From the July 2015 Ensign

This article.

It is true that not everyone has the opportunity to marry in this life, nor is every couple blessed with children in mortality. Latter-day prophets have assured us that those who are faithful will eventually be given these blessings, either in this life or the next. Nevertheless, just because not everyone achieves the ideal does not mean we should stop holding it up as the standard to seek. Eternal marriage and family relationships should be a desire and priority for every Latter-day Saint, regardless of circumstances.

As has always been the case, Satan proposes alternatives to our Heavenly Father’s plan, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the family. In contrast to our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness through righteousness in marriage and family life, Satan proposes alternative lifestyles that are rooted in sinfulness and selfishness. He is cursed to never marry or have a family, and he entices us to live like him instead of like our Heavenly Father. He lies to us, telling us that marriage and family are an inconvenience and a bondage. He promises us that we will find greater joy and fulfillment in some other way or through some other arrangement. He tempts us not to marry and, if we do marry, to not have children.

The deviations the adversary proposes include premarital sexual relations, pornography, abuse of spouse and children, elective abortion for personal or social convenience, marital infidelity, unjustified divorce, cohabitation, homosexual relations, and unwarranted sterilization. If he cannot convince us to do these things, he tempts us to support and encourage others to do them. But these alternative lifestyles will not bring the true happiness we seek in this life, nor will they bring the full blessings of salvation in the next. Out of loyalty to our Heavenly Father’s plan and out of love for mankind, we must discourage and oppose measures that are not designed to maintain and strengthen marriage between a man and a woman and “the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

12 thoughts on “From the July 2015 Ensign

  1. Satan destroys hope by making us impatient. There will be members who take this concept of hope of eternal blessings in the next life, not as a comforting reassurance, but as a slap in the face.

    However, hope is designed to be an anchor in rough seas, making us firm and steadfast (Book of Ether). It is not designed to give us what we want now, but to inspire us to patiently wait upon the Lord. Satan would destroy our hope, telling us that something we cannot see is not worth waiting for. He teaches us to take what we can get now, whether it is cheap sex, SSM, marriage outside the temple, etc. He teaches us to find instant gratification through drugs, porn, video games, casual sex, and other “feel good” things, knowing that these do not have eternal opportunity. Hoping on the best things requires waiting and preparing for the day of fulfillment, and to wait and hope and prepare with happiness and joy that such things are promised to us.

    I have three stepkids, but no children of my own. I could bemoan my life, not having someone to carry on my name, etc. I could leave my wife, find a young woman, who can bear children, and start a family right now. That is what Satan would have me do. Instead, I take the long path that God has forged for me. I am grateful for my stepkids, and look forward with hope to the day when my wife and I can have future children of our own, a fullness of joy, and eternal lives.

  2. Very good point, Rame. There are people who would curse their fate because they couldn’t have their own children, and there are others who know that God works out all things in His own time. I choose the latter group.

  3. Excellent, concise summary. I wonder how long it will be before the “I won’t accept it unless it’s prefaced with ‘Thus saith the Lord'” crowd turns their collective backs on it because it wasn’t released in the name of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve and is therefore supposition and not doctrine.

  4. PantherII, I agree this is a frustrating problem to deal with and one we have been dealing with at M* for more than a decade now.

  5. Then again, inasmuch as we are privileged to receive communications directly from God for our individual stewardships, there is no excuse.

  6. I loved this Ensign article. The idea that really stuck out to me was ‘loyalty to His plan’. Rameumptom talked about this a bit too. We all have things that don’t work out ‘right’. The Savior Himself, the rightful king, was mocked and slain as a criminal. But this life isn’t a test of God’s ability to accomplish His plan, it is a test of our loyalty to His plan, and that can only really be tested in the face of struggle and temptation.

    I’ve found hopefulness in understanding this. That this life is not about finding the ‘right’ recipe to produce the maximum enjoyment of personal blessings, but to give us the chance to prove our loyalty to His plan, our willingness to follow even when the price feels too high.

    When it comes to marriage in particular, there are so many circumstances that can cause us to feel like it doesn’t make sense and that the price is too high, both in society as a whole, and in our personal lives. Yet it is a major component of God’s plan for His children. I hope to stay loyal to that plan, come what may.

  7. I didn’t grow up in the church, but back in the late 80’s I got the impression that youth, especially girls/young women, and at least from the 70’s through the 80’s had been over-promised, and had been given an overly rosy picture, almost a guarantee, that _all_ they had to do was be temple worthy, and they would have Prince Charming sweep them off their feet.

    Of course I doubt that that was the literal and exact message, but the emphasis, at least back in the 70’s/80’s was so much on temple worthiness and nothing else, too many youth _took_ it to mean that they didn’t have to do anything else to make themselves desireable as a mate.

    I’d be willing to bet that there are also a lot of divorced women in the church who would say that past YM messages, at least the _takeaway_ message, if not the explicit messages, given to their ex-husbands during their time in YM, were similarly insufficient or misleading.

    I think I’ve seen an overall improvment in the church’s messages to single adults over the past decade, such that they are more explicit, and less likely to be misunderstood, and no longer come across as if they are saying “don’t worry, you’ll be better off when you’re dead.”

  8. Was reading scripture in relation to this article and came on this. Found it interesting.
    Matt. 22:23The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27And last of all the woman died also. 28Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

    29Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

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