"Faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end are part of the 'blueprints' of life. . . .Praying, reading the scriptures, partaking of the sacrament, and receiving essential priesthood ordinances become the 'specifications' that help integrate and bind together the structure of life.
"Balance in the application of these specifications is vital." (Dean M. Davies, April 6, 2013)
The teacher asked how we could apply these principles and practices in a balanced manner. A young sister (let's call her Sister N, for Nameless) offered to "confess the sins of her husband."
In the beginning of her marriage, Sister N's husband suggested that they attend the temple once a week. They happen to live in a unique area where there are two temples within a twenty minute drive, and five more temples less than an hour away. Sister N did not think such frequent attendance would work in her busy schedule. She refused to join her husband. Temple attendance became a source of contention in their home. Brother N faithfully maintained his habit of weekly service, until he was moved upon to take the occasional week off and spend more time with his wife. Sister N feels vindicated, and hopes for more of her husband's attention after the upcoming birth of their first child.
The beginning of this story sounded very familiar to me. When we were first married, while living in the same area, my husband also suggested weekly temple attendance. I also did not think it would work. But I went with him, and tried it, and it was wonderful. A Saturday morning date at the temple became a comfortable habit. Was life easy? We were working and going to school. We had deadlines, disappointments, and decisions to make. But I'm convinced that we were able to face these difficulties with more peace and wisdom because we had the faith to put the Lord first. Sharing sacred experiences cemented our unity, and prepared us for trials and opportunities to come.
We served in the temple together nearly every week until our first child was born. Then we moved to a place where the nearest temple was six hours away. Our schedule necessarily changed. But the blessings stayed with us. Attending the temple together, as frequently as we could, built a sure foundation for our marriage.
I don't know Sister N. I don't know her responsibilities, her dreams, her heart. I am grateful that it is not my place to judge her. But I mourn for the opportunity she rejected, an opportunity of which Saints in most of the world can only dream. And I feel for her husband, who tries to serve the Lord without the support of his eternal companion. I admit that we need to make more of an effort to balance the temple into our regular schedule. But, with Sister N's example in mind, I am determined to make it work.
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Photo of Provo Temple from LDS Media Library