Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Come unto Him

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Come unto Him, by Elder Neil L. Andersen
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

I well remember having a DTR (define the relationship) with Maryann years ago. It was that awkward step from fun friendship to cute courtship. As dreaded as DTRs are portrayed in Mormon culture, I think they are necessary (when appropriate).

In talking with couples, the DTR is often referred to as a singular event: the time when the couple became exclusive. However, healthy relationships benefit from recurring analyses and assessments. I'm not saying that couples should sit down and wonder "is this whole marriage-thing working out for us," but discussions can be helpful.

I'm thinking of this because just last night, Maryann and I had an informal DTR, I guess. She surprised me by seemingly out of the blue sharing how grateful she is that we are best friends, and that we have a healthy, happy relationship. Our marriage has a clean bill of health.

I thought of this as I recalled how Elder Anderson spoke of his wife. I imagine that they, too, are best friends:

The Lord has blessed me in ways I could never repay. He allowed me to marry one of His angels here on earth. My wife, Kathy, is my light and example, a precious daughter of God, full of purity and innocence. I would be nothing without her. For much of my life, I have been trying to become what she thought I already was.

I remember someone saying that men marry women hoping they'll never change, and women marry men hoping to change them. The punchline was that both are wrong: women change, and men stay the same. While this may be true in isolated cases, this sort of generalization neglects the influences of love, friendship, and mutual goals.

I'm grateful that we are growing closer to the Lord and closer to each other.

This progression is not the result of our own efforts alone, though. We are blessed because we choose to come unto Him.

I'm reminded of what President Hinckley often said: "You bring with you all the good that you have, and let us add to it." Elder Anderson shared an expanded version of this by listing many ways that we, latter-day saints, are not alone:

We are not alone in our desire to do good; ... in praying to our Heavenly Father and receiving answers to our prayers; ... in sacrificing for a greater cause; ... others share our Faith in Christ.

Instead of dwelling on our similarities, he takes it a step further by listing thow we are "uniquely and singularly" different:

Only here is the priesthood of God, restored to earth by heavenly messengers. Only here does the Book of Mormon stand with the Bible in revealing and declaring the full divinity and gospel of Christ. Only here are there prophets of God, bringing guidance from heaven and holding the keys that bind in heaven what is bound on earth.

Nevertheless, Elder Anderson is quick to remind that the knowledge that we have "should not bring feelings of superiority or arrogance but should take us to our knees, pleading for the Lord’s help that we might be what we should be."

As I think of all the blessings I enjoy through the gospel of Jesus Christ—knowledge of the gospel plan, a beautiful wife, my loving family—I can't help but want others to share the joy and happiness I have.

You bring with you all the good that you have, and let us add to it.

1 thought:

Maryann said...

I love you. You are such a wonderful husband.