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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Memories of Memorial Day

I’ve been thinking about Memorial Day recently.  I’m the daughter of a Battle of the Bulge survivor/veteran, and the mother of a member of the US armed forces, a veteran of multiple deployments to the Middle East.  Several of my high school classmates left this life in the jungles of Vietnam, while others returned home.  I understand the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and the original reason for these holidays.  That said…

As a child, Memorial Day included remembering family members who have died, too.  With the cemetery close to our home, it was just a walk to “visit” Grandma and Grandpa, and, in time, Uncle Walt.  In more recent years, uncles and aunts have joined them, as has my sweet sister, Marilyn.

Memorial Day four years ago is especially memorable to me, and to some of my family, who were there with us.  The story of that day was written by my daughter, Jenn, shortly after Marilyn passed away two months later.

It was Memorial Day 2013; and Matthew and I were going to meet family members at Elysian Gardens Cemetery to place flowers on the headstones. For once, the weather cooperated and was sunny with just the right amount of wind. Matthew was initially more excited about seeing his Great-Grandma, PoPo (Wayne), and Marilyn.

As Marilyn was having a hard time with the side effects of chemotherapy, she wisely chose to stay in the car. With the car parked in the shade and the two front windows down, it provided a great place for her to see everything going on in comfort. I went over and stayed by the car with her, talking about anything and everything, watching all that was going on.

Everywhere you looked, headstones had been decorated with flowers, teddy bears, flags, and pinwheels. Remember I mentioned that there was just the right amount of wind? Well, all those pinwheels were happily turning in breeze, displaying quite a rainbow of colors. Being a typical four year old, Matthew couldn’t contain himself, he just had to stop all those pinwheels! He would stop one of them and go to stop all the others; only to race back to the original because it was turning again. Back and forth he ran yelling, “Stop turning! No, stop it!” and other things. Marilyn begin to laugh and not a small laugh either. This was laughter that I had not heard from her for many months; and hearing it made me laugh. We laughed until we were breathless and had tears in our eyes, which only served to make us laugh more.

Poor Matthew, he never did get all those pinwheels to stop turning, but what he did accomplish was something so much greater. For a brief moment in time, Marilyn was completely free of all her worries and cares, setting aside the physical and mental problems.

He gave me something too. He gave me the perfect memory of Marilyn to keep in my heart and his, the sound of her laughter that was as joyful as those pinwheels turning in the breeze. 

And so it is, that pinwheels spin in my front yard, as well as in cemeteries around the country this weekend.


While Monday may be the day set apart for remembering those who gave their lives in the service of our country, it is also a day I remember those who have gone before me, who await my arrival, someday, in the presence of the Father, where all tears and sorrows have passed, and joy is found.


Not just about the birth of a babe…

temple square nativity

On this Christmas Eve, as I awoke, I thought of the glorious events being celebrated this week throughout the world.  I thought of the events of this night in the New World, and realized we celebrate something far greater than the mere birth of a babe.  The events leading up to His birth began eons ago, as measured by man.  Each of us existed as spirits, in the presence of the Father. But, without a physical body and a mortal experience, in which we could prove our willingness to keep the commandments of God, we could progress no further.  Each had to prove obedience to His laws and ordinances, without the memories of the premortal life, its teachings and experiences.

Elder Russell M. Nelsen said of the events critical to our eternal progression, “The entire Creation was planned by God.  A council in heaven was once convened in which we participated.  There our Heavenly Father announced His divine plan…The purpose of the plan is to provide opportunity for the spirit children of God to progress toward an eternal exaltation…

This season, I celebrate the creation of the planet on which I live, the sun, moon, and stars, the flowers that bloom, and the animals that inhabit the sea, land, and air.  I celebrate my life, and that of all others who have lived, live now, and yet will be born into mortality.

 The organization of matter proceeded as planned, and Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden.  Although commanded to be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, this was impossible while in the Garden.  Father Lehi explained to his children, “And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the same state in the garden of Eden.  And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.  And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.”  (2 Nephi 2:22-23)

Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “Some Christians condemn Eve for her act, concluding that she and her daughters are somehow flawed by it.  Not the Latter-day Saints!  Informed by revelation, we celebrate Eve’s act and honor her wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall.  Joseph Smith taught that it was not a “sin,” because God had decreed it.  Brigham Young declared, “We should never blame Mother Eve, not the least.”  Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said, “I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin…This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin…for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!”

“This suggested contrast between a sin and a transgression reminds us of the careful wording in the second article of faith: “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.”  It also echoes a familiar distinction in the law.  Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong.  Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited.  Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin – inherently wrong – but a transgression – wrong because it was formally prohibited.”

This season, I celebrate the courage of Mother Eve and the wisdom of Father Adam, in making possible my eternal progression, and that of all mankind,  through their transgression.

With man in a fallen state, subject to death, the only way back to the Father was through the sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son.   Elder Nelsen said,  “The plan required the Creation, and that in turn required both the Fall and the Atonement.  These are the three fundamental components of the plan.  The creation of a paradisiacal planet came from God. Mortality and death came into the world through the Fall of Adam.  Immortality and the possibility of eternal life were provided by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  The Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement were planned long before the actual work of the Creation began.”

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, said, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”  (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)

As part of the plan, my Elder Brother, Jehovah, volunteered to be the Redeemer, to atone for my sins through His suffering in the Garden, and to make possible the reuniting of my body and spirit, one day separated by death, that I may be able to return to the presence of the Father, and continue my eternal progression.

And so, He came to earth as an infant, born to his mortal mother, Mary, son of the Father, the Only Begotten in the flesh.  That birth we celebrate this holiday season.  The birth was celebrated by Nephi and the believers when “the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:  Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophet.  Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son – of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh.  And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.”  (3 Nephi  1:13-14)

“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,  which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  (Luke 2:6-14)

This season, I celebrate the birth of a babe, born in lowly circumstances, yet born a King, in a future day, to rule and reign forever upon the earth.

 Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, spoke of the life of this babe, saying, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”  (Hebrews 5:8-9)

Throughout His life, He learned about the mortal experience, so He could understand and comfort our trials.  Alma said He would live “…suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.  And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities…the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance.”  (Alma 7:11-13)

This season, I celebrate a child, growing to manhood under the care and teaching of His mother and her faithful husband, guardian of the Son of God.  I celebrate my Savior’s ministry among His brothers and sisters, His love, compassion, and care for all He met, in the most humble of circumstances.

After three years of earthly ministry, He traveled to Jerusalem, knowing He would be crucified there.  Celebrating the Passover meal with His apostles in the upper room, He gave them the Sacrament, providing a reminder of the sacrifice He soon would make.  Then, heavy with the weight of the suffering that was coming upon Him, He lead his apostles to Gethsemane, and went farther alone,  praying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)

Of this time in the Garden, Christ said, “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I’ Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit – and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink – Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.”  (D&C 19:16 – 19)

Of these events, President Joseph F. Smith said,  “…I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great.  And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality; And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name.  All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand.  They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.  Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fullness of joy.  While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful…And the saints rejoiced in their redemption, and bowed the knee and acknowledged the Son of God as their Redeemer and Deliverer from death and the chains of hell.  Their countenances shone, and the radiance from the presence of the Lord rested upon them, and they sang praises unto his holy name. ..For the dead had looked upon the long absence of their spirits from their bodies as a bondage…”  (D&C 138:11-18, 23-24, 50)

“And while they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.  But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.  And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arrive in your hearts?  Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself:  handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.  And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.   (Luke 24:36-39)

This season, I celebrate  the Atonement and resurrection of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In a future day, not far off, as the prophets tell us, will come the great and glorious day when He returns to earth.

“…Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”  (Acts 1:11)

“…then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory;”  (JS-Matthew 1:36)

“…saying to all people, both in heaven and in earth, and that are under the earth – for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, while they hear the sound of the trump, saying, Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever; for the hour of his judgment is come.  (D&C88:104)

“Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him.  Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God…”  (Mosiah 27:31)

This season, I celebrate the future day, when Jesus Christ shall again stand upon the earth, taking His rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  And on that day, I, too, shall rejoice!


It’s not just about the birth of a babe…but far more.

Let there be no question where I stand…

temple with family (Seattle Temple, Bellevue, Washington)

The family is central to God’s plan for His children.  On September 23, 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley, in his message at the General Relief Society Meeting, read The Family, A Proclamation to the World.  In that proclamation are these words:


“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.  Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.  In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners…We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.”  (emphasis added)


I do not need to be ordained to the priesthood to enjoy the blessings of the priesthood, because my husband has that role and responsibility.  Priesthood used as God commands does not belittle me, or make me a “second class citizen.”  Indeed, it lifts me up.  No man or woman may receive the greatest blessings from the Father alone.  Exaltation requires the joint efforts of both man and woman.  The blessings available for me and for my husband are the same.  Only the requirements and responsibilities along the way are different, as defined in the Proclamation.


Early this year, I was asked by a young mother about the question of ordaining women.  She wanted to know how a woman could feel the need to receive the priesthood.  I, too, had had that question.  I studied the scriptures, went to the temple, and read about both sides of the question.  As I read, I received a greater understanding of my role as a woman, and a testimony that I can do everything in this life the Father wants me to do without being ordained to the priesthood.   Indeed, to aspire to the priesthood would be to counsel my God.  His plan is perfect.


In her book, Women and the Priesthood, Sheri Dew said:


“There are four key truths related to women and priesthood that are crucial for both men and women to understand.

  1.  The Father’s plan and the Savior’s Church are designed to qualify all of us – both men and women – for exaltation.
  2. Priesthood keys are the manner through which the Lord authorizes and disperses His power and authority throughout the Church for both men and women.
  3. In the temple, both men and women are “endowed with the same power, which by definition is priesthood power.”  (M. Russell Ballard, “Let Us Think Straight,” BYU Campus Education Week devotional address, 20 August 2013; see also D&C 109:15)
  4. Neither a man nor a woman may receive the highest ordinances of the priesthood or be exalted alone. “


I am not a second class member of the Church.  I pray, teach, expound scripture, and serve in a presidency of women leading the children of the Church.  I am entitled to seek and receive revelation within the realm of my stewardship, just as the Prophet receives revelation for the entire Church – which is his stewardship.  Without me, my husband cannot receive all the blessings available within the Church, nor can I without him.  We are equal partners, with different, but equally vital, responsibilities. Women are at the center of His plan for His children.  No individual has been born on this earth, except through a woman.


My view, my goal, my purpose is eternal.  What do I get, as a “Mormon” woman?  I get all the blessings promised by my Heavenly Father to those who faithfully complete their mortal probation.  I get everything – everything the Father will give those who qualify to be joint heirs with His Son.

7 Days of Inspiration…


When I was a teenager, I often accompanied for various individuals and groups as they sang. This particularly included playing the piano for performances in which my parents were involved. My mother often sang in trios, or other groups of women, for church activities. One song I remember very well was My Testimony, by Bettie L. Jones, with flowing music by Muriel C. Ashton. This song has been in my mind every time I have pondered my words for this last “Day of Inspiration.”

I have a testimony, sacred and dear to me.
Something that lies within my soul, one that I cannot see.
When life seems dark and its shadows hide all the brightness of day,
I feel God’s arms around me, leading me on each day.
Trials and tribulations oft have come my way,
But I’ve felt Him near me, and I’ve knelt to pray,..

I know that He lives, He loves me, and desires me to complete this life with honor. He cares about my smallest need as well as my greatest trials. He will never abandon me. I only need to pray to Him. He hears each word, spoken and unspoken. I know He is the Only Begotten Son of the Father, that He came to earth, lived a perfect life, then, offered Himself a willing sacrifice for all mankind. He suffered unfathomable pain in the Garden as He took upon Himself the sins of all mankind, then went to the cross, where He gave up His life. He was buried in the tomb, and rose on the third day, breaking the bands of death. Because of Him, each of us will live again. I know that in these last days, He has restored to the earth the fullness of the Gospel, through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Thomas S. Monson is His living prophet upon the earth today, and that, with those men called as apostles, he administers the affairs of His kingdom on this earth. I know that as I navigate life in an increasingly wicked world, I can hold to the rod, and, in the end, return triumphant to His presence. In a coming day, He shall return to the earth. He shall cleanse the earth from sin and peace shalll be established, with a righteous Governor. One day, I shall see Him, and kneel at His feet. In that day, I will rejoice.

For more information, click here here, here, and here.

7 Days of Inspiration – Tuesday

7 Day of Inspiration – Tuesday – a picture of where I go for inspiration.

I am so blessed to live close enough to the Seattle temple to go there whenever I want to.  As with almost all temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it sits on a prominent hill.    Anyone traveling I-90 west of Seattle will see it easily.  The northwest corner of the property includes a small wooded area with paths and beautiful flowers.  While often used for wedding photos, it is a place to step outside of the world a bit prior to entering the temple, a place to focus on the ordinances of salvation and eternity, a place to go when the cares of the world become overwhelming.  This is the place I went to last spring when my sister was diagnosed with cancer.  I was preparing to spend my spring vacation with her, and felt the need of peace and comfort from my Father in Heaven. Because of traffic that afternoon, I arrived later than expected, and decided to spend part of my time here before entering the House of the Lord, that sacred temple.  I loved the play of light with the gray clouds to the south and the white clouds/blue sky over the temple itself.


J. R. R. Tolkien, Popcorn, and Life

On my desk at school, I have this card, laminated, to remind me often of the choices in my life.


Popcorn led me to discover Tolkien as an author before Hollywood did anything to make the books popular.  I am a “baby boomer,” which gives a hint to my age.  While attending BYU, I heard a speaker talk about the “Popcorn Theory,” which he had heard from someone else.  (My apologies, I don’t remember who shared this, I can’t give credit for the idea.”  I googled popcorn theory, but didn’t find this theory.)  This was presented in relation to being a successful student.  Simply stated, If you have completed all assignments for school that you have been given as far as possible on Saturday afternoon, you reward yourself with something “worth working for.”   For the speaker, this was “go to a movie and eat hot, buttered popcorn.”  Well, while I like the occasional movie, and popcorn is great (occasionally, but definitely not “movie popcorn”), I LOVE to read, explore library stacks, used book stores, buy books.  Substitute a “new/favorite/recycled/library/ebook” for “popcorn” and you have my formula for success as a university student.

One day, during my junior year, I bumped into a friend who had lived near me earlier in my college experience.  As we walked across campus, she mentioned a new book she had gotten from the campus bookstore.  “It’s about little people in Middle Earth known as hobbits.  They are short, live in wonderful designed homes that are holes in the ground, have hairy toes, and love to eat.”  She continued to talk about The Hobbit, and how much she was enjoying the story. At that point, I remembered (yes, remembered) the popcorn theory, and the studying necessary that week for my classes.  Time to conduct an unscientific experiment in the application of the theory.  I stopped at the bookstore that day, and took a copy home, placed it where I would see it, and studied the rest of the week so I could open that book.

This post isn’t about studying, directly, just the background into my love of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.  Reading the Hobbit led to Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King.  My copies went with us when, as newlyweds, we moved to the Pacific Northwest, carrying all our “worldly goods” in a Dodge D500 that required one quart of oil with each tank of gas.  I reread those books, and, as time went on, “hooked” our oldest daughter.  She read the copies enough that I gifted her with the worn copies and bought a new set.  Those went to a son, who also loved them, and I now have my third set (in paper), and the ebooks.

The quote above, however, is one that has had great meaning to me.  It has become more meaningful as I watch the increasing darkness of the world around me.  Life has, for me, as for all, given me more “dark moments” than I had experienced that sunny day in Provo, Utah when I was introduced to Bilbo, Gandalf, and later, Frodo.  But the meaning of this exchange continues.

“The Shadow takes another shape and grows again.”

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times.  But that is not for them to decide.  All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”     (The Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien, Chapter 2)

So, what to do with the time given me?

1. Time is a construct of man.  We use it to make sense of our world, to place events into a perspective, to measure limitations for successful completion of a task, be it baking cookies or building a magnificient building, a baby sleeping through the night, or the time required for Voyager to leave the solar system.  But each of us has within us a spirit that is eternal, outside of time, and that means I will continue to live, forever.  The fact that my experience in time is limited becomes more important, because this is my only opportunity to decide and do those things that will influence my “forever,”

2. The most important possession I have in time is my family.  I love each and every one of them, even those I only read about in our electronic family letter (currently go to about 130 families).  We are bound by common ancestors.  Those I know well are dear to my heart.  I think of them, I pray for them, I talk/email with them, and when possible, I visit them.  Some are as close as “down the street and up the hill,” while others are walking the streets of New Zealand, in the military installation of Kandahar, in Africa, and other areas of service throughout the world.

3.  I can’t imagine eternity without my family.

4.  I am blessed, beyond measure, to blessed to have been taught the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Member ship in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons) is 15 million, a mere drop in the bucket of 7.2 billion.  Because of that, I am blessed with the opportunity and blessing of having my marriage sealed for time and all eternity in a House of the Lord.  (Learn more here. about temples and their purpose)

5. Though the world is darkening, I see light, constantly, because of my faith.  In fact, He said, “I am the Light of the world…”  (Click here for a video and more information.)

6.  I want others to know and experience the joy, the peace, and the confidence I have received by this great gift in my life.

So…the point of this post?

I choose to use my time as an example of Jesus Christ in my actions, to look always for the Light, and to share with others the message we, as members of His church, treasure.

Would you like to know more about…

Where did I come from?

Why bad/hard things happen to good people?

Why am I here?

Where am I going?

What can I do to strengthen my family?

How can I help my spouse, child, friend, neighbor….”

Here are a few links to help you…

All about the “Mormons

Who am I?

How can I know the truth?

Want to know more?  Click “Chat with us” on this page.

Click here to read my testimony of the truths to be found on these links.

The answer Gandalf gave Frodo can be applied by each of us to our lives.  Darkness is covering the earth, but the light always breaks through.  Sunday did come, and the Savior of the World rose from the tomb, conquering death, and that victory is eternal.  Darkness cannot destroy it.  Jesus Christ made the ultimate choice and sacrifice, because of love, for each one of us.  So the question to be answered, by each of us, is:

What will YOU do with the time that is given you?


P.S.  The popcorn theory worked for me in my studies.  Twice since receiving my B.S. degree, I have returned to college.  I used this each time to help me prioritize and stay focused.


Built 2 Last…

Last night, we attended our stake’s marriage conference, “Built 2 Last.”  It was a great evening.  We attended three workshops, Building Lasting WallsThe Tool Box, and Blueprints for Eternity.  Each taught us skills and truths to strengthen our marriage.  We were able to reflect on where we have been, are now, and where we want to go.   All workshops were presented through the lens of a proclamation about marriage and families given to the world September 23, 1995, by the Prophet of the Lord, Gordon B. Hinckley.  The proclamation details the Lord’s purpose for creating this world, placing His children here, His plan for our lives, and our eternal destination.   Since the proclamation was given, we have seen the adversary attack the family on all sides.  This divine statement gives us guidance for our lives, and outlines the divine role of husband and wife.  (See proclamation here:

We are grateful for the opportunity to be together with such an eternal perspective.  Below is a summary I created to display some of the concepts.