Temple Marriage Provides Sanctuary from the Storms of Life
Mormon belief says that Latter day Saint temples are sanctuaries from the world. In fact, our Mormon Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson has said,
The world can be a challenging and difficult place in which to live…..as you and I go to the holy houses of God…In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace;
Mormon history has shown time and time again that the Church of Jesus Christ will build its temples amidst controversy. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were the first two prophets to build a House of the Lord in order to practice temple worship and receive endowments from on high.
One way the temple blesses my life every day is through my sacred, eternal temple marriage. The Latter-day Saint temple is a House of God, and I feel so blessed to have been married to my husband there. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, we believe that when we are married in the temple, we are sealed together for time on this earth but also forever after this life as well.
But the blessings don’t stop there. Temple marriage brings with it added commitment, heightened worthiness and a greater expectation of accountability. I believe it also brings a unique love and perspective like none other.
In order to hold an LDS temple recommend, members of the LDS Church, among other things, are required to regularly participate in weekly church meetings, stay chaste and faithful to each other, be honest in all their dealings with their fellow men and abstain from drugs, coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol.
There is even a specific question in the temple recommend interview pertaining directly to the nature of anything being wrong in the recommend holder’s life with his or her family.
With the particular expectations placed on the importance of families just in order to hold a temple recommend, success is already on the side of the family before the couple sets foot inside of the temple to get married. In fact, the divorce rate for Mormon temple marriages is 6 ½%, too high, but much lower than for other religiously-committed couples worldwide (at about 25%).
This doesn’t mean that temple marriage is magical or doesn’t take work. On the contrary – the high standards placed by the recommend set the stage for the life of challenges that every marriage will have to go through. The sacrifice each partner has been willing to make to enter the temple shows their commitment.
This brings us to another part of Latter-day Saint temple marriage which is unique: eternal marriage. Mormon temple marriage is a sanctuary from the storm because LDS people believe their temple marriage is forever. They have been sealed to their spouse, children and family and know that their family bonds are lasting – forever. This knowledge gets them through the tough times and puts perspective on things that may not mean as much in the long run.
Below are 8 ways our Latter-day Saint temple marriage covenant blesses my marriage. Though these may not be entirely unique to just a temple marriage – I believe my husband and I’s religious endowment in the temple help us achieve the goals listed below more fully every day.
1. We Keep it within the marriage
My husband and I decided when we were engaged that what happened in our marriage was sacred and personal and would remain that way. Not only do we not discuss disagreements we may have between the two of us with others outside the marriage, but we also keep personal thoughts and experiences safe between us two.
2. Never belittle – always praise
Naturally, in our marriage, we never belittle each other. We especially don’t criticize our spouse in public or in front of others. We always back the other person up within all our interactions outside the marriage. We are also generous in our praise. It is not hard for me to find things to sincerely praise my husband about and thank him for. He is also my greatest advocate, cheering me on, believing in me and reminding me of all the good that I do. We maximize the good and downplay the bad to keep it positive in our marriage. We have found this makes marriage so much more enjoyable.
3. Use a gentle voice
It is amazing how much of a difference it can make if gentle, quiet voices are used at home. If there is a disagreement, confusion, or one of us just feels upset from the day, we have found that using quiet, gentle voices stops the escalation of the problem and minimizes the negativity.
4. Find things in common to have fun
We have found that one of our favorite parts of marriage is enjoying how much we have in common. Work hard to find things you both can engage in and enjoy. If this is harder to come by naturally, then be willing to take the time and effort to appreciate what your spouse is passionate about.
5. Consult on decisions
My husband and I have an unwritten rule that we consult each other on all decisions, especially big ones. We make sure we are a team on all things involved in our family. That may be monthly budgeting or major life choices such as school or a job. But we always make sure we are on the same page before we commit to anything.
6. Don’t compare
We have found that comparing is a waste of energy and brings bad vibes into the relationship. This includes either spouse comparing themselves to others, or comparing the relationship to another we may see. You never have all the facts and everyone is different. Comparison is counterproductive.
7. Service and listening
Love can blossom easily when each marriage partner takes the time to help and give service to their spouse. One part of this is listening. Actively listening can make all the difference in a marriage.
Make sure to go on dates, take time to get dressed up for each other and have fun. In my marriage, we have found that our romance blossoms more with each year, instead of fading. I believe this is because of our deep respect for each other and the time we set aside to have fun and really listen to each other. Marriage is tested by all the pressures in life, but I have found in my marriage, that looking towards the temple makes my marriage the sanctuary from the stress in life.
Article was written by Livi Whitaker
Livi Whitaker is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (ʺMormonʺ woman). She is a freelance writer and authors the positive blog for all things lovely at the bright bit.
Find out more about what Mormons believe