“Giving Birth to Oneness,” Ensign, Jan. 2001, 67
Even though it was our fifth child, the beginning of labor brought excitement with each pain. I was sure it would go quickly. But as hour after hour ticked by into the night, the continuing contractions chipped away at my excitement and optimism. Nurses found a bed where my husband could rest, but in a few hours the pains intensified and I needed him. Just as I sent a nurse to find him, he walked into my room, awake and already aware of my needs. That awareness continued as 14, 15, 16 hours crawled by. Unable to carry on a conversation, I would think a thought and my husband seemed to know how to respond. When I needed ice chips, he was there to spoon them into my mouth. When I ached, he was there to massage my shoulders. When I didn’t know if I could go on, he was there to pray for me. And then, after 17 hours, when our daughter was delivered and placed in my arms, these words came to my mind a moment before my husband whispered the same ones into my ear: “We did it!”
Yes—we did it. So many of the needs that my husband met without my asking were physical, but I think I could not have endured the physical experience without the spiritual oneness we shared that night. This oneness is just one of the things my husband and I are learning as we share this life together. These words of the Savior clearly apply to married couples, along with everyone else: “If ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27).
Being one does not mean we lose our individuality. In fact, being one in this way enhances us as individuals. It means that we share the same purposes, the same desires, the same goals, but we work to accomplish them using our individual talents and personalities. It means we share each other’s joys and pains. It means that before we think of our own needs, we think of our spouse’s.
Certainly Heavenly Father wants married couples to achieve a oneness that is essential for eternal spiritual progression. And if as individuals we try to meet our spouse’s needs consistently, our spouse will be more likely to try and meet our needs. It is contagious. Just as spiritual oneness helped bring the miracle of life to me and my husband on the day of our daughter’s birth, oneness in our marriage will help bring the blessings of eternal lives.—Denalee Call Chapman, Sitka Ward, Juneau Alaska Stake