covenants.

Rebecca said...

Great thoughts, thanks for sharing.

Cheaper than the movies and there's free coffee said...

Good stuff. Glad I didn't have to hear it in geriatric monotone. BTW, I can't read your blog on it's page. The color comes up cream on white. Am I the only one? Oh well, that's what Reader's for.