10: Temporal Preparedness

“10: Temporal Preparedness,” Preparing for an Eternal Marriage Teacher Manual (2003), 36–39

“10,” Preparing for an Eternal Marriage, 36–39


Temporal Preparedness

Doctrinal Overview

Eternal families strive to make Jesus Christ their focus in temporal as well as spiritual matters. In this dispensation the Lord directed His Church to “organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing” (D&C 88:119). To obey this commandment we need to prepare to provide temporally for our future families.


Temporal preparedness enhances our ability to build a successful marriage.

Student Manual Readings

Statements in “Prepare for the Future,” President Gordon B. Hinckley (in “Education,” 77)

Statement in “Importance of Education for Women,” Elder Russell M. Nelson (in “Education,” 78)

Selected Teachings from “Temporal Preparedness” (327)

Selected Teachings from “Independence” (137)

“Becoming Self-Reliant,” Elder L. Tom Perry (307)

Suggestions for How to Teach

  • Discussion. Tell students that a daughter once asked her father, “What should I look for in a husband?” The father replied, “Find a man of God who has a job.” Ask students how they can prepare temporally for marriage and family life. List their responses on the board. Answers might include the ability to:

    • Earn a living.

    • Manage money.

    • Manage time.

    • Clean and mend clothing.

    • Prepare nutritious meals.

    • Learn to maintain living quarters.

    • Know basic homemaking skills.

    • Learn about home storage and production.

    • Practice principles of health and physical fitness.

    • Learn to work.

    • Complete projects and achieve goals.

    Write on the board the following statement by President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency: “Preparation precedes performance” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 61; or Ensign, May 1996, 43). Ask:

    • How might lack of preparation in each of the areas listed affect one’s ability to provide for one’s future family?

    • How does this relate to the statement on the board?

  • Student manual. Ask: What does it means to prepare temporally for marriage? Discuss the statements by President Gordon B. Hinckley in the subsection “Prepare for the Future” (in “Education,” student manual, 77). Ask students what they learned from these statements about preparing temporally for marriage. Invite them to consider how they are preparing today to provide for the temporal needs of their future family.

Suggestions for How to Teach

  • Discussion. Ask students to read the following material in the student manual and answer the accompanying questions.


    Read the statements by Elder Russell M. Nelson in the subsection “Importance of Education for Women” (in “Education,” student manual, 78). Reread President Gordon B. Hinckley’s counsel in the subsection “Prepare for the Future” (student manual, 77).

    • Why are education and training important in marriage preparation for both men and women?

    • What are some of the benefits of a formal education?


    Read the statements by President Spencer W. Kimball under “Health” (in “Temporal Preparedness,” student manual, 327).

    • Why are learning about and practicing principles of good health important preparation for marriage?

    • What are you doing to care for your health?

    Employment and Finances

    Read the subsection “Employment and Finances” (in “Temporal Preparedness,” student manual, 327).

    • How can being a wise steward in finances bless a marriage?

    • What did Elder Boyd K. Packer, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, say about various types of employment?

    • Elder M. Russell Ballard, then a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, gave three keys to improving family finances. In what ways are you practicing these principles now?

    • According to Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, how can we help children learn independence?

    Home Storage and Production

    Read the subsection “Home Storage and Production” (in “Temporal Preparedness,” student manual, 329).

    • Why is knowledge of home storage and production important preparation for marriage?

    • What are you doing now to learn about home storage and production?

    Personal and Family Preparedness

    Read the statement by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in “Temporal Preparedness” (student manual, 327).

    • Why do we need to be prepared for less prosperous times?

    • What is the great blessing of being prepared?

Suggestions for How to Teach

  • Discussion. Ask students what they think it means to be independent. Read aloud the following story:

    “In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. …

    “The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the … sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead they led their little ones to the shrimp nets.

    “Now the sea gulls, the fine free birds that almost symbolize liberty itself, are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence for a handout.

    “A lot of people are like that, too. …

    “Let’s not be gullible gulls. We … must preserve our talents of self-sufficiency, our genius for creating things for ourselves, our sense of thrift and our true love of independence” (“Fable of the Gullible Gull,” Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1950, 32; in Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 132–33; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 91).

    Invite students to explain how this story applies to preparing for marriage. Next have the students read the “Independence” section (student manual, 137). Ask:

    What insights did you gain from these teachings?

    How do you think independence relates to the marriage relationship?

  • Group work. Ask students to turn to “Becoming Self-Reliant,” by Elder L. Tom Perry (student manual, 307). Divide the class into four groups. Have the first group read the first two sections of the address, “Nephi’s Self-Reliance” and “Importance of Self-Reliance.” Ask them to look for what happens to our spiritual and temporal growth when we are not self-reliant. Have the second group read the fourth section, “Spiritual Nourishment.” Ask them to prepare to explain how an understanding of the scriptures can help us become self-reliant. Have the third group read the fifth section, “Temporal Self-Reliance.” Ask them to think of several ways newlyweds can become self-reliant. Have the fourth group read the last two sections, “Proper Use of Resources” and “Financial Well-Being.” Ask them to list ways a newlywed couple could improve their self-reliance by applying these two principles. Ask all the groups to think of real-life examples of their assigned principle in action.

    When the groups have finished, have a representative from each group report their findings. Discuss their answers.


Write on the board the following statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard: “Attitude is an important part of the foundation upon which we build a productive life” (student manual, 328). Discuss the statement as a class. Help students understand that temporal preparedness is an important ingredient in a successful marriage.