From Elder L. Tom Perry's talk "Why Marriage and Family Matter -- Everywhere in the World", I was stunned by the similarities many religions share when it comes to marriage and family. He states, "It was remarkable for me to see how marriage and family-centered priorities cut across and superseded any political, economic, or religious differences. When it comes to love of spouse and hopes, worries, and dreams for children, we are all the same." Although the media portrays a very different and opposing opinion of morality and values, it is comforting and strengthening to me to know that there are many people, inside and outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that believe and sustain the same family values that I do. Then Elder Perry poses a question: How does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints distinguish and differentiate itself from the rest of the world? This question is follows by some powerful "We believe" statements:
Then I read "Guardians of Virtue", a talk given by Sister Elaine S. Dalton. The first 3 paragraphs of her talk sent me right back to imagining the day Andrew and I were married. Once again, I was able to remember sitting in the Celestial room with Andrew before we went into the sealing room to be married. I remembered walking hand in hand with him into that room and being hit (almost literally) with the spirit and with an astounding amount of love from the family and friends who waited for us there. I still tear up thinking about those indescribable feelings and knowing that both Andrew and I were worthy to be in the temple that day and prepared to be sealed to each other forever. It is a sacred moment I treasure in my heart.
Sister Dalton challenges the young women to be guardians of virtue so that they can one day worthily enter the temple. A guardian of virtue is someone who protects, shields, and defends moral purity. "Your course is marked," she states, "and you can be assured that the Savior has not only walked the course but will again walk with you--every step of the way." She then suggests specific things the young women can do to ensure they stay guardians of virtue:
Finally, the last talk that really touched me was given by Elder Richard G. Scott. It was called "The Eternal Blessings of Marriage". I always loved to hear Elder Scott talk about his marriage because he so evidently adored his wife. You could always tell that she meant the world to him and that he was so blessed to have the reassurance that his marriage to her was eternal.
This is a beautiful talk that always brings tears to my eyes. Honestly, I can't do it justice with just a summary here, so you must read or listen to it! He teaches through his example what a strong family relationship looks like.
Here are just a few of the gem statements Elder Scott provides in this talk:
Ok, so now that I am all teary-eyed again, I hope that these talks help you feel the same spirit that I did. I am grateful for the reminder of how important marriage and family are in God's plan and how I can strive to be a more loving wife. I hope that the young women in my ward will be able to feel the spirit I felt and be inspired to live worthily of the eternal temple blessings God has prepared for them.
Andrew and Maichael
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